Last week, Becky Thompson, blogger and author of Hope Unfolding and Love Unending, spoke to my Mothers of Preschooler’s (MOPS) group.
Formerly a fashion blogger, Becky shared how God challenged her to define her voice and expand her message to one that didn’t focus on external appearance, but encouraged women on the inside by sharing God’s truth.
In 2015, I had a similar experience. God challenged me to expand my coaching, which focused on nutrition and exercise, to include my faith. He showed me that if I wanted to help women create sustainable change and build healthy lifestyle habits then I was going to have to point them to more than meal plans and workout programs. I would have to help them understand that real change occurs through a shift in our thinking – a “renewal of our mind” that then results in new behaviors (Romans 12:2). A lasting transformation – one that doesn’t lead us back to our old habits – occurs when we align our attitudes and actions with God’s Word.
GOING VIRAL IS NOT THE GOAL
During our meeting, Becky talked about the blog post that changed her life – the one that crashed her website, was repined over 16,000 times, racked up over a million page views, and landed her a book deal with the largest publishing house in the world.
In the past two years, I’ve blogged about topics from battling unhealthy food cravings to reaching your fitness goals and living by faith. Last month, I received a request to republish Some Things Are Better Than a Happily Ever After (a post on cultivating a God-shaped marriage) from For Every Mom, a parenting website that has had over 4.4 million page views since 2014. Surely, this is the one, I thought!
The one that goes viral.
The one that gives me a larger platform from which to share the message God laid on my heart.
The one that transforms my audience into raving fans that are dying to know more about how they can fuel their body, mind, and spirit; get physically, mentally, and spiritually fit; and live a healthy, focused life. (Hence the blog title, Fueled Fit Focused.)
I gained two new subscribers from that post.
My initial reaction was disappointment, but God showed me that was because I was focused on the wrong goal. Going viral is not the goal. The goal is to reach the one person who needs to read it (1).
As Christians, we must remember that society does not set our standard for success. God doesn’t care about the size of our e-mail list, the number of Facebook friends we have, or the amount of money in our bank account. He cares about whether we choose to use the time, talents, and resources He gave us to glorify His name, serve others, and further His Kingdom.
If personal success and recognition are our main focus, we’re missing the target. Shifting our thinking to align our definition of success with God’s Word means shifting our focus off of ourselves and on to others. Jesus didn’t go around bragging about how many people He preached to at the Sermon on the Mount or how many people He fed with the little boy’s lunch. On the contrary, He often set aside opportunities to “go viral” to reach the one person who needed Him in that moment – the sick woman in the crowd, the blind man by the roadside, and the Samaritan woman at the well, to name a few.
God has helped me shift my focus from whether each post would be the one to the one whose perspective may be shifted, whose faith may be strengthened, or whose future might be changed because she read what I had written.
I WRITE FOR THE ONE…
For the one who longs to feel beautiful and confident in her own skin…to help her stop chasing ideal beauty and focus on where true beauty is found.
For the one who feels like she’s never enough…to remind her that when life is too much for her to handle, it’s not too much for God.
For the one who wonders if happily ever after love stories occur only in fairy tales…to help her stay focused on God’s truth and the eternal rewards of a Christ-centered marriage.
For the one who longs to hear God’s voice and who still has so many questions…to invite her to take my hand as we walk in faith together, trusting that when we can only see a little bit down the road, God sees around every curve.
For the one battling anxiety and struggling with letting go…to encourage her to release the hurts of the past and fears of the future so she can fully experience God’s love in the present.
For the one who struggles with defensiveness and taking things personally…to encourage her to seek her true identity in Christ because until she knows who she is and whose she is she will always be vulnerable to what other people say.
For the one who struggles to maintain healthy boundaries and the one who lost it again in front of her kids…
For the one who is ready to step out of her comfort zone and live with greater purpose and intention…
I write for each of these women because all of these women are (or once were) me and because I believe God can use every part of our story to change someone else’s.
While the details of our lives may be very different, deep down we all want the same things.
We all want to be good wives and moms who know how to properly balance self-care with caring for others.
We all want to build healthy habits for our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being that we don’t feel the need to take a break from.
We want to break out of overwhelm and transition from a full, busy life to a fulfilling, purposeful one.
We want to eliminate distractions so we can focus on what matters – our relationships with God and others.
This is what it means to be Fueled, Fit, and Focused. It’s the end result of the transformation I want to achieve and that I want to help others achieve.
WHO IS YOUR AUDIENCE?
In His famous sermon on the Mount, Jesus said the following:
“Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 16:1
Everything done with selfish motives goes unnoticed by God. Nothing done with the goal of impressing others impresses God.
As Christians, we must choose between living to impress people or living to impress God. The two are mutually exclusive.
We are not all called to write, but we each have a “going viral” goal in our own lives – something that is focused more on building ourselves up than on building up God’s kingdom. What is that thing for you? How can you let go of your “going viral” goal and start living for an audience of One?
As I publish this post, I write for The One who challenged me to step out, share my faith, and start writing in the first place. I write not for an audience, but out of obedience, trusting that God will allow it to reach the one person who needs to read it.
** Looking for support and accountability to get Fueled, Fit, and Focused? Join my free private Facebook group, check out my Coaching Page, and/or subscribe to my blog. As a subscriber, you’ll receive updates of new posts by e-mail and gain access to a library of resources to live a healthier, more focused life.
1. Thompson, Becky. (2017, May 17). Hey Christian Lady Boss! You Need to Read This! BeckyThompson.com. Retrieved November 30th, 2017 from http://beckythompson.com/2017/05/17/hey-christian-lady-boss/.
Jen Roland is a Holistic Health & Fitness Coach, speaker, and writer. Her blog, Fueled Fit Focused, was inspired by her passion for health, her faith, and her desire to help women move from frazzled to focused. Jen helps women find balance and freedom with food, fitness, and faith through family-friendly nutrition, simple fitness, and a deeper understanding of how God’s Word applies to their overall health and well-being. She lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.