I, like countless others, was always the person who constantly changed their mind over what profession I aspired to be throughout my childhood and teenage years. I wanted to be a veterinarian, a teacher, a marine biologist, a rock star, a psychologist, a social worker...so many different things. Of course, I am now in ministry school majoring in Ministerial Leadership, aspiring to work in the church full-time. Through every change in my career dreams, there have always been two different things I aspired to be on the side of whatever profession I held. Those two aspirations are to be a mother, and to be a writer.
I loved writing from a young age. Seeing the author's name on the front of a book always fascinated me. I always read the short biography of the author in the back of the books I read as a child, because it completely amazed me that the book I was so engaged in had come from the mind and hands of an average person. I quickly realized that maybe I too could one day be that name on a book cover. Over the course of my life, I grew in my passion and skill for writing. There were times of discouragement, such as when a particularly tough English teacher barely passed my essays, and I stopped writing for years. Yet when I finally picked it up again years later, I found that I still, despite the discouragement, loved putting words to paper. It was a passion that refused to go away.
We all have something we love, that we have unworldly passion for, that was weaved into our DNA when God created us. Like an artist loves to paint, like vocalist loves to sing, like a motivational speaker loves to encourage. Everything you do with that kind of love and passion has a piece of you within it. In the words of Gollum, every piece of writing that I create is "my precious". When you love something, you don't just do it for others, you do it for yourself. It's actually easier to do it for yourself, because then no one else can judge it or reject it. If you were to look in my blog post archive, you would see as many as six or seven drafts at a time of posts I didn't think were up to the standard needed to press the publish button. I reject my own work, but that isn't the same as someone else, a professional in the world of writing, rejecting a piece of writing that I put not just my effort, but my heart into.
I'm only 21...my writing isn't good enough to be published. I have no right to even attempt to get my work published anywhere at my age. That's selfish of me. That's a conceited thing to do. I need to write a good twenty more years before it would make sense to try to become a published writer at any capacity. I shouldn't begin writing a book at this age. No one will take a book seriously that was written by some kid in their early twenties that has the audacity to think she could have her work on the same shelf as genuinely successful authors. Those are just a few of the reasons I have continuously refused to put my writing out there and attempt to be published. Those are the types of thoughts that keep many young people from even attempting to make their dreams into reality.
God gives each of us gifts and talents. Some have beautiful voices to sing, some can compose flawless music, some can sketch and paint in ways that intrigue both the eye and the mind. I have been given the ability to write well. Nowhere in the Bible does it say that our gifts and talents are only for ourselves. Nowhere does it say that we have to improve upon our gifts and talents well into our forties before we can share them. Contrary, our gifts and talents are meant to be shared with others. To be blunt, it's selfish to keep our gifts and talents to ourselves, to not use them to glorify God as He meant for us to do when He placed those passions/talents in us. Besides, there is no question that God uses the young. God used a sixteen year old to bring Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, into the world. Therefore, God can use the singing of a 13 year old. He can use the paintings of an 18 year old. He can use the writing of a 21 year old. There is no guarantee on the length of one's life, so why put your dreams off for a day that isn't promised to you? When you discover your passion and talents, don't let your age be your blockade. Don't place restrictions on yourself out of fear. Dreams aren't meant to be thought of today and put off until tomorrow. The time to make your dreams into a reality is now. God gave you the gift and talent. God will provide the opportunities. The only thing that stands in our way is ourselves. Get out of your own way, take chances, and don't be discouraged when it takes try after try. Know that you can be successful and you can make an impact, no matter how young you are. Age is but a number when you have God on your side.