In 2007, I made the easy decision to leave a comfortable career because I thought it wasn’t giving me enough challenges. I wanted to experience difficulties to test myself because I believed I would regret it later in life if I didn’t push myself to see what kinds of achievements I could reach.
In 2008, amidst the difficulties I naively sought the year before, I felt defeated and I wondered why I even desired to be in such a situation. In one of the lowest points of the year, a voice came to me which said, “Your strength will be tested.” And so it will be.
In 2009, I realized I wanted to be a writer. After so many years of not knowing what I wanted to do in life, finally I knew – and I was sure of it. It wasn’t going to be easy and it wasn’t going to be comfortable like my previous career, but I was very sure that being a writer would make me happy.
In 2010, a wall was put down to stop me in my tracks but unlike before when I was pursuing a career as a teacher, when I would whine and complain about the non-ideal situations, the next day I got up and climbed over that wall. This was the year I realized I was passionate about being a writer and it was that passion which fuelled me even if I was no longer in a comfortable, soft and easy world.
In 2011, wall after wall was put down in front of me, and despite my passion I felt completely defeated. It felt like I was walking in a hostile environment with no idea how long I have to keep going just to get home. I asked God about this, and he said, “Soon.”
In 2012, I realized that I shouldn’t just be passionate. Passion propels me forward because there is an intense desire to succeed, but I also needed to be tenacious. Passion provides the emotional energy, but there will always be an intellectual side to things. I started asking myself questions like ‘How do I increase my chances of success?’ and ‘How can I cope during these stressful times?’ I told myself I am tenacious. I am determined to succeed, and my passion fuels me.
In the first half of 2013, again walls were erected to stop me. I am passionate and tenacious, but sometimes when there are too many walls and people everywhere are telling me to just quit, I need to be resilient. I tell myself I have to keep going because if I quit now, I know for a fact that when I’m old and about to die I will regret quitting.
Also in the first half of 2013, I understood what it means to have real faith in God. The real trial is not to have the patience to wait for God’s promises because patience has a limit when it has been too long, but that God remains trustworthy regardless what happens. When I realized this, I told God, ‘You’ve beaten me. You’ve made me realize the truth in a way I can accept.’
In the second half of 2013, this month of September, I threw away my old journal full of whines and complaints. I am no longer the same person as before. I am passionate, tenacious and resilient. God gave me the image of an elite soldier’s training and I understood my challenge. I ought to be able to keep at it, one challenge after the other, not knowing when it’s going to end. When God thinks I’m ready and I deserve it, that’s when he’ll give me my success. It will be a surprise. I’ll be expecting another challenge, but God will then tell me, ‘Congratulations! You’ve made it.’
My passion propels me forward, my tenacity enables me to figure out how to effectively climb over walls and even to avoid them, and my resilience prevents me from falling too deep into despair.
I used to be a whiny bitch prone to complaining why God doesn’t give me what I ask for. I used to naively think ‘Yeah, I’m hard core. I’m not going to live an ordinary life like the losers. I’m better than everyone else and I’m going to prove it.’ After all my challenges, I understand why real strength is humble, and why truly great people never brag about being great. After all that beating, you just want to lie down and sleep and say, ‘All right God, jobs done,’ and when he pats you on the back, that’s better than any award or praise you can get from other people.
In my case, the job is not yet done; but I don’t see walls anymore. What I see is an obstacle course, a very long one which could suddenly stretch further; but I see my goal there in the horizon.