Throughout all the years of my childhood I dreamed of becoming an author. At eight I wrote textbooks for my dolls. By eleven I was composing my own page-long novels. Until I began writing college application essays, writing never daunted me. The moment I clicked the “apply now” button something changed. I went from enjoying and succeeding in writing, to uncertainly questioning and even dreading the flashing cursor on an empty page. Going from failure to failure, I discovered God’s test to give me patience, His strength in my weakness, and assurance in a lifelong dream.
As I sat in front of the computer, the white screen glaring back, I began the struggle. I outlined. I wrote. I rewrote. I edited. I deleted. I restarted. Each college required a unique essay, presenting a new struggle, a new frustration, and a new failure. At first I blamed summer vacation for the rusty wheels in my brain. Though I had never before doubted my calling to write, I began to lose hope. Yet, with the aid of a push and some encouragement from my parents, I never stopped persevering –writing and rewriting. God was sanctifying me, teaching me patience.
When I realized my position in God’s refining furnace, I began to recognize the futility of relying on my own strength. The rusty wheels in my brain would never spin with my own prodding. Yet, I am not abandoned to my own ineptitude. When I fail, I can trust in the God who does not fail remembering His words, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9; NKJV). I have hope through the promises in God’s Word; “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
As I survey this page, full of words, I smile. The wheels in my head are spinning, and letters fill the void spaces of the screen. Because I went “from failure to failure without losing [my] enthusiasm,” I can revel in the joy of success. I am assured of my dream to write, and with patience and reliance on God, I can pursue this ambition. God has given me a heart for writing since my youth, and I am reassured, now, more than ever, that my writing will be a tool in His hand for the furtherance of His Kingdom.
In hindsight, I have joy in my little trial, “knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience” (James 1:3). This experience forced me to learn patience and rely on God’s strength. Now, I can “glory in . . . exaltation” because of my humiliation (James 1:9). Instead of staring with churning stomach at the “apply now” button, I can press, “submit now” with satisfaction, not in my own strength, but in God’s work through me. I have found Sir Winston Churchill’s “success” in my God-given perseverance and enthusiasm. With renewed vigor, I can pursue my passion for writing and fulfill my dream to write for God’s glory, that others might see Him through my writing.