“I Am a Writer, I Think?”

~ Struggling with my confidence as a writer, I was determined to find out if this was really my life’s calling. I’d have to admit, even though I am now at the starting point of pursuing writing as my lifelong career and passion in life, I have never considered myself one. I’ve always believed I’m just a person who loves to express her emotions through the written word. It has been quite frustrating to juggle all these emotions of uncertainty, low self-confidence, and unbelief when I’m trying to write, and after I’ve finished writing, I take a step back and look at my work. BAM! There’s that feeling again, one that’s full of dissatisfaction because my work always lacks something, and I can’t pinpoint what it is. Was I just delusional to think that I was a writer? But if I weren’t writing, what should I be doing? It pains me to think that what I love and I’m most passionate about is not what I’m meant to be doing. Before spiraling down further into depression, I did something I considered to be risky. I entered a children’s story writing competition. I was so desperate to see if I was really meant to be a writer that I had to compete with other writers. My intended goal was to make the cut above the rest, and win the contest.

On the summer of 2012, I started to work on my concept and story. It has to be based on a certain painting the judges have provided. Finished with the outline of my story, I gathered every courage I could muster from my weak, scared heart and prayed. Then I began to write. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I was literally crying while I was writing. The thing is, my story was not a tear-jerking drama, it’s a light-hearted story for kids. Weird, right? I just found myself crying because, maybe, I was struggling inside. At that time, demotivating and discouraging thoughts were going through my head. You already know you’re not going to win. Why? That’s simple. You are not good enough. But despite my fears, I went on writing. To make a long, depressing story short, I submitted my entry, and after waiting for 2 months, I finally got the results. I DID NOT WIN. Did someone just pour cold, freezing water on me?

As I look back now, my intentions were pretty silly and petty. Winning a competition does not prove that I’m a writer, nor can any accolades and titles say who I am. I’ve grown to realize if this is what I love and most proud about doing, I should never be disheartened to stop from doing it. All I need to do now is accept and become who I really am, regardless of the lurking uncertainties and self-doubts. I still have a lot of room for growth and improvements, and the following years will become my learning years as a writer. Though I can’t feel and see it now, after this summer, I can proudly say I was born to be a writer.

Here’s an excerpt of the short story I’ve written over the summer entitled, “Pablo’s Pleasant Surprise”.

“That’s it! That’s my dad’s house!” Pablo pointed below to the small house, with a bright red roof, standing on top of a hill. It was the same house that Pablo had seen in the picture his father had sent him. Pablo has not seen his father for two years since he left to work overseas. As he was preparing to land the twin-engine he was flying, there were two explosions that burst violently into flames. The loud blast pierced into the hushed atmosphere, and then there was darkness.

Pablo slowly opened his eyes. Everything looked familiar. He was just dreaming. He reached for the alarm clock ringing beside his bed and turned it off.

“It was just a dream, David.” Pablo got up, still clutching David. Being an only child, Pablo treats David, his precious teddy bear, like a brother. Pablo sighed deeply, his heart still beating fast, and left his room still gasping for his breath. As he descended the stairs, he could hear the bacon sizzle, and the smell of scrambled eggs and *pan de sal filled the dining room. Pablo eased himself into the chair and stared at the breakfast feast before him.

Pablo’s mother Maria was putting bacon onto a plate when she noticed the sad-looking Pablo.

“It’s a bright Sunday morning, Pablo, why are you sad?”

“Mom, I saw Dad’s house in a dream. I was on a plane and just when I was about to land, the engine exploded, and then I woke up.” Pablo paused for a moment and asked, “Will Dad come home tomorrow for my birthday?”

*pan de sal – round bread usually eaten by Filipinos (Wikipedia)

~~

I figured I could end this post with a quote from Jeff Goins taken from the Introduction of his book, “You Are a Writer”.

“Every day, somewhere, a writer is born. She comes into the world with a destiny: to share her words and proclaim a message. To make a difference.”

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Year-Starting Change for 2012

If I were to write my life story – in all honesty, flaws and all – it would be a life of struggle. It’s hard to believe, yet even harder to admit, that me – a Christian since I was a kid, and now, a leader and actively involved in the church –  was a struggling Christian in real life. I’ve struggled with a lot of things. When I was growing up, I struggled with self-acceptance, self-esteem, and self-image; Everything about myself. Yes, I struggled with it. When it got to the latter part of my teenage years, I was struggling with guilt, condemnation, and regret. There are things I wished was left unseen, unsaid, unheard, and undone.

When you are a Christian and you’re reading this, you might say, “How could she think/feel this way?”

Then it hit me. I was a “mediocre” Christian, and I know, I’m not the only one. There are some parts of my life I refuse to surrender fully to God, and sadly, these are also the parts where I am repeatedly controlled and defeated by the enemy. If I were to be really serious in my relationship with God, I should fully give up myself so that He could change me. Yet, I still have to be thankful for the breakthroughs He has given me in the past years.  These were parts of me I know I’ve completely surrendered.

Being a Christian for a very long time, I have discovered that I have deep desire to encourage and see new Christians grow and develop deeply their relationship in Christ because I know full well the inexplicable beauty of salvation. I don’t want them to believe that a Christian life is a life of struggle and defeat, but rather, a life of victory and triumph – the way God has designed it.

When I think about my struggles now, they’re completely small and petty, compared to the promise of God’s Word. But I know you would agree with me if I say the struggles are the ones we highlight often rather than the assurance of God’s Word.

So you might ask now, “How could I live a life of triumph?”

I think the very first step is completely simple – be transformed completely. Well, isn’t one transformed when he is saved? Yes, one is transformed because from death, our Spirit was made alive. But there’s still one more aspect that needs to be changed everyday and in the Bible, the secret to complete change and transformation starts with one thing only, the mind.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:2, NKJV)

To put it simply,

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” (Romans 12:2, The Message)

As much as I want to indulge myself in discussing further, I might not be able to make my point here. Most of the times, our struggles and greatest battles are in the mind, and in the transformation of the mind, you would be able to experience a life God has designed and purposed. Would you pass up an opportunity in living the best life?

Decide today. Not tomorrow, or the next day, but today.

If you want an in-depth study of transformation and renewing of the mind, click here.

…a wise man who built his house on the rock.

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

~//~

 

To be the wise man. Every person must be.

Yes, you can!

Filled with uncertainty, the little girl asked her father, “Daddy, can I do it?”

“Yes, you can.” The father replied with confidence.

She just looked up at her father, discouraged, and said,  “But I’m too small. I can’t reach that high.”

The father, without hesitation, lifted his daughter off the ground and said, “I’m here. Let me help you.”

“Yes! I can reach it now, Daddy!”

“See. I told you, you can.”

 

~~//~~

When we say we can’t, He says we can.

“I Am Not”

There are days when everything seems out of place and I start to feel I am…

…ugly, unloved, unworthy, alone, weak, and begin to see myself fall in an emotional rut.

But He says and sees otherwise…

“You are not ugly, but you are beautiful.

You are not unloved, but you are truly and unconditionally loved.

You are not unworthy, but you are worthy and valuable.

You are not alone, but I am always there – in joy and in pain.

You are not weak, but you are made strong through My grace.”

At the end of the fall, I just get up, dust off what I am not, and start believing in what I am.

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