These past several weeks I have explored the deepest regions of my inner self in order to complete this amazing puzzle in time for releasing my first book in March. When I first began praying for wisdom over thirty years ago, I thought the prayer was solely for my benefit. My request was made in order to survive. Gradually, the Holy Spirit has revealed God's plan for me. This gift of wisdom that I have been slowly acquiring is a gift that is meant to be shared.
As this year comes to a close today, I find myself reflecting on past memories that were once bottled up and cast into the ocean. The tides are coming in now and so are some of the memories that I tried to hide from. I am sharing them with you today in my sandbox and it is appropriate that a major storm is pouring down a cold rain outside as I write this message, retrieved from the coldest places of my heart.
I remember one day sharing with a close family member that I wanted to be just like my dad. He had so many admirable qualities, like the ability to make people feel good and laugh. He knew how to light up a room. His sense of humor sometimes got him in trouble and he would do anything to put a smile on a stranger's face.
'I want to grow up to be just like him,' I said proudly.
"No, you don't," replied my relative. These words haunted me as I grew up. They burned like walking barefoot on a hot sidewalk in the middle of summer. Each time I felt the loneliness of his absence, these words returned to me.
These words have been a hindrance for me. I chose to block my father out of my life and walk down a different path. By avoiding all memories of him, I missed out on the good that was inside of him. I didn't even realize I was doing this until I started my memoir. The book wasn't going to be about him, but everything points back to him and he has become the key figure in the book. In order to complete this book, I must face my past and come to terms with it. Understanding my past is the key to understanding who my father was and who I am.
One of the reasons I never considered myself a writer is because my father was a writer and I was avoiding following in his footsteps. Deep down, I tried to do the opposite of what he would do. I don't think I ever shared this with my writer's group. I laugh as I pen this because I remember how hard my dad fought to get his first book published. The rejection letters flowed and he just kept fighting. He was relentless. Finally, one day he woke up and decided to self-publish. It was almost unheard of in his day due to the high cost. He did it anyway. He even came up with creative ways to promote the book and gave tee-shirts to each of his grandchildren that were silk-screened with an image of the main character.
We cannot run from who we are. We have been given unique gifts. Failing to develop them hurts the world. These gifts were designed to be used for the benefit of others. Learn to trust the voice that is inside of you. Don't be afraid to share your talent, even if you feel it is unworthy or it isn't as good the talent you see in others. The world is waiting for you to unveil your masterpiece. Go deep within yourself to find what it is that makes you unique, then bring it to your conscious brain and refine it. When the time is right, let your gift be born and give it to the world. This is the best way you can honor those who came before you, the ones who shared their lives so that our world could be better.