Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What if...? Influence and Fear

After wrestling with the idea for a while, I finally committed, and this weekend I attended Influence, a blogging conference for Christian women. It was an incredible experience to be in a room with 200 people who have common views (+goals, +struggles), while still getting to hear a range of strategies (+opinions, +approaches) on what to do about those views. It's rare to get together with that many strangers, and feel so quickly connected (+included, +encouraged). 

I have so many stories and such valuable info to share with you (as well as some amazing women to introduce you to) but it was a jam packed weekend and I still need a little more processing time.

But even right now, I do have some thoughts...or rather, some fears. As I start to think about how I want to go forward as a blogger, my head immediately becomes clouded with doubts, worries and confusion. Some are legitimate, and some are silly...but they're all there, and I need to get them out to get through them.

Fellow bloggers- tell me if any of these ring a bell:

  • What if I doubt my effectiveness? Can I be content with whatever sphere of influence I am given, even if it's smaller than what I see others doing?
  • What if I can't find a balance? I tend to over commit and get myself in too deep (understatement). Can I make this a priority while still maintaining a true focus on the things that really matter?
  • What if I'm "too Christian"? Will sharing my faith turn off my non-religious readers? Or (much) {MUCH} more likely: what if I ignore the spiritual side and miss the opportunity to glorify God in this space?
  • What if I'm not the best? Should anyone really trust my opinions and advice? I'll never be as fashionable as..., as wise SOMETHING as....fill-in-the-blank. Is everyone questioning just who I think I am? 
  • What if no one cares? This is the biggie, and it circles back to the first question to form my nagging, central doubt: Will people connect with what I have to say? Or will I be just another voice blathering on the Internet abyss? And if "people" is a tiny core group of followers, will that be enough for me? Or will I always be striving...for more.

I confess I don't have the answers to any of these, let alone all of these. But there was an undercurrent at Influence that kept Nike-ing me: "Just do it." Speaker after speaker said to trust my gut, believe in my capacity to influence, and to not let perfectionism lead to procrastination. So the voices in my head (ok, it's really just one voice: mine) repeating the "I'm not good enough" fear, is slowly being trumped by the wisdom of the conference speakers, and more importantly, by God:

It seems I'm just supposed to go for it. I may not be the best, and I will assuredly mess things up (again, and again....and again) along the way, but I feel the call to share my life, and so I'll forge on through the fear.
But He who gives me a voice and the courage to project it, also demands obedience:

We can make our plans,
but the LORD determines our steps.

Proverbs 16:9 

Truth. From Trina.

 So I will go, where He has sent me,
and for right now He has sent me to blogspot

I would be delighted if you would join as I strive to "sink myself into the work I've been given" (even if that "work" is outfit building, and baby picture posting). I won't always be funny. I'll even more rarely be wise. And I'll never be perfect. But I can at least commit to being real, while aligning myself firmly with His grace to cover me when I inevitably go astray. Thanks for walking with me.


I'm linking up with the other ladies who attended the conference, so please visit their sites
 to hear more about what God is doing in and through the lives of the Influence women.


  1. Love this post Court. Thanks for sharing the fears we all (I) have! I love you + I'm so glad that we took a chance and went to Indy together! I'm excited to see where the Lord leads this space!

  2. Love these takeaways and love that you made Nike a verb. xo

    1. Thanks Amanda. I'm always good for a grammatical stretch....

  3. Girl, your questions sink deep in with me. They're the same ones I ask.

  4. I so appreciate you laying out your heart and all the same fears/questions I had leaving Influence. It was so nice to meet you and I look forward JOINING you on this journey... this bloggy, internety, virtual world turn real world journey:)

  5. Courtney >> Love this insight. And I'm right there with ya. AND, just realized you linked to me! Thank you :)

  6. Such good thoughts, Courtney. I'm at peace with the fact that I couldn't go this year {in what I call the baby year}- but I do hope to go next year.
    I've been mulling over the future/content/reason for my own little internet space and you outlined a few of the thoughts in my head as well!
    I already know how influential our spaces can be- I've seen it and I've heard "behind the scenes" from readers.... I just need to find a bit of time and jump back in b/c it's been bugging me for awhile that it's quiet over in crafty land ;-)
    definitely praying for our journeys and the ways in which God can use these small/big spaces to reach others.
    you're a gift!

    1. Thanks for the prayers and the constant encouragement. You are such a good friend. Even to someone who started out as just a friend of a friend. I'm thankful for you.

  7. "What if no one cares?" that one is a biggie for me too.

    I wish I would have known you wanted hot chocolate-I would have totally gotten you some! :) I was sorry I didn't get a chance to eat with you and Meg. The weekend was so full and a bit overwhelming at times, but I was so glad I got to attend.

    1. I'm so glad you came. Next time- Hot Chocolate date!

  8. Those fears grip me too. It's hard to realize He's more than capable of using us even in our mess, hard to realize all we need to do is, as Emily Freeman said, "show up and accept grace."

    I'm so glad I got to meet you last weekend! I wish we would've had more time to sit and talk!

    1. Thanks Annie. I can't wait to listen to Emily's talk...seemed like she had so much wisdom! So nice to meet you too!