You guys know I love Kadee Carder's work and I feature her on here a lot, but her recent Facebook post blew me away and I asked her (fine, begged) if she'd write something up for the blog based on it so I could share it with you. Hope you enjoy her inspiring post.
Life’s a mixture of rolling hills and looping decisions. This journey you and I are on, it’s a riot. The work can be challenging, overwhelming, or fun. The work may bring you to your knees. Push forward, push through, and create your best life.
Do You Want To Limit Yourself?
The old saying goes, "If God brought you to it, he'll bring you through it." There are two sub-parts to this idea.
First, God placed you on this earth, in this time and space, for a reason. You may or may not see or understand it, but he's got great big plans for you. He'll bring certain challenges into your life to 'level you up' so-to-speak. He wants you to be your best version to do those great works he's prepared for you to do. Seems like if he put it on your heart, if he entrusted the dream of getting this degree to you, then it's worth doing and seeing to completion. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago." He put you together, piece by piece, with your interests, and quirks, and unique perspective, and gifts. He planned for your coming, long ago. He believes in your abilities to do more than you imagine. (You know what? I do too.)
Second, you must believe in yourself. You can do more than you ever imagined. Why? Because you've got God on your side. We don't always understand why we end up in a situation. But I firmly believe that if you find yourself in a challenging situation, you need to see it through. The challenge seeks you. If you've begun a project out of a spirit of bringing God glory, of doing good, of sharing light in the world, to help, to improve, then by gum, that's the Spirit working in you. Believe. Act. Face the challenge. Face the fear, and wrestle it.
Is it so wrong to believe in yourself? What happens if you don't? Will it hurt more to believe in what you can do? Or will it hurt more to give up?
Do you want to limit yourself? The only limits we have are the limits we believe.
Life Itself Is A Challenge
Choose to be disciplined and plan for success. Schedule time to do your work, to rest, to play, and to learn. Learning is HARD. You've got to move past not knowing subject matter, to practicing it, and then becoming well-versed in doing the new things. The more you work, the better you get. Easy is earned.
And it doesn’t matter how fast you move along your plotline. Slow progress is still progress. Don't overload yourself based on someone else's schedule. Create a schedule that works for YOU and make it work. Stick with that schedule. Sacrifice. Work for it.
And when you want to give up, when you want to give in, ask yourself: What will you miss if you stop now?
Failure Is An Opportunity For Growth
Failure is discovering that what you tried did not work, so find what it takes to succeed. The truth will set you free, but first it will sucker-punch you in the gut. Failing stinks. It's the worst. It feels terrible. I one-hundred-percent understand the ache in your chest and the sinking in your spine.
May I share a story? Might as well, since we're here. Once upon a time I decided to write a story. The story turned into a book, which turned into a trilogy. I believe in this story more than I believe in my ability to write. It came through me, for myself and others. And that's why it had to be written. I followed the rules of writing stories, and bought the book about getting published, and began the "process" of finding an agent. I wrote query letters to agents. I wrote synopses and blurbs and summaries. I researched agents and sent more letters. I sent 69 query letters. Ignored by most, I heard back from 21 agents, and all but one was a form rejection letter. That's a lot of rejection, right? My heart sank. I wasn't good enough. My story wasn't unique or fresh enough. I was unknown. I was stuck. My friend from college told me about a conference in Las Vegas where authors could meet face-to-face with agents and pitch to them. So we went. Forget emails! I'mma go see them, face to face so they can't ignore me! There I met my publisher. Number 70 was the pitch that worked. SEVENTY.
The Not-Good-Enough finds you for a reason, to make you good enough.
An editor once told F. Scott Fitzgerald, “You’d have a decent book if you’d get rid of that Gatsby character.”
Rudyard Kipling (“The Jungle Book”) was rejected with the quip, “I am sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just do not know how to use the English language.”
Ursula K. LeGuin’s “Left Hand of Darkness” (which is the 2nd best-selling fantasy novel of all-time, 2nd to “Lord of the Rings”) was told by an editor in the rejection letter that her book was “Hopelessly bogged down and unreadable.”
Agatha Christie endured 5 years of continual rejection. Her books sales are now in excess of $2 billion. Only William Shakespeare has sold more.
We all know those famous stories of rejections... Jack London received 600 rejections before selling a single story and C.S. Lewis received 800 before selling a single piece of writing.
So, "failure" is simply finding out what didn't work. Success is figuring out how to overcome and to find the way that works. Find the way that works FOR YOU. And believe in yourself along the way. You've got the God of the universe on your side, within your sinew, at your back, and cheering you on. But you have to do the work, even when it's hard, and even when you don't see the light. "Hold on to what you believed in the light, when the darkness has robbed you of all your sight" (Mumford and Sons).
Use this opportunity to see how you can do it right next time, and COMMIT to doing it right. Giving up is letting fear win. And God tells us he has not given us a spirit of fear, but a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.
Ask For Help
Asking questions displays wisdom, not weakness. You need to seek out help if you need it. Ask peers. Ask tutors. Invest in a tutor. If you don't understand what to do, ask for help. My best students are the ones who contact me and put forth the extra effort to clarify if they don't understand the content or the writing prompt. Ask questions! Questions are life.
Just Do The Work
Instead of letting yourself be overwhelmed by the work, just do the work. If you invested the energy into doing the work, rather than investing in telling yourself stories about WHAT IF or any outcomes, you'd be amazed by what you can accomplish. Just do the work, not the storytelling about the work.
I'm sure that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I've never seen work that was a waste, honestly. All experience teaches you to own your power and operate on a higher level. I believe you can succeed. This is why you’re here.
Say A Prayer
Here's a prayer for you and your heart to wrestle with as you move forward (Found it online. Loved it!):
My help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain you.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed upon faithfulness. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and will not be afraid: for Jah the Lord is my strength and song, and he is my salvation. — O Sovereign of the universe, in your holy words it is written, saying, He that trusts in the Lord, lovingkindness shall encompass him.
And it is written, ‘And you give life to them all.’ O Lord God of truth, grant blessing and prosperity upon all the work of my hands, for I trust in you that you will so bless me through my occupation and calling, that I may be enabled to support myself and the members of my household with ease and not with pain, by lawful and not by forbidden means, unto life and peace. In me also let the scripture be fulfilled, ‘Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.’ Amen!
Unto life and peace. Find your 'why.' Create your best life. And always, go be the hero. ❤
Kadee Carder Bio:
Fierce yet sparkly, I rally seekers to thrive in their stories. The goal is magic, the medium is ink, and the fuel is coffee. And sometimes pizza. I teach English on the university level when I'm not dancing around the living room with my family, lifting heavy at the gym, traveling the planet, or binging superhero shows.
INSURRECTION, INCOMPLETE, INDELIBLE, HERE BE DRAGONS, EARTHSHINE and non-fiction inspirational KINGDOM COME roll out perilous motives, twisty plots, and daring protagonists. Grab some real estate and your copy of my latest adventure and follow along on KadeeCarder.com.
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Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.
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