When my oldest niece was two years old, her parents took her to an amusement park for kids. They were on a “teacup” sort of ride, and things started off fine. But as the ride began to pick up speed, my niece had a change of heart. She says, “Wait . . .” Then she repeats it multiple times, with an increasing sense of urgency. (I would be lying if I said that I didn’t laugh hysterically when I saw the video footage my brother recorded!)
This image came to mind recently as I reflected on what has been happening in my life lately. Over the past year, I received an increased number of writing opportunities. This resulted in an invitation to submit an application to join the Redbud Writers Guild. When I visited their website to do research and consider the opportunity, I was incredibly honored to be considered “Redbud material.” For me, it was an affirmation of my writing talent and the role it plays in my calling. (Or as it was recently explained to me: I can’t not be a writer.) Earlier this year, I received notification that I was officially a Redbud. And that’s when the “teacup” ride started to pick up speed.
Last week, I learned about an author launch retreat for writers of color. While reading the information, I saw that scholarships were available on a first come, first served basis. My finances are on a roller coaster ride of their own, so I quickly inquired – and was granted a scholarship to cover the cost of registration. The “teacup” ride got a little faster. I put out an appeal on social media for anyone who could help with the costs of travel and lodging. Within a few days, my hotel cost had been covered – by a complete stranger, the friend of a new friend. Other friends contributed small amounts to help cover the cost of my airfare. Barriers to attending the retreat were quickly tumbling down, confirming my belief that God wanted me to attend. However, that realization only caused the “teacup” to pick up enough speed to make me want to hold on tight (and maybe squeeze my eyes shut).
Very often, people procrastinate or don’t pursue their dreams because they’re afraid of failure and/or or success. I’ve struggled with both of those fears over the years, but I can read the writing on the wall. Something big is about to happen, and I want to be a part of it. Like my niece, I was really excited when I first got on the ride. But as things have begun to pick up speed, I’ve found myself fighting the urge to say, “Wait . . . waitwaitwaitwait!” However, since my word for 2016 is “be,” I’m resisting the urge to run. Instead, I’m going to hold on and enjoy the ride.