This is the last one in my favorites series, and it leads us into "birthday week". It's here because it's the story of how the blog was started and the confirmation of God to continue with a job of writing that is harder than you might think and has required more sacrifice than I expected. It's a job that has been worth it all.
A little over a week ago, I began to think that maybe, just maybe, God wanted to do something new. The thought of a blog had occurred to me several times, but, to be perfectly honest, I wasn't exactly sure what this blog business was all about. I guess I'd read some blog posts, but I have never followed a blog or had any idea how one gets started. In all things computer, I usually just rely on my sweet son Ryan (now a senior computer science student at Georgia Tech. Yea Ryan!)
Last Monday night, I sat down at my computer and prayed the simplest prayer. "Lord, if you want me to do this blog thing, You will have to show me every step." Instantly, I thought, "Google it." That's how God talks to me sometimes. I ask for help. He says Google it. We have such a sweet relationship. Of course, I Google'd how to set up a blog. One of the very first sites on the list was a blog about how to set up a blog. That made me laugh so much that I just clicked right on it, did exactly what it said, and in about thirty minutes, I had a blog set up.
Can I tell you how SHOCKED I was?!! I wasn't even sure what a blog was and I had just started one! I thought maybe I had just lost my mind, because as soon as I started this wild project, I immediately knew I would be writing twice a day. One minute I didn't know what a blog was and the next I'm blogging or whatever it is called twice a day? Craziness!!
I posted this good news on Facebook the next morning, then went to work. People seemed a little stunned when I gave them the news. They were all WHAT??? I think most people were about as lost as I was about it.
I could see this was an odd kind of craziness I had begun, and really needed to be sure I was called to this. Writing twice a day is HARD! When I need to know if I'm on the right path, I just ask for confirmation. This time, I felt like I needed something really clear, so I asked God to show me for sure. "If this is right, let me have 100 views the first day and 1000 the first week." Really, I had no idea how ludicrous that was for a first time blog. Now I know that it takes months to build up readers. But who knew? Not me. I just asked for what I asked and waited. I must have checked the stats about a thousand times that first day. By 8:00 the next morning, I had 170 views! 170!!!! Unbelievable! I felt like God had given me exceedingly, abundantly above all that I had asked. Confirmation! It felt really good and empowered me to press on.
The big test came Saturday. I loved the view count. I was constantly checking the view count. A big part of the excitement was just astonishment that people were reading what I had written. I was amazed. In a flash, though, I had a confrontation with the Lord about the importance of ONE. If even one life was touched or changed, that had to matter, too. If I didn't care about the individual, my excitement about the crowd didn't matter. I was totally convicted. "That's it," I thought. "I am not checking stats or view counts one more time until Tuesday morning. God can do whatever He wants and I will just find out on Tuesday." It was, truthfully, an act of submission and utter abandonment to the will of God.
The stat checking had already become a habit, so I had to discipline myself not to check that first day, but by Sunday I was peaceful with it. This morning, however, I was eager to look. I waited until 7:38, very nearly a full week since the blog went live. Stopped at a stoplight, I checked as I waited. There were 1000 views. Not 1001 and not 999. Exactly what I had asked God to do. I'm a little ashamed to admit it, but my first thought was, "I should've asked for more." At the same moment, I was laughing out loud at how funny God can be. He had given me such a huge number the first day, but exactly what I asked for the first week. Both came straight from the hand of God. Both were confirmation.
Here's the funniest part of all. I'm not sure I'd have had the same response if He had given me 2000 views, but that 1000 did something wonderful in me. It showed me exactly Who is in charge, and it is not me. 1002 might have happened by chance, or 1013, but exactly 1000? Not likely. I have laughed all day over that 1000.
I had a number I had planned to request as a "sign" for the first month, but decided it would be about pride rather than confirmation, and who wants that? My current request is that God give me as many viewers as He wants, but that He would use every story, every devotional, every post to touch at least ONE person for Him. I'm pretty sure I can count on God to answer that prayer.
I have no way of knowing where you are in your relationship with Christ, but I can say with certainty that every promise in the Bible can be counted as a personal promise. Our God is faithful and true. He is able to do whatever is needed to accomplish His plan in your life. All my numbers and view counts were silly, but God humored me. He must have taken delight, though, in my submission to whatever He wants to do with the project He started in the first place. He will take great delight in your submission, too. Ask Him to accomplish His perfect will and watch to see what He does. He will have you laughing in delight before He's through. I'm living proof of that!