In the spirit of last week's post, I thought I'd share another word (or, rather, words) I've been contemplating this week.
A friend from elementary school recently posted a picture of my first published book on Facebook, and said this: "Of all my friends, Gabe would have always been my vote for Most Likely to Write and Publish Historical Christian Romances...because she knows what she wants and goes out and makes it happen."
After I read her words, I started to think about what they truly mean. I would call myself a determined and persistent person. My friend was right. I know what I want and I go out and make it happen. I've never been one to sit back and wish for things to come my way. I'm one of those people who knew early on what I wanted my life to look like.
So what exactly is determination and persistence? Where does it come from, how do we get it, and how do we hold on to it?
I'll admit, I don't have all the answers. Sometimes I wonder where my determination and persistence comes from. I believe part of it came from watching my parents (who are very determined and persistent people!), part of it I was born with to do the things God has planned for me to do, but more than that, I believe it's a conscious decision I have to make every single day.
Proverbs 22:6 (NIV) "Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
My parents were married at the age of seventeen and eighteen. They had absolutely nothing to their names when they said "I do." They worked very hard to make a good home for me and my three siblings. We didn't have much growing up, but we had everything we needed, and my parents made the best of every situation. Eventually, they went on to become very successful people. My mom was the mayor of our town for eight years and my dad is highly respected where he works. They built a lasting legacy, teaching me the way I should go. This reminds me how important it is for me to teach my children. I wouldn't be where I am today if my parents hadn't taught me how to be determined and persistent.
Romans 12 says that God has given each of us a measure of faith. Jeremiah 29:11 says that He knows the plans He has for us. Psalms 139 says all our days our marked out for us, before one of them was lived. Hebrews 12 says that we must run with endurance the race God has marked out for us.
All of these things tells me that I am equipped to do the work God has placed before me. He has given me the determination I need to get it done.
I remember a night a few years ago, before I left for my first ACFW Conference, when my husband and I were sitting on our back deck, watching the Mississippi float by. He said to me: "Will you give up if you don't get this story published?"
I cannot tell you what a strong reaction I had to that question! It almost scared me with its intensity. Something deep and beyond myself responded with a resounding NO! I knew, in my heart of hearts, that I would not give up my dream. By the grace of God, I have the determination to keep trying, no matter how many rejections I receive.
My determination is also a decision I make every single day. It's a decision I believe we're commanded to make when we're in the service of the Lord. We are to let nothing move us from the calling God has placed on our hearts. I have many callings, as I believe others do, one of them is publication. Whether I want to or not, I cannot walk away. I must finish the race God has laid out for me to run.
I believe this video is a perfect example of determination. It's also a reminder that God comes beside us to help us in our weakness.
What about you? Are you running the race God has marked out for you to run? Do you struggle with being determined and persistent?
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