Monday, October 8, 2012

Thoughts on anonymity

Last week, Jeff and I attended Catalyst 2012 in Atlanta with 13,000 others. It was amazing, as I knew it would be. The music was phenomenal; the speaking was passionate and engaging. The energy was contagious. I was prepared for all of that. What I wasn't prepared for was the resonating in my spirit every day since we've been home, the words I keep hearing repeated in my head, beckoning me to be more, do more, believe more.

One phrase keeps repeating over and over, louder than the rest. It is this: "It is better to be marked by God than to be marketed by man" (Christine Caine)

Initially, I thought to myself "Well, sure that's better. Being marked by God: what could be better than that?" But then it hit me that I don't really live like that's the better choice. If I'm blatantly, painfully honest with myself (and you too), I will admit that this is sometimes a struggle for me. I confess that I like to be known, to be noticed, appreciated, recognized. My human nature cries out for it at times when I least expect it.

I've wrestled with this notion of of being known recently in my writing. I've asked myself "Who really cares what I have to say?" one minute then "What if no one wants to read this?" the next. But what I know is this: I am writing because God told me to write the story. If no one ever reads it other than me and Jeff, well, God STILL told me to do it, so there is still purpose within.  

But will I be "ok" with that? Really?

What if no one ever knows that my passion is for getting clean water to everyone in Ethiopia? Does that diminish the importance of such a task? No, not at all. It simply diminishes my name, and that's where I want to be really. I want to be okay with no one ever knowing me, but instead knowing the God who calls me to act.

Anonymity is a lost art in today's world. We live in a society that screams for notoriety and fame. We live in a world that says if we aren't recognized, we aren't worthy. We live in a world that says if we are last, we are least. We live in a society that tells us in order to be someone, we must have more money, more fame, more house, more car, more clothes, more facebook friends, more blog followers, more tweets, more more more...

But God tells me that "The first will be last and the last will be first". (Matthew 20:16). His word says "What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet loses his own soul?" (Matthew 16:26). It tells me "If you do not give up everything you have, you cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:33)

My prayer is that I become more and more anonymous in my life, and that Jesus become more elevated, more known because of my life. Here's the truth that is ringing in my ears: My life is for His glory, not mine.So if man never knows the name of Holly Prosser, so be it. I have purpose to fulfill regardless. Oh, how I want to bring Him honor and fame. Change my heart, God. Mark me for your work. I'm ready. I'm willing.

Thanks be to God.


Rhonda said...

Good post. I've had a similar self dialogue. I'm glad you are writing your story in obedience.

Kris said...

How true, Holly. I struggle with the same kind of feelings. I, too, wrestle with the thoughts of if and why I should tell my story. On one hand, I feel I should use my story to inspire others to see what God has done. On the other, I fear that if I go forward with it, that I might become driven by the wrong thing - the desire to be accepted. It's a fine line that only the strong in Christ can walk gracefully.

To some degree, I feel that most people desire acceptance. I mean, who doesn't want to be recognized by someone? We all seek positive judgment - whether it is simply from friends and family, or society as a whole.

Your reaction is also the correct, yet hardest, one. Jesus also said to seek FIRST the kingdom of God. Does God bless those here on earth with acceptance? Sure. But, as with anything, our reaction to the world around us is usually the key. If we are driven by the crave to have more fame or more attention, we then begin to seek these things first, not God's Kingdom.

As always, well thought and well written. I mentioned to Jeff that I would have loved to have attended Catalyst. Keep it up, it's awesome to see God working in you guys.

Bird's Words said...

Kris, you're right... we all want acceptance and to be recognition to some degree. And it is such a fine line there! Praying that I am so focused on Christ that I seek His attention first and foremost!

Jo Ann said...

So true, Holly. Being obedient to God is what is of utmost importance. Recognition of HIS work will be revealed in your writing because I know you are doing it to bring glory to HIM!

Kimmie said...

quiet humble simplicity....easy to want it, harder to achieve it.

enjoyed your thoughts.

continue to press on Holly. You are doing a fine to see what He squeezes out of you. (thinking that as we submit we are like the apple in the cider press... ;-)

wondering if you have FB and if you are friends with Eyob?

mama to 8
one homemade and 7 adopted

Bird's Words said...

Kimmie, I do have facebook (do you?!), but I'm not friends with Eyob on there. I sent you a private email.. let me know if you get it!

Darcy said...

Both your blog post and the one link below were in my google reader this morning...Guess I need to check her out!