The Biggest Disappointment of Relevant

Me with Ann right before we spoke on a panel about “Upside Down Blogging”.

There was one HUGE lesson God revealed to me during the Relevant Conference…

I’m a huge disappoinment and it’s time I embrace disappointing others –  to the glory of God!

Let me explain.

The closing speaker for the Relevant Conference was my #1 favorite blog writer – Ann Voskamp of  A Holy Experience.  Her writing takes me to the throne of God each time I read it.  I simply can’t get enough of her writing.

Previous to her closing session, I had shared the platform with Ann in a session titled “Upside Down Blogging“.  I spoke about Genesis 11 and the tower of Babel.  The men building the tower of Babel wanted to “make a name for themselves” and in God’s eyes this was wicked and brought judgement.  As bloggers, this temptation to “make a name for ourselves” exists and we have to be so careful of this trap. 

I also talked about Paul and Silas – when the jail doors fell open they stayed in the jail and the jailers family was saved!  Opportunities have arisen this year for me – doors have flown open – but thus far I have stayed put believing that it is God’s will for me to stay right where I am at.  But I’m not always so sure this is completely noble. 

To be honest, I’m scared to death to put myself out there much more than I have on my blog…I fear that expectations may be too high – it raises the bar in every area of my life.  From my marriage, to my parenting, to my homemaking – I feel pressure to not disappoint.  And this fear of disappointing has caused me to stagnate.

 Those closest to me in my real life – know I’m just Courtney…wierd, passionate, talkative Courtney…I have hurts, pains, problems, and fears just like everyone else…I say immature things.  I say sinful things.  I am SO flawed – the cross says I am flawed!  Hallelujah for the cross! 

Trust me, I’m a big disappointment in real life.

And so as I sat with pen in hand, ready to receive the message Ann had to share at the closing session of the Relevant Conference – this fearful, weary, wrestling mommy blogger found hope and tears stung as she spoke these words…

“You have been appointed to disappoint so you will point to the one who doesn’t disappoint.”

Did you catch that?  It’s my calling!

This is my calling – to be a disappointment to the glory of God!

I am free!  Free to be a big disappointment!   Because it’s NOT about me – let me point you to who it’s ALL about – Jesus! 

Here’s more from my notes that I wrote down that night:

There are no rock stars in blogging.  God is our rock and we are all stars shining for him.

Jesus does not need our help to be famous.

Fame is the ugly world of over exaggeration.

Jesus rejected, retreated, and resisted fame.  When he healed, he told them go and tell no one!  He reteated from being crowned King.  Jesus knew he would be used more with a crown of thorns than with a crown enthroned.

Be willing not to be esteemed but to be sacrificed.

Our method of ministry must be as counter cultural as our message is.

There’s a dark underbelly to blogging.  Satan would want nothing more than to destroy us.

All the Christian bloggers united are thunder -we are signaling God is about to rain – rain on the wilderness of parched and dry souls.  Since Jesus is the rain, we must be thankful people are reading at any blog. 

And so I conclude, I am but thunder…I pray that when you come here, God rains on your soul.  And when I post something unsettling, don’t answer your email (oh the guilt I carry for not answering your emails ๐Ÿ™ I just feel terrible I’ve disappointed so many in this way) or you meet me accidently in the supermarket (multiple times I’ve met strangers who are readers in stores) and my kids are standing on their heads lol!…I will remember I am but dust…you can’t expect too much out of dust (as Sally Clarkson says).

And I am learning to make peace with my new identity. 

“I’ve been appointed to be a disappointment so I can point others to the one who will never disappoint.”

It’s my honor to be a disappointment to the glory of God! 

 Walk with the King,



  1. I was so pleased to meet you, Courtney. Thanks for being open and honest; it is so very attractive. Flaws are good; they keep us real. Mine keep me humble too. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was in a different panel during this particular session, so your notes are much appreciated!!

  2. Yes!! Actually, I find it freeing that I can be a disappointment! Then I don’t feel pressure to live up to only what God can do!!!
    It is scary to have people look up to a person as their source rather then to THE Person. We are but dust, yes! God can use our words, but ultimately, they are HIS words. We are merely His mouth piece. All for the glory of God.
    Excellent thoughts here, Courtney. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. You just got me to tear up again….and you have seen WAY to many tears from me this week! lol!!! It is so true….Ann is such an encouragement and gave me a huge reminder and freedom that I am just not enough…but HE is. Love ya girl, Nelle

  4. I am an Ann Voskamp fan too. I share her stuff with my girlfriends constantly. I love hearing how she touched you. How awesome to feel the release of knowing it’s okay to disappoint. Brings tears to my eyes. Don’t all women struggle with this in some manner. You will be loved disappointments and all! Amen!

  5. I love this! I am doing my job by being a disappointment – yahoo! That does feel so freeing to me. Thanks for sharing.

    As far as not responding to blog comments, don’t even give that a second thought. The real tragedy would be if you stopped sharing on your blog. We are so blessed to be challenged by you. Thank you for touching my life, Courtney.

  6. I’ve been so upset because I’m afraid I’m a disappointment to others… when in reality I am.. so I shouldn’t be upset about it.. and that’s a good thing. I needed that, Courtney. You have no idea. I needed to be told it was ok to be a disapppment so I can point to the one that doesn’t.

  7. Ah, how I know it — that God does appoint those who do disappoint — to point to the God who never disappoints.

    It’s all about Him — we are but voices calling in the wilderness, to make straight a pathway to the Lord — thunder in the desert.

    He’s doing a new thing — rivers in the wilderness, blooming hope in dry places — Living Waters drawn from His Well…. We are your handmaidens — use even us, Lord — use even us.

    You #MakeTHUNDERsister — because our #JesusReigns!

    More love than these thin letters can hold, Courtney…
    All’s grace,

  8. I love this post Courtney. It’s so raw. So genuine. So open. I love when women slip off that mask that we all want to put on at times. That mask that says “I’ve gotta perform because you think I have it all together!” It’s so REFRESHING and ENCOURAGING to see Christian sisters being REAL with one another in our flaws! The only perfect one among us is Him who is within us! So let’s be real and open with one another instead of pretending! Great, great post! This is the verse that immediately came to mind: But he said to me, (2 Corinthians 12:9)”‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Let’s BOAST ABOUT OUR STRUGGLES and who our STRENGTH comes from! Thank you for the encouragement!

  9. So powerful! What a great message!
    I think we have all feared at one time or another the disappointment someone else would have in us. I am a people pleaser by nature (to a fault) and as a new blogger and in real life I have a hard time if I can’t please everyone.
    Thank you for being real, Courtney. And just so you know, there are people like me who are glad you don’t take the time to respond to all of your emails, ect. This would mean that instead of taking the time to care for your family, and home, and faith you would be taking too much time to care for your readers. And then you wouldn’t be a good role model to me, and you are definitely one of my role models! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Thank you for all you do, your online ministry has helped me grow as a Christian more then you could imagine.


  10. I would much rather read someone’s blog who was a mess, like me, than someone who was “perfect”. Thanks for being honest and for NOT disappointing your KING by being obedient to HIS call to blog.

  11. Courtney, what an honor it is that God has given you to reach many, many women for Him! I am glad to hear that you want to share your fragility with other women. We need to be able to admit that our lives are less than perfect so we can show others the One who is Perfect. It is through our brokenness that Christ is lifted even higher in our lives; which, I believe is your heart. Don’t fear being you, imperfect you…even if you lose followers! Every single woman, whether they are saved or not can relate to hurting, disappointment and pain. Share you pain with the platform the Lord has blessed you with because by doing so, it will definitely draw your readers straight back to Christ. “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.” John 12:32
    Be weak my friend…
    jolene engle

  12. Thank you for sharing this! Appointed to disappoint, so I can point to the One who won’t ever disappoint! Love the encouragement! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. “As bloggers, this temptation to โ€œmake a name for ourselvesโ€ exists and we have to be so careful of this trap.” OH how this speaks to me! I just finished reading “The Pursuit of God” by A.W. Tozer and he addresses this very thing. It has made me almost afraid to write because the compliments of my friends make me uncomfortable. I want to write for HIS glory…but it is so easy to write for my (small…very small) audience instead. It is a constant checking of my heart as I type every post…which is not often these days (*grin*)…to be sure I am delivering something of worth to the Kingdom.

  14. Courtney, I went to Sally Clarkson’s conference in Dallas last year. I learned about your blog. Little did I know how much I would enjoy following a blog. You’re so a blessing to everyone.
    PS: I started following Sally’s blog too. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. I wasn’t at Relevant, but this morning I posted an article on my blog about how I am so not perfect. I think it is discouraging to read a blog and think that the person on the end of the keyboard can do no wrong. So after yet another “How do you do it all?” comments, I addressed it on my blog. NONE of us does it all. If I do a craft with my kids, laundry suffers that day. It is all a trade off. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love this post and love that you are willing to disappoint so that HE will get His due glory.

  16. I love this post Courtney! Probably one of my favorites in all the time I’ve been following you! :0) My husband (my pastor!) uses this illustration all the time. We see a beautiful bowl and it is perfect and exquisite and beautiful and we want and strive to be just like that bowl! But we see ourselves and we don’t hold water for ANYTHING! We are more like a colander! Our imperfections are obvious and present in our lives. While we long to be more like the seemingly perfect bowl that has no flaws, no imperfections – it holds water! But the light of Jesus Christ is not seen through that bowl. But it is seen through a colander. 2 Corinthians 12:10 “For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” Christ is seen the clearest through out humanness, through our sinfulness, through our imperfections. Because if all looks fine on the outside and all put together you only see the human, and not the Savior. God bless you Courtney!

  17. It’s nice (for us) to think you’ve got it all together, but I think you’ll find that as you “put yourself out there,” people will connect with you on a deeper level. Don’t be afraid of disappointing anyone. We all know you are human. Sounds like you are going to be blessed with abundant growth in your walk with Christ!!!!! Go for it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. These words hit the nail on the head, Courtney. It is so true! “As bloggers, this temptation to โ€œmake a name for ourselvesโ€ exists and we have to be so careful of this trap. ” This is so true. I wrestle with this every day. It is so easy to compare how many followers one has, who is in the popular blog groups, etc. etc. and we lose our focus on why we are blogging. Am I willing to be forgotten and lost in the mix…for the glory of God? “Be willing not to be esteemed but to be sacrificed” This is powerful! Who are we blogging for? Let us be willing to be empty, vulnerable and real. We are nothing but broken vessels…HE is everything! Sending bloggy love your way today!

  19. Those words and that thought really are freeing Courtney! I struggle with the same free of being a disappointment to others and to God. It really is freeing to know that we are simply called to point to Christ. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing this sweet friend!

    Love God Greatly!

  20. Courtney,
    Beautiful daughter of the King, you speak thunder in the desert. May you continue to become less and less as He becomes more and more in you, through you.
    Serving Him with you ~ Maggie

  21. Wow! Thank you for this “disappointing encouragement”. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Truly, God spoke through you. I pray each day God uses me in my little blog, but oh how I see Satan trying to prevent it. Even to the point of discouraging me to write.

    I needed this today. Thank you, Courtney. Thank you, Lord. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. You are such a disappointment to me courtney:) it’s ok I can say that because it’s a compliment:) seriously I know you IRL, flaws and all, and still think the world of you because I know your heart is sincere about loving and serving God and it overflows into every area of your life. You are extremely genuine and authentically in need of a savior..just like me and every other person:)

  23. Yes, Courtney, every time I write, I get that temptation, too: to write to please men (that is, to try to not disappoint them) or to just write the message of God that He has put in my heart to write. To be men-pleasing and vainglorious are the enemy’s traps to every Christian blogger, that’s why we are so dependent on the constant and close guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    We are all flawed servants, that’s why we need the Savior. Therefore, we point them to the Lord Jesus who is perfect, to look upon Him and not upon us. And when we do write and be used by Him for His glory and to carry out His purposes, He is the One who works through us. He supplies EVERYTHING we need to be able to do it, so no one will glory about the work they do.

    Ann’s message is a shining light. Even as we shine, it is STILL HIS light that shines upon and through us. His anointing, His inspiration, His wisdom. Because without Him, we can do NOTHING.

    Blessings be upon us all today,

  24. I love this! So glad I read it. And just so you know, if I met you in the supermarket and your kids were standing on their heads, it wouldn’t be a disappointment it would be a relief. It would mean that I wouldn’t have to worry about mine running their hot wheels along the cereal shelf. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Not a person I know couldn’t relate to this! Thank you for sharing Ann’s wise words with us Courtney and thanks for never trying to make any of us feel that we need to be perfect or that you’ve got it all together. As a relative newcomer to blogging I’m glad of the reminder that its all about Him and not about me. I agree with Kristin.. the words are all His anyway.. we are but dust ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. This is soooo true! I often tell people who may read my blog, that I am far from perfect – I really feel it every day. I consider my blog as “writing to myself” as much as trying to help others! I need to hear the messages. One of my saddest experiences was when I was trying to encourage someone close to me, in their marriage. They accused to me of being self-righteous and pious, because I wouldn’t point out the flaws in my own marriage. I am NOT going to point out my husbands flaws, and our worst moments, to ANYONE else! I don’t want to let him down! It was SUCH a hurtful experience, but it made me want to start my blog – to show others what the BIBLE teaches us about marriage and womanhood! All I ever told her was what God says. Sometimes people don’t want to hear it – ESPECIALLY from far-from-perfect people like me. But, I carry on sharing anyway! The only time I wish I had more people reading my blog, is when I need help! lol Looking for ideas, etc! Ah well, just means I need to apply my own ideas more! lol
    Keep doing what you are doing – you are a sinner, saved by God’s grace alone, like we ALL are, just seeking to point us to God’s ways – not putting yourself on a pedestal, just putting God on His throne! THANK you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Thanks Courtney, what a beautiful post. Realising that you are a disappointment is actually very freeing. We’re not supposed to have it all together – that’s why we need Jesus. I think it’s a gift when we share our struggles with each other.

  28. Great quote I want to always remember, and that I needed to hear today. And what a dream that God has used your blog so much that you would be sharing the podium with Ann Voskamp! Wow!

  29. This post is filled with truth: we are all flawed! And I believe every blogger has the urge to succumb to ego, self doubt, and even greed. It is the nature of our society to want fame, which in reality is a form of hyper ego. We assume success equals fame and in reality, the humble person is successful.

  30. Courtney, thank you for this post. It is a great reminder to keep our eyes on the Son. As a new blogger I am thankful for more seasoned bloggers who lead and guide me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. May Jesus be glorified through our blogs!

  31. This is a lovely, honest post, I love it! And yes we all make mistake, we are not perfect, but we all are made into His likeness, isn’t just marvellous!

  32. Courtney I have been quietly following you for around two years now, most of my wee little married life (lol). You really are such an encouragement. I have actually prayed for you before that you wouldn’t fear becoming more transparent with your readers and I think Ann hit the nail on the head. The reality is if you don’t allow yourself to mess up and be a disappointment to your readers you may hinder them by having them turn to you rather than God at the end of the day. I am a disappointment-phobe and people-pleaser myself. I also tend to fall into the trap of making idols out of people whether it is a blogger or my husband. What I have learned the most from marriage is that I NEED GOD and He will sustain me. I don’t NEED my husband to change or my circumstances to change like I need air to breathe. I need Jesus that way. I know that more in my head than in my heart at this point but all I can say it that what you learned at relevant is SO, SO important with the sway you have in women’s lives. Fear of disappointment almost has to become a non-issue compared to submitting to God and watching your pride.
    Love you and grateful for your ministry,
    (sorry for the book!)

  33. Your statement, “Thereโ€™s a dark underbelly to blogging. Satan would want nothing more than to destroy us.”

    Yes! We need to be reminded of that!! Oh how I only desire to please my King in blogging!! Thank you for the post Courtney!

  34. Thank you so much for sharing such an important message. As a struggling perfectionist, these are just the words I needed to hear. More of Him and so much less of me. Blessings!

  35. This failed people pleaser really appreciated your message today! Thanks for sharing what you’ve been learning. It’s a blessing.

  36. Courtney,
    Just recently found your blog through Joy- I’m a Moody Grad too and I LOVE seeing how God is using you for His glory! I also love how He leads his people- I had been challenged this past week through my study in Genesis on the tower of Babel (and actually wrote my blog post on it yesterday!). I thought the timing of that was interesting, but it should never surprise me when God does things like that. What a privilege to serve Him together bringing Him the glory that He deserves.
    THANK YOU for simply being willing to be used by Him!!!!

  37. Like you, I fear disappointing God and others and it paralyzes me. It’s a heart issue. My mind knows very well that being a disappointment is part of the human condition, but somewhere down deep this fear compels me to strive more and more to please people or less and less until I give up altogether. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one. I thought I was a little crazy.

  38. I am in the beginnings of Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ study “Seeking Him” and every week brings opportunities to light through which I can be sharpened. This past week we talked about what prayer requests we had, and mine was on just this topic. As a still relatively new blogger, I find it a regular struggle to focus on the why-encouraging women to build stronger and more satisfying relationships-rather than focusing on me and my stats. Consequently, your post hit me right between the eyes. This morning I emailed my weekly prayer request to the group leader, and about half of it was quoting directly from your post.

    Thank you for the reminder we are in this together, for His glory. Let it rain buckets!

  39. Aaah, God is so awesome. Just this morning in my quiet time, I had been crying out to God my grief at being such a disappointment to Him. Everyday I fail him in so many ways, I have been so guilty about this lately. You are such a sweet, gentle, humble lady, you are an inspiration to me!

  40. Oh Courtney! I so needed to re-hear much of this already! Thank you for your heart, and your willingness to be vulnerable for HIS glory! You are LOVED by the KING and by so many!

  41. Love this post. May we as Christian women hold these truths in our hearts and give so much grace to each other!
    Many Blessings to you. I really enjoy your blog.
    Amy @ Missional Mama

  42. What a profoundly beautiful, humbling, encouraging post. Thanks for being such a stunning disappointment…your simple humanity points clearly to a wonderful Christ. Thank you, sweet sister!

  43. Wow, what a profound statement, and so true! It’s one of the things that I hold on to from going through therapy, that I don’t need to be perfect, there’s a ‘good enough’! And ‘good enough’ is a better place to be. Thanks so much for sharing your notes and thoughts, I’m off to read Ann Voskamp’s blog now after your recommendation ๐Ÿ™‚

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