Some gifts are unforgettable. Like this antique pad of paper my sister-in-law gave me. Not only did she recognize my passion for all things vintage, she celebrated the writer I longed to be.

Today, that writer’s tablet stands on my bookshelf, peeking over my shoulder as I create my fictional worlds.

Writing is hard. It’s a drawn-out process, sometimes taking far longer to finish than we want. It’s full of rejection, discouragement, learning, diligence, discipline, passion, creativity, excitement, community, loneliness, letdown, and waiting. And waiting and waiting.

So why do it, if it’s so hard?

Remember the movie, Chariots of Fire? It’s based on a true story of the 1924 Olympics. Eric Liddell, one of the main characters, is quoted as saying, “God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.”

When I write, I feel God’s pleasure. Not because of what I’m about to do. I feel His pleasure because I’m doing what He wants me to do, now. I might never do amazing and glorious things in the publishing world, but for whatever reason, God wants me to write. So I’ll write.

God encourages me through friends and family, cool things that happen, and having fun creating a story. But God’s written words take encouragement to a new level. I love 2 Corinthians 4:16,18: “Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day…So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen.” These and so many other verses help me to keep going, keep doing, keep moving past discouragement and experience the joy of doing things His way.

What about you? How does the Lord encourage you to keep going?

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