Listen to this episode of the Focus with Marlene Podcast:
Get caught up with all episodes in the Making Life Work For You series
Life can change in the blink of an eye; one minute you are living life to the fullest and the next you are faced with some catastrophe. Whether it is the loss of a job or a loved one who has been diagnosed with a serious illness, you hear yourself cry out, Please God, No.
Whatever the situation, whether you have just received some earth-shattering news or you have simply reached a point where everything in life lacks purpose or meaning, it is a place where you recognize as never before your shortcomings and reach out to God for guidance and strength, and friends for support and encouragement.
Many times throughout our lifetime, we will encounter unforeseen tragedies or catastrophes. We will feel overwhelmed with indecision.
One such time for me was the death of my husband. Everything changed and I was faced with making some tough choices that involved radical changes. During that time as I struggled, I began to journal. My journaling led to more serious writing that soon became a new way of life, creating a new focus and meaningful purpose.
It was not easy, however.
As a new writer, I felt I was entering a land of giants, a world of talented and gifted people who seemed to have it all together, while I struggled to put down on paper my thoughts and ideas within the parameters of correct English and sentence construction.
The path to publication seemed even more onerous, trudging through sand, over rocks and raging rivers with obstacles huge and intimidating. This land of writing and publication was already inhabited by men and women successful in their trade. How could I hope to compete?
I asked, “God, is this really what I am supposed to be doing?”
It is scary to venture out from what was familiar into unknown territory. But I have discovered that God doesn’t turn us in a new direction without giving us the tools we need to accomplish new undertakings. And He continues to guide and mentor us along the way.
When I felt compelled to write and share my story of the loss of my husband, I questioned whether anyone would want to hear my sad tale. And it was with fear and trepidation that I had it published. Later, others shared with me how helpful my story had been as they went through similar situations.
God called me to change directions from counseling and teaching to writing and speaking. I believe He has a specific purpose in mind when He calls each of us, whether to share our stories through print, or speaking, or service of some kind. Our experiences remind others they are not alone in their suffering and struggle. It tells them they can make it.
As we listen to God’s nudging, we are given opportunities to learn and grow into any new calling.
He gave me critique groups to help become more proficient in the writing industry. As I developed an association with other writers, I reached out to others to give them support and encouragement.
When I get overwhelmed with becoming a serious writer, I am reminded of the journeys of young musicians and athletes. It takes hours of practice and discipline before they can run that race or play with the orchestra. It takes determination, passion, and the guidance of teachers during those long hours of commitment.
As I establish the work and dedication to develop this new skill and calling, I reach out and grab the hand of other writers who struggle with similar anxieties, questions, fears of rejection and meaningful purpose to offer support. They, in turn, give back encouragement, support, and constructive analysis of my work.
No matter what you are called to do, reach out to others; develop a support system.
Encourage one another. Validate what they are going through and inspire them to keep going. Share knowledge.
Lay your anxieties, fears, and uncertainties at your Lord’s feet. He will give you strength and courage. Together, you move forward in faith in God and enter the land of giants and possibilities.