“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing this some people have unknowingly entertained angels.” Hebrews 13:2
I’m willing to bet that more often than not, the people who support you the most when you’re striving to fulfill certain goals or aspirations are not your family members; it isn’t your spouse; it isn’t your mom or your dad or your best friend; BUT STRANGERS.
Yeah, sometimes those you thought would be there for you every step of the way are nowhere to be found when you need an encouraging word. And in those moments when you feel like giving up and it would be so much easier to just abandon it all—your greatest encouragement comes from those you would have never thought; perhaps those you never even noticed. Sometimes very ones you thought wouldn’t even acknowledge you will turn around and say, “Girl, keep doing your thing! You’re blessing people!” or “I read something you wrote and it literally saved me from making a bad decision. Please don’t stop.” Or you fellows might hear, “Man, keep on being a positive example of how a young man should conduct himself.” Or even, “It’s so refreshing to see a young man who is aspiring to be more than a rapper or athlete!” So yes, if that’s you—KEEP doing what you do!
If my self-confidence was a balloon that filled with air every time encouragement came from those closest to me, it would be deflated. People often tell me, “Crystolyn, I would call you and I’d love to be more supportive—but I know you come from a large family and I don’t want to intrude. I know you have enough of a support system.” That makes me chuckle. Now this is not an insult to my family, because there are a few who encourage me. But I’m pretty sure the ones that YOU probably imagine tell me that my writing is good or that I should keep it up—those are the ones who have never even asked me about my writing or don’t acknowledge my pursuit to create something greater than what I’ve ever seen. I’ve come to learn that just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean that everyone around you will be equally as excited about it. And that’s okay! Sounds simple, but it’s much harder to accept than we realize. How many of you have ever been excited about something that was happening in your life or an accomplishment you made and you wanted to share it with a loved one? Only to have them act just as nonchalant as they can about it…and that can be hurtful, for lack of a better term. We expect our loved ones to be interested in the things we love, because in our minds: if you love me then surely you’ll take an interest in something I’m passionate about.
I’ll give you an example
My husband LOVES sports, especially football. He can’t get enough of it. He coaches little league, he keeps up with college football, and he watches as many NFL games that he can catch. Me, on the other hand, wouldn’t pay two cents to watch a game. I don’t understand it; I don’t care to understand; it does nothing for me; it’s not entertaining; I can’t imagine why somebody would want to put their bodies through that. But when my husband tells me to come look at a “sweet play” or is talking to me about the game and I don’t understand what’s going on—I give that man my undivided attention. I listen to him. I act interested, and I like to make him laugh when I make a comment like, “What the heck is a ‘sack’ and who cares?!” I do this because I love my husband, and I will listen when he’s obviously so passionate about something. (I’m still waiting on him to get with the program and even acknowledge that I HAVE a blog, LOL. I’m exaggerating just a bit).
My point is, it is completely natural and very characteristic of us human beings to want to get the acceptance, or attention, from people—mainly those we hold dear to us—especially when it concerns something that leaves such an impression on our hearts.
When I started my blog, I was tempted to ask, “Well who’s going to read it? Who will be interested? Who even cares?!” But I had to find enough confidence within myself to say, if NO ONE reads it—I’m still going to do it because it’s my passion! I simply love writing. So why in the world would I imprison myself and my creative side by refusing to do something I love just because others don’t seem interested? That’s nonsense.
Even with this, we can find ourselves trying to reach out to others who have a similar passion. Maybe you sing and you believe that you really have a gift that maybe your family hasn’t some to appreciate yet. So you reach out to other aspiring artists, perhaps some who have made it after a struggle that you currently sit in. So you reach out to them—only to continuously get nothing in return. It is so normal to desire a connection to people that you think have similar goals, aspirations, and dreams. But I’m here to remind you that if NO ONE acknowledges your gift, that is sometimes better in the long-run. It may not feel like it while you’re in the situation, but how beautiful will it be when you have maxed out your potential resources and you have no one but God to rely on for true fulfillment? Don’t you know that He that began a good work in you WILL carry it on into completion? (ref. Philippians 1:6). If, like me, you believe with every inch of your being that God put something inside of you that will change some lives—don’t you dare quit! You keep going and going until He opens up the right doors for you!
Think about it this way: When God allows people to ignore you, overlook you, and reject you—He could very well be SAVING you from something! So count it all joy, my friend, whenever you face trials of many kinds (ref. James 1:2).
I’ve learned to appreciate being a nobody. I use the term loosely, for in this case it means to be someone that others overlook and may not be able to appreciate at first glance; someone who isn’t popular (and certainly won’t compromise to be that). For everyone who didn’t have famous or rich parents growing up…people who had to pave their own way…for those of us who were not birthed into wealthy families or prominent circumstances…shout out to the fighters who worked their way to the top all the way from the bottom; this is for those of us who aren’t merely heirs of established men and didn’t have things handed to us. For those of us who didn’t have the advantage of being connected to the right people, we push pass a lot more than what others have to.
You know what I love about it though? We have the ABSOLUTE advantage of being a true testimony of how no one BUT God made a way for us! We are connected to the Almighty, and that’s greater than anything! So this isn’t to say that we never reach out to people. I sure as heck still do! Because I know that God IS going to open up a door for me, so I make myself available. You never know who He has spoken to on YOUR behalf. Somebody might just be waiting to bless you! So you can make yourself available, but don’t rely on people for the blessing. Know, without a shadow of doubt, that your help comes from the Lord.
I appreciate my current lifestyle because I know it won’t always be so subtle.