Aiming for progress, not perfection.

"...being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Philippians 1:6

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

for natalie.

editor's note: this post started out as a comment left on my beautiful friend natalie's blog. seven hundred words later...i decided i'd put it up here.


not to be a bible quoting queen, but this situation calls for my favorite bible verse. jeremiah 29:11: "for i know the plans i have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

i'll say this, you are an incredibly talented woman. you have a wonderful marriage and a wonderful education and a wonderful life ahead of you.

no, you do not make six figures, and maybe you never will. no, you do not have a supermodel's body, but who really does? besides the supermodels, i mean...

you're creative. you're intelligent. and i think that's what gets you into these funks. you need a challenge. and creativity makes artists restless unless it can be properly released. i know the feeling. i think it's normal to question your job and whether you're in the right place. i do it all the time. and the funny thing is, i've considered exactly, i mean, exactly - down to the student loan and the master's in education (there’s a great one at SMU – we could do it together! discounted for poor teachers) - what you're considering. and maybe that's the right thing.

but here's what you have to do: you have to rest. and i don't mean stay home and sleep rest. i mean rest your mind and your spirit. you have to trust that things are going to work out. you have to trust that the opportunities of a lifetime are not going to pass you by. and you have to trust that right now, you're OK. that it's alright to just be content in the place you're in. you're 24 years old for god's sake. you aren't expected to have accomplished the ultimate goal yet. you have a good 30 years for that, at least.

i do the same thing. i look at writers around me or around this city and think, 'oh god. i'm pathetic.' but they are 45 years old. they are 55 years old. i'm 23. 23! think about how much you've learned just since you graduated college. how much better you've gotten at things like taking care of yourself and writing and being an adult. you're only going to continue improving at whatever you put your hand to. i have to remind myself of that. we aren't born prodigies. again, very few people are. we have to learn from hard work, from practice, from good ol' blood, sweat and tears. and then we'll be there. more than developing our talents that way, we have to put in our time. to put it another way, we have to be faithful.

i have no doubt in my mind, natalie, that you are going to write novels and be a world-famous author. i will be hoping you still remember my name when i'm hopping up and down in the autograph line at borders, trying to get your attention. i'm not just saying that either. i've seen your writing. your writing was in southern living, for heaven's sake! you're amazing.

i say this on my myspace profile, and it's true. "i lean and know that He is, but sometimes it’s hard."

you have to. you have to trust. God has gifted you with so many blessings, and it's absolutely human nature to be thinking, "this is it? what's next? why do i not feel complete yet?" but it's a process. philippians 1:6 says this, "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

He's not going to give you every blessing and beautiful thing He has planned for you all at once. right now, He wants you to enjoy your great job with great hours - you are making a difference. you're working for kids. that always makes a difference. He wants you to enjoy your amazing husband - at whatever odd hours you're able to do that. and He wants you to trust. that more is coming. that everyday of your life He has a blessing to give you. all you have to do is open your eyes, and look for it. it's as small as a sweet, genuine small from damion. or as big as the inspiration to write a really great chapter for your someday-to-be-published novel.

just look. and realize, not to be cliché, but i will, that the best is yet to come. it only gets better from here.

i love you, natalie. i'm so lucky to have you as a friend.

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