I have great news! I know I should tease you a bit, leave a few hints here and there. But I’m so excited I doubt I can wait until the third paragraph to tell you what’s been on my mind. Yesterday evening I got an unexpected email. Attached in the email was an invitation to an award ceremony based on my entry in this year’s JCDC Jamaica Creative Writing Competition.
I remember my anxiety when on the deadline for submission I realised that my Anancy short story was way below the stipulated word count. In a week laden with writing woes — deadlines and disappointments — I felt a bit discouraged. But now I can beam with joy. I don’t know what I won but regardless of the prize, I’ll be forever grateful because experiences like this teach me that I should always dare to pursue my dreams even when challenges come and I doubt myself.
The JCDC awards ceremony is next week Tuesday in Kingston so I’ll be taking a three-hour drive from Montego Bay. Don’t be surprised if I post lots of pictures on my blog. I’m looking forward to meeting the other awardees, especially since one of them is Ann Margaret Lim, a poet I met at a workshop two years ago.
So just want to give a shout out to Robyn, my editor who helped me improve my story. She’s been editing my work for about 10 years now and how grateful I am to be her friend. We might have different personalities, writing styles and beliefs but I can always count on her to give me her honest opinion and detect the details I’ve overlooked. And of course thanks to my Heavenly Father who through blessings like these helps me stay encouraged and feel more committed to pursing my dreams of becoming my best self.
I know that sometimes we get discouraged when we are working towards a goal and nothing seems to be going our way. But all we need to do is press forward, never giving up. At the end of the journey, we’ll come to realise that the obstacles were necessary. We’ll see that trials helped us develop strengths.
I’m reminded of this scripture in Malachi 3:2 that talks about Christ being like a refiner’s fire and fullers’ soap. Our journey with Him towards perfection may seem tough — even too hard to bear — but as we put our trust in Him and seek His will we really are refined, cleaned and strengthened.
I know that God lives. I know He loved us and wants us to develop our talents. I know that as I work hard to be who He wants me to be I’ll see miracles in my life. May we all come to know, individually, that we are God’s offspring (Acts 17:28-29) and that through Him we can exceed our wildest expectations.