Speak Hope to Yourself: Trusting God & Identifying Your True Audience with Maurice F. Martin
In this episode, you’ll also hear:
- Maurice’s struggle with unfulfillment despite great public success – and how God led him to use those experiences to help others
- The story of how God called Maurice to walk away from everything familiar, and the surprising doors that opened when Maurice said “yes” to God’s call
- How to push through doubt and keep moving forward
- Tips on identifying your true audience and capturing their attention
- Maurice’s advice for the writer who knows they have a message but still hasn’t started writing
Be sure to read all the way to the end for a special opportunity and important links!
How do you feel when no one else is around? Are you good with who you are, what you’re doing, and how you’re showing up for yourself – much less how you’re showing up for your audience?
If we just take a moment to be honest, most of us have had times when the image that we put out was not consistent with how we felt inside. Maurice F. Martin is no stranger to such seasons – and now he’s been called to give voice to them, to help those who are struggling figure out how to move forward with God’s help.
As you take in Maurice’s story, keep an open heart and an open mind. Ask God to reveal what He’s saying to you, because for some, a level of healing needs to occur in order for you to step up and step out into what God is calling you to do.
So, let’s have a keep-it-real moment, shall we?
A Catalyst of Hope
Maurice didn’t write a book just because he wanted to write a book. No, he’s on a mission to spark transformation in his audience. To that end, he identifies the central purpose of his book as hope.
Throughout his life, Maurice has worked with people from all walks of life – from Grammy winners to everyday people – and one thing he knows for sure is that people often need a catalyst of hope. Everyone goes through downtimes and struggles. Everyone experiences feelings of hopelessness, but we don’t always know how to talk about or address them.
Maurice has also seen that the people who seem strongest and most talented, the dependable, reliable heroes who swoop into other people’s lives and save them, often don’t know how to do the same thing in their own life. That’s why he believes his role in life is to help people believe they can help themselves. “It’s not just about you giving your gifts to the world and showing everybody else how great you are,” he says. “But it's about you looking in the mirror and feeling confident and happy about yourself with no one else around.”
Maurice believes it’s important for us to remember that through an intimate connection with God, as you learn how to work through your own problems and grow through pain, it’s possible for you to make a difference in someone’s life – and that someone can absolutely be yourself.
This message is so important to Maurice because he’s been in that place of hopelessness. Even at the height of public success – touring the country alongside some of the biggest names in music, working as a daily television host, standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands of people – he was in the private agony of depression, anxiety, and unfulfillment.
Not knowing how to address his deep-rooted struggles, Maurice turned to whatever would numb the pain – even during some of the biggest, most pivotal moments of his professional success. “My journey has been very interesting, because I've had success that was empty,” he reflects. “And now the journey is to have success that means something, that is more fulfilling. And not only do I want that for myself, but I'm helping other people obtain that as well.”
Now, Maurice stands as a witness that God can take those painful experiences of our past and our childhood and use them to put us in a position to speak life into other people.
The Call To Write
In Maurice’s words, “God has a way of putting you in front of you.” He says that to mean that throughout his journey to becoming an author, he’s met countless people who seemed to be going through exactly what he’d experienced years before – things he believes he was uniquely created to help with.
Because Maurice has survived certain experiences, he’s tailor-made to speak words into people’s hearts that will pierce in ways nobody else’s words could, to help those people change what they need to change.
Over the years, as Maurice saw this happening more and more, he started to hear God telling him he needed to write those words down and share them with a wider audience. But, like so many other people, his first response was to disqualify himself. He came up with many excuses why he wasn’t the right person to write a book – but the desire and call to write wouldn’t leave.
Forcing the Doors Open
Often when we say “yes” to God’s call, doors start to open up before us. But for Maurice, there were internal doors that first had to be forced open. There were hidden things – all of that pain and sorrow and hopelessness – that he never wanted to deal with or address publicly.
But God revealed to him that the only way to help others was to first open those internal doors and let God shine a light on his own hidden pain and to really look at that pain. Maurice did, and as a result, he’s gained a new perspective on his own perception of himself. So the writing process became a process of personal healing first – and only then could he see those external doors of opportunity opening up before him.
Maurice says the ability he has now to share his message with a wider audience is a door he could never have opened on his own: “But when you know that you know that you know that God is in control, He lets you know: this is your door and it's the one for you to walk through. So for me, it's been internal doors of health and healing and external doors of opportunity that have opened up because I said ‘yes’ to God.”
As Maurice has learned, you never know what’s on the other side of your “yes.” Often, before we say “yes,” we hesitate. We feel trepidation. But if God is calling us to do something, then there is something on the other side of the “yes” that is greater than we could imagine.
It's a matter of trusting that God truly has our best interest at heart. That if we say yes, something is going to happen. We might not understand all of it, it may not even happen in the timing we expect. But God is still going to do something amazing with that “yes.”
Leaving the Familiar Behind
Still, trusting God with everything is difficult. It’s loaded, and complicated. And, as Maurice can attest, it’s scary.
Right before writing his book, Save the Day, Maurice was called to walk away from a whole bunch of things that were familiar. He left his job, his church, his home, and moved with his family to live with his in-laws. Maurice describes it as “a moment of sitting in prayer and hearing God say, ‘There is a life that I have for you, that is beyond your understanding. But you're going to have to say yes, and trust Me. I want you to give away and walk away from everything familiar, and come after Me.’”
While that may sound deep and spiritual, for Maurice, the experience was nerve-wracking. He recalls many sleepless nights and much time spent wondering if it was really God’s voice he’d heard.
It was during this time that God laid the book idea on Maurice’s heart by reminding him of his lowest moments in life. “Write to him,” God told Maurice, and Maurice wrote the first draft of that book in a single day.
But though the book itself came easily enough, Maurice still had questions. He hadn’t started his business yet, and had no money – how was he going to pay for the book and build an audience? Maurice admits that in that moment, he didn’t fully trust that God would provide everything he needed, even as he knew God was asking him to trust just that.
As Maurice learned, walking in faith is hard. Even when people prophesied over his life and told him God wanted him to keep writing, he faced countless doubts. What if no one read his book? What if he’d missed something important? What if he should have left something out? And yet, Maurice says the process – for all its anxieties and doubts – has been an invaluable learning experience.
“Sometimes the greatest things that people took from the book weren’t what I believe was the greatest thing I put on the paper,” Maurice says. “That, to me, has shown me about my own faith, my own growth and maturity. It showed me a lot about God and about humanity. Man, I've learned so much. And I hope that I just keep learning.”
Pushing Through Doubt: Just Win the Day
So how did Maurice push through and move forward despite all of his doubts? He learned to “eat his words.”
In Maurice’s experience, most people have a lot of wisdom. The problem is that they only apply their wisdom to everyone else's life. So for Maurice, eating his words meant telling himself the same things he would say to others to encourage them.
One piece of advice he often gives out is: “You don't have to know everything for all this week; you don't have to know everything for all this month; you just have to do the best you can today. You’ve got to grow today. You got to learn today. And if you can just win the day, you give yourself a chance to be a better version of you tomorrow. And that version of you will be the one who can win tomorrow.”
That’s how Maurice was able to keep moving forward, by taking it one day at a time. Instead of worrying about what he might not be able to do tomorrow, he focuses on what he is able to do today, at each stage of the writing process.
Maurice has learned that feelings of overwhelm come when a person tries to do too much all at once in their own head. Holding on to the promise of God’s peace from Philippians 4:6, Maurice practices giving his worries to God and asking for help on a daily basis, and God’s peace is enough to get him through each day, one at a time.
Another thing that can happen when we overwhelm ourselves with too much overthinking is that we stop ourselves from ever beginning to write. Maybe you listen to a lot of podcasts and watch YouTube videos about how to write books, but you still haven’t started writing. If that’s you, Maurice wants you to know that he once did the same thing – but at some point, you have to stop overwhelming yourself with information and just start the process, or your book will never be written. Just start, and God will provide what you need as you go.
Keeping an Open Mind & an Open Heart
One step Maurice took to keep moving forward with his book was to join our Christian Authors Network Podcast Tour. Like much of his writing journey, he did so as an act of faith, because he believed that if God was telling him to go this route, there must be a reason. And, like much of his writing journey, it’s been a learning experience.
“I had to have two things: an open mind and an open heart,” he says. The experience pushed him to be open to new ideas and new levels of vulnerability. As a result, he’s had to re-evaluate not only how he views himself as an author, speaker and coach, but also who he is now versus who God is calling him to be as he continues to move forward.
Maurice says one of his biggest takeaways from this process has been that God is calling him to lead with his heart. Having worked as a marketer, his instinct is to market in a way that is polished and flashy – not vulnerable. So it’s been a journey for him to open up and really speak from his heart. Because, as he’s learned, “the substance comes from the deepest places of your mind, but also the most honest parts of your heart. And that’s a process.”
If you’re presenting yourself as an author to the world, you have to be willing to share your heart with your audience. The people that you’re called to reach need to experience you being real with them from the very beginning. That's how you’re going to capture their attention. That's how you’re going to be able to minister to them and speak life into them – because they’ll see that your story is very similar to their story.
Who Is Your Audience?
In order to speak to your audience, you have to know who your audience is. This is something many authors struggle with, because it’s more than just demographics. Instead, it helps to picture someone that your message resonates with on another level.
What is it that resonates with them? And what is that person like? What is their mindset? What have they gone through? Your book is written from the heart and it's for someone's heart, so whose heart is it for?
If you can get clear on exactly who you’re writing to, and consistently keep that in front of your mind, your book is going to hit people on a whole different level. And that is what's going to differentiate you.
At the end of the day, all of us authors have competition. There are other people who write books about the same things that we write about. There are other people who do webinars and challenges and all that – but it’s your story, and your unique way of connecting with the audience, that makes the difference.
From the audience’s perspective, it’s easy to just go on Amazon and pick a book. But you don’t want them to just pick any book – you want the people that you are called to reach to pick your book. And they will only know that they should pick your book if you say or do something that communicates to them that they are who you want to reach.
The Realist You: A 7-Day Experience
If Maurice’s words have resonated with you today, you won’t want to miss the series he’s put together to help people like you get a better understanding of themselves and to start the transformation process.
This series is a seven-day experience called “The Realest You,” and it’s an opportunity to explore who you really are – not just your title or what you do. “What you are is a person who has had some loss, and you've had some grief and some guilt and some shame, and you've had some wins and some beautiful moments and some blessings,” Maurice says. “You are a cacophony of your experience.”
With that in mind, the seven-day journey gives you a prompt each day to inspire you to reflect on different areas of your life, to pray about them, and to spark real change. If you feel like something is missing or not quite right despite your outward success, Maurice offers the opportunity to explore your heart and mind and set you on your own personal journey to discover the greatest version of you. Learn more on Maurice’s website.
Your Words Could Be for You
If you know that you have a book inside you, but you haven’t started yet – if you’re that person listening to podcasts and watching YouTube videos but not executing anything you’ve learned – Maurice encourages you to get started by considering who your real audience might be.
While the words you write today could be meant for your final audience, for the people who pick up your book from the bookstore or Amazon, that isn’t always the case: “Sometimes the words that you're writing and the process that you're going through is for you,” Maurice says. “There's something that you're learning about you, there's something that that you will grow from or learn from or mature from. Sometimes the process of finding the courage to write today is actually just for you.”
And sometimes that means you need to change how you think about your overall goal of writing a book. As Maurice has learned, it’s not just a book you’re sending out into the world – it’s your heart. You want to be able to look at your book on the shelf and be proud of the person who wrote it: “Now you have not only a product that you believe in, but a person that you believe in standing on the other side of the writing journey. There is nothing more beautiful or more powerful than that.”
Maurice F. Martin has spent years on a life-changing journey of healing, growth, and purpose. His book, Save the Day: Learning to Embrace Your Inner Hero, was written to help you heal your past wounds, discover who you really are, and live a peaceful, purpose-driven life.
Maurice has been through his fair share of trauma - from masking the private pain of his childhood to battling depression in his 20s. After becoming an award-winning vocalist and songwriter, Maurice hit rock bottom and it became clear that there was only one way out: he had to let go of what had been holding him back. Now that he’s healed, Maurice is on a mission to equip and empower you to release your limiting beliefs and become the person you were born to be.
Maurice lives in Akron, Ohio with his wife and their two children. His second book, Your But Is Too Big, is scheduled to be released in 2022.
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