Tumblr is not my ministry.
I read a post entitled with this in one of my favorite blogs on Tumblr, and it made me reconsider how I had been treating Tumblr in my short history of blogging about Jesus– what is it’s significance and part in my walk with my Savior.
After thinking things through, I realized that I don’t want to treat Tumblr as my ministry anymore. I used to feel gratified whenever people tell me what a good job I was doing and how I was making my Daddy proud, but not anymore. I no longer want to see Tumblr/blogging/answering people’s questions as something that I have to do. It discourages me and yet keeps me glued to my laptop, guarding my ask box. I would be searching my recent devotions for something to post, or search I’m reading for quotes and ideas, instead of these things being perused for my enjoyment and celebration of God’s faithfulness, delight over me, and the journey He has been bringing me through. Tumblr has caused me so much pressure in the past year; it has drained me of spiritual fervor whenever I’m on it, and I have only realized it now.
Of course, this bitter turn in my blogging experiences has something to do with how I had been looking at it. It became an obligation for me. It was no longer a leeway for free expression and sharing the Gospel; instead, it was something I worried about, thought I had to maintain, and, worse, unconsciously established my identity on.
All along, God has been calling my attention about it. Even if there are a lot of people, by God’s grace, being blessed with what I do, I believe that, as my Father, He is still concerned about what this is all doing to me– especially with my relationship with Him. In John 10: 10, Jesus said that He came that so that we can have life, and have it more abundantly. More than sharing the Gospel, more than being a minister of grace, Jesus came to set me free and give me life. He came to take my burden and everything that wearies me down away. He gave me the gift of no condemnation. If it seems to me that I am not enjoying any of these things, then something is going terribly wrong.
One of the things that God showed me about my blogging issue is that I had been trying to establish my identity in my Tumblr. This has been the case ever since I started in university. I found myself surrounded with people who would always associate me with my Tumblr, since they had been ‘following’ me even before we personally met. It’s been a great discomfort to me because when I was in high school, no one, aside from my best friends, knew or cared about what I had been doing in Tumblr. In college, however, I always had this nagging thought that I should be radical. I should be radical and passionate for God so much that it has to show, because these people know me as godsradicaldaughter.
This, unfortunately, is one of the reasons why I had so much difficulty in coping with university life. I was caged in other people’s opinions; I cared about them so much that I had to pay attention with what they will think of me, and I failed to pay attention, instead, at what my Papa Daddy thinks of me(Wow. This is a revelation as I wrote it.).
It was awful, because I always end up crying whenever I was alone at room, especially after realizations that there will always be other people who are more active in ministry, more knowledgeable about the faith, and more experienced in leadership and discipleship than me. I was easily disappointed; I was easily shaken. My standing in Christ literally took a backseat when I put the spotlight on my abilities, which was a fatal mistake.
Second of the things that Papa Daddy made me realize is that I neglected my spiritual feeding, because I was always on the lookout on what to feed the people who are viewing my blog. I was always on a hunt for stuff that I can post in several Christian books, in my notes, in the Bible. I was always framing the stuff I read into graphics that I can make later in Photoshop, instead of letting these nuggets of truth sink in and be a revelation to me. Simple as that. I wasn’t really receiving from Him, no matter how much He poured out revelations of His love for me, I couldn’t just take them in my heart. I tried to filter them if they are post-able or not.
I totally misinterpreted the blogging thing, and it has rocked my life. I used to see this as a ministry, as something that I do for God, and a way of how He’s working in my life. These are all good things, mind you, but when taken with the right perspectives; and I am so grateful that Papa Daddy showed me all these. Once they get in the way of my relationship and dependence upon my Papa Daddy, they would have to be rechecked, and renewed. It His way of refining me.
What did He make me learn? First, my ministry do not define who I am, and nothing that I can do for Him or what people tell me would ever improve my identity in Christ. I could drop the whole blogging thing for all I want, and still find that the revelations from Daddy will keep coming, my quiet times as intimate, and my growth in Him still steady. It’s because it’s Him that does all of these. Not me. My focus is on beholding Christ, in resting and depending on Him; on feeding in His love; on sinking myself with His peace. I don’t have to act like Martha too busy desiring to serve Him, when all He wants is for me to receive from Him, like Mary.
Second, everything that I do for Him is just an overflow of His work in me. Therefore, it’s not really me doing all those stuff– it’s Jesus. It’s His wisdom, His love, His strength, His joy and His courage seeping out of me, and the reasons why I can do all these things that I cannot do before I received Him had nothing to do with me. My Savior is merely living His life through and out of me. It’s a privilege, actually, to see Him work in my life.
It’s actually against everything that I thought of– I was thinking that I would be serving Him out of my gratitude; but what do I have that isn’t from Him? What can I do if He doesn’t do it through me? Nothing. I can’t take credit for anything that is happening in my Tumblr, or in my whole life, right now.
I thought I was doing it for Him, but as a mortal, all I can ever do for Jesus is to depend on Him. Trust Him. All the things that I see myself doing are His doing, actually. Whenever I write, I believe that it’s Him writing for me and through me. Whenever I speak, the Spirit intervenes and speaks things through my mouth in such a way that people will see Jesus.
I have come to the conclusion that I cannot really own that Tumblr account. It’s Jesus Christ’s. He’s the reason behind it, and He’s the one running it. All the credit and the glory goes to Him. Like the people reading that blog, I am also merely one who is being fed with how Jesus works in His people’s testimonies, and who is being blessed with all the things I’m reading there. Whenever I back read in the archives, I cannot accept that I was the one who came up with all those posts. It’s impossible. Only Jesus is able.
Lastly, Tumblr is not the only way that Jesus can work in my life. He is the Maker of the Universe, the Master of Creativity. He has more ways that are grander and bigger that I can dare imagine to move in my life, and the lives of others. I just have to trust Him, not my abilities, nor the people around me, nor myself. He is very much willing to live and impart His life to me, and I am blessed with that privilege.
I am thankful that Daddy has freed me from my illusions of obligations over His people. I am simply also one of those Christians who really depend on Him, and I am more than glad to be that for the rest of eternity. I simply rest in what He can do, and not on what I can add to it. He knows everything, and I can trust Him. In trusting Jesus, and letting go of everything to acknowledge His control, is how we will really be freed from all these pressures and sources of stress.
As I end this very looong message, I am reminded of what John, in the book So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore, said to Jake:
Learning to live by trusting Father is the most difficult part of this journey. So much of what we do is driven by our anxiety that God is not working on our behalf, that we have no idea of the actions that trust produces. Trusting doesn’t make you a couch potato. As you follow him, Jake, you’ll find yourself doing more than you’ve ever done, but it won’t be the frantic activity of a desperate person, it will be the simple obedience of a loved child. That’s all Father desires.