Today, I’m activating the reset button in my life, to the year 2008. I was crouching on the edge of my life then, preparing steadfastly to take that leap of faith and courage and just nosedive freely into the depth of my life. It was the year I decided to surrender to the innate desire in my soul to write.
This desire has been my shadow since I could hold a pen and release its ink onto the white canvas of a new page; a clean page – one where I could impart a measure of my soul and leave my footprint of letters and words neatly, or sporadically, spaced in some place where someone else could find them. These letters and words – the language of my spirit – calling out into the open, wide space between two beings, two minds, two hearts, and echoing into the spirit of another the hope of life pounding away in mine.
And this was my dream and my soul’s desire in 2008, when I finally placed one word next to another on a form to enrol for a magazine journalism course.
I came alive during this course. I met like-minded students who, too, had dreams they wanted to embrace and nurture and birth through this course. Not everyone wanted to write, though. For some, the course was merely a requirement for sculpting a dream that included writing, but wasn’t focused on it. However, for me, it was all about writing, and so, I excelled.
Two years later I enrolled for yet another journalism course. Here, in the midst of uncovering the gems of reporting, interviewing, writing features and short stories, I sensed something new arising within me and expanding my soul: the gift of empowerment. I was enthralled to finally sit in a musty classroom and thrash out the characteristics of verbs and nouns, along with all the other good old rules of grammar.
I was developing my wings. The words of teachers gone by who encouraged and affirmed me to believe I could, and should, write, were gathering together to confront me with the truth. These words were my soul food during high school days when writing essays about birds in a cage that still sing, and debating earnestly why Robert Browning’s last duchess was his last duchess, spurred me on to embrace a life surrendered to this innate desire to empower the souls of others through the language of words.
But, sadly, not all wings take flight and not all words encourage or affirm. Sometimes strangers become friends and speak words not meant to discourage or crush, but words spoken merely in defence of their own brokenness and pain – at a time when my own brokenness and pain could so easily lead me away from the Truth.
Still, these words do crush. Still, these words do discourage.
For in the essence of dreams there are often ingredients required to birth them into reality. Sometimes these ingredients can be found within the simple desire to be, or do; but sometimes they are lacking and only a fierce determination will compel us to reach out and grab hold of them. The ingredient I lacked was courage.
Courage didn’t just come alongside me and introduce herself to me. Courage did not come easily to me; it did not come quickly either. Courage only came to me when I decided that suffering through failure in the small steps and journeys, would be worth the triumph of stepping out from underneath the dark oppression of fear and doubt to find the life-breathing melody of my voice.
Another ingredient required for the birthing of a dream is this: perseverance. Sometimes in the absence of one ingredient, another is emboldened to replace it. I may have lacked courage, but what I do possess, in abundance, is perseverance. It was through perseverance in the victories that I gathered courage to relinquish the condemning silence of the failures.
I may have been afraid before, but fear is not a banner I envision finding at the finish line. Perseverance is. Therefore, I persevere.
American actor, Ralph Fiennes, is quoted as saying, “I veer away from trying to understand why I act. I just know I need to do it.” Like Ralph Fiennes, I am veering away from trying to explain why I write. I just know I need to do it.
So, today, after ten years of hoping and yearning – of victories and failures – I am activating the reset button in my mind to a time when passion was my compass and words of affirmation the wind beneath my wings. When the Words of a Sovereign Creator and Father, convicting me not to hide what He has given me to glorify Him, reverberated through my spirit and sang freedom to my soul. A time when His Words, alone, were the Seeds of my soul.
Today, I am stepping out of darkness, into His glorious Light. And rising strong!