How many New Year’s Resolutions have you kept? How many goals and dreams have fallen by the wayside? We get so excited to make a New Year’s Resolution, and we tell ourselves, “I’m doing it this time!” But, usually by the time February and March roll around, you didn’t lose the pounds you wanted, or you didn’t break the habit. You made a goal, but it faded along with your enthusiasm. Been there.
In my last post, I spoke of my struggles with depression and how I found meaning in my life by discovering my purpose. Hopefully, you’ve made a list, and it’s in front of you. 😉 It’s time to begin the process of finding your purpose.
You’ve marked the things that you think you’d enjoy doing. You’ve done some research to see what all is involved and something you’d enjoy. You’re in the planning stage, and this stage may take a while, but don’t fret. Pour yourself a spot of tea, a cup of coffee, and enjoy the process. You don’t want to walk blindly into something without a plan.
I’ve loved writing since I was a child. I couldn’t wait to come home and write all about my day in my diary. And, for those who love to write, a small page in a diary isn’t nearly long enough to get your thoughts out especially a teenager. So, I’d add pages and stuff them in. My diary began looking like an overstuffed pillow.
Because of the circumstances surrounding my life as an adult, however, I couldn’t seem to get my writing off the ground. It wasn’t that I didn’t try, well, I tried until I got so discouraged that, figuratively speaking, I’d shove my writing back onto that same, dark shelf to collect dust as I vowed to quit. My excuse, which I thought was a good one, was that too many things were against me…nothing ever seemed to go my way… poor me.
So, I’d go about my life but the nagging desire always found a way to inch back into my thoughts. Begrudgingly, I’d pull down my rough drafts and try it again. (They’re all still here in my filing cabinet.)
This was my writing life cycle. Get encouraged. Quite. Get discouraged. Quit. Later in my life I finally had to face shivering fact that I never wanted to admit.
I was a quitter.
There was no other conclusion I could come to accept I had been a quitter for most of my life, especially when things got too difficult, or when I faced an obstacle that looked impossible to jump over. Just quit. (Thankfully, the only thing I never quit was my Christian walk with Jesus.) The last time “I quit” was actually about two years ago. I packed up all my work-related materials, placed them in a plastic container, snapped on the lid, and shoved it in my closet. I stomped downstairs and told my husband, “I quit. I’m done. And I mean it this time!”
He remained silent and processed my remarks that he’d heard before, and said, “Okay.”
I shot back, “I mean it.”
Well, I barely made it past two days when I dragged the plastic container out, snapped open the lid, and stared at my writing career like I’d done hundreds of times. But this time, I wrestled with why I’d been given this desire to write and then have it be so difficult to do. But the story wasn’t over. God had to remind me again of Matthew 6:33 says, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
2 Reasons Why God Didn’t Bless My Gift
- I was a quitter. How can anyone work with someone who’s a quitter? I’d go forward and slide back so many times that I was never able to reach the finish line.
- God wasn’t done with me yet. I’d gone through transformations in my life like we all do and this was going to be another long one even though I wanted the short cut. I realized that there were things that had nothing to do with my writing but everything to do with me… heart and discipline issues. Was I even ready for the challenge? Was I ready to take the journey without quitting? How much did I really want it? And this is the question you must ask yourself. How much do you want it? If it’s as much as you think, then you’ll probably quit, too.
God molds us into the person He wants us to become, but He seeks people who don’t quit, people who aren’t afraid to run the race, and who have the courage to work through obstacles to find a way. He wants us to be tough and see it through. We may fail, but it’s better to fail at something you’ve tried, then to fail because you quit.
Never Give Up
I’d discussed my dilemma with a good friend long ago, and she gave me some good advice. She asked me if I could find a half hour a day to write, or even a half hour every other day so that I wouldn’t become burned out in the process before I began.
Well, that sounded achievable, so I began taking her advised baby steps. And what the baby steps taught me was discipline and a stable incentive to accomplish my goals.
Before I knew it, I found myself wanting to find more time to write because I saw my accomplishments taking shape. And with hard work, I had achieved one of my goals: finishing and publishing a children’s fantasy story. It may or may not be the greatest children’s fantasy story ever told, but I accomplished something that I never thought possible because I didn’t quit.
I learned about the craft of writing and it developed me as a writer. The learning is never-ending, but when I realized that I’m not Wonder Woman, and that I don’t have to race toward the finish line, my journey is more enjoyable because I can walk leisurely toward my goals, and still make time for my family.
I’ve a few other writing projects I’m working on, and I’m enjoying the process.
What’s Hindering You From Accomplishing Your Goal?
Don’t wait. Take a step. Take two. Take one day at a time, and don’t become anxious that things aren’t happening as fast as you’d like.
If we race to achieve our goals, we miss out on the growing process. Our pastor once said that the difference between a dream and a goal is that a goal takes planning. Maturity and growth take time. You know more now than you did twenty years ago, right? So take your knowledge, stir in some hard work, flavor it with persistence, and season it with the sense of knowing that your working toward your goal.
And, don’t become discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t work out. Quitters never reach the finish line. If you quit, you’ll never know if you could’ve accomplished your goal. I had to tell myself aloud time and again, “I’m not going to quit this time.”
Slow down. Take your time. Enjoy life. Enjoy the journey. We only have one life. Let’s live it to its fullest so that God will be glorified!
That’s how God has been growing me.
We would love to hear your success stories or where you are at on your journey in the comments below.