Will It Ever be Enough?

worried head

I love the turn of the year; it’s one of my favorite times. There’s just something that happens when a fresh hope stirs the air. And, yes, in this season of countless commitments for less of this and more of that, I’ll admit I’ve shared more than a few words with myself about change. Not resolutions per se but rather affirmations, things I choose to think about in a positive manner in the hopes of moving in that direction.

Some of those have to do with folks finding my book. I shared recently how my publishing dream quickly turned to a real-life marketing responsibility after the book was released. My dream morphed into a product—a product that competed with many others for incredibly scarce bookshelf space and reader eyes. And while I was passionate about sharing the hope of God’s truths tucked between my words, I knew well that readers sense motive and I felt {more than} a little funny chasing numbers and progress.

Until my days of interviews and Facebook parties and twitter chats turned to nights of laryngitis and pneumonia and cancelled engagements and disillusionment because I could no longer directly engage my audience.

You see, as newly published authors there’s this window of opportunity to which we respond in launching our books, this newness that either ignites and spreads like wildfire or burns a quick blaze and dies out. And sometimes, in an effort to fan the flame, we new authors nurture this mind-numbing over-fixation to be everywhere at once so we can personally touch each one of our readers.

Will it ever be enough?

I imagine it’s not too far from how the disciples felt that day they walked alongside Jesus by the lake in the country, that day they found themselves responsible for a crowd of hungry mouths yet held only five small loaves of bread and two fish. {Remember the miraculous story in the gospels of Jesus feeding five thousand folks?}

“We have here only five loaves and two fish,” they said.

Will it ever be enough?

“Bring them here to me,” Jesus said.

That’s when we watch the miracle unfold, when we see Jesus take what they had, bless it, and return it to the disciples so that they could do what needed to be done.

I’m learning this the hard way, how God blesses what we bring to him, shares what we offer through him. I will never have enough, never be able to be everywhere I need to be {for countless reasons} but Jesus takes what we’re willing to bring him, blessing and multiplying it.

Walking this marketing journey, sometimes I forget that. After several weeks of an unexpected illness, I’m now back out there sharing the word about my book with my intended audience. As far as those weeks I missed that couldn’t be helped, I’m earnestly praying that God will multiply my loaves and fishes.

Deeper Still: How about you? Do you ever struggle with the need to be in control? What do you do when things don’t go as planned?

13 Replies to “Will It Ever be Enough?”

  1. JoAnn—you words hit me where I am about to hurt (again!). As my next book releases in 2 weeks, I have a sense of dread as well as excitement. I know too well those fears, “Will it ever be enough?” (Will the work be enough? WIll my marketing efforts be enough?) And in every past book, God has made it so. So why am I stressing again?? I guess we keep needing a meal of multiplied bread and fish. You’ve given it here. Thank you, friend!

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  3. Once again you hit your readers where they are–in the real. I love that about you. I think as women particularly we suffer often from the “Is it/am I enough?”. Sometimes I think we are hard-wired with a fixer focus, and when we meet up with something we can’t fix we immediately feel like we’ve failed. As women we carry a uniquely difficult task in handing over, laying down, giving up. Somehow we have to begin to understand that leaning on God (or our husbands, or our mentors, or our friends, or our coaches…) is not a sign of weakness but of wisdom. I love you, my friend, and your big heart for shining hope.

    1. As is the wisdom of leaning into the love, encouragement, and SKILL of some of our writer friends. Oh how I thank you for the support you have gifted me these last two years, friend. Love you so.

  4. While you were resting, we were resting in the Word and your thoughts on the Word, your life experiences as well as others. Now we are ready for you again and your sweet spirit and words of life. Welcome Back, Jo Ann.

  5. Jo Ann, you know I love your heart. And this post encourages me so. I am a recovering control freak so letting go to God, to anyone, is a challenge but one God is blessing me through. I am able to trust, and to bounce back better than before because of Him. In a time of waiting, a season of yet more limbo, the control factor is entirely out of my hands. I have to trust Him. I have no one else. Bless you my dear!

  6. This is an amazing post, Jo Ann! You have once again given me much food for thought. The Lord is indeed multiplying your bread and fishes. We just never know when or how He’ll choose to deliver them. Bless you.

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  8. As I considered a few changes for the new year, I chose the word—ENOUGH—as my one word to help me get back on track in 2014. It may be more accurate to say that this one word—ENOUGH—chose me. It just rolled out of my restless heart and consumed my anxious thoughts awhile back. Thanks for the confirmation, Jo Ann! And yes, His grace IS enough!

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