I’ve always loved beginnings.
Budding flowers. Tiny babies. Newborn critters.
On any given morning, you can find me with a mug of tea or coffee in hand, watching the sun paint the horizon with gold strokes and hazy rays.
There’s something so beautiful about a new start. A new life. A new perspective.
I’ve always found it exciting to begin a new class or a new book. To try new foods, travel to new places, and listen to new music. New jobs, new friendships, new opportunities… There’s so much to try and so many incredible things to experience. I cherish them all.
I can’t say the same about endings.
As much as I enjoy starting new things, watching things I’ve loved come to an end is hard. Whether it’s the end of a class, a job, a friendship, or a phase in life, change has never sat well with me. It’s painful. Difficult. Messy.
More than ever, we’re living in a changed world. Everything feels different. Opportunities and conveniences we took for granted have ended, at least for now. Each day brings news of unwelcome developments. Unrest, conflict, sickness, pain. It’s all too easy to believe that the horrors these stories detail are the only things we have left now.
But there are good stories too.
Rising from the rubble of normalcy are stories of hope. Of love. Of families drawing closer in spite of the troubles – or perhaps even, partly, because of them. Those blessed with much are providing for those with less. Strangers are brought close to those they would never have given a second glance before. People are working together to offer comfort.
Those are the kinds of stories I want to tell.
The stories I write are fiction, but the people and ideals I draw inspiration from are not. The man who goes out of his way to help me, the woman who comforts and encourages me, the friend who won’t rest until I’m smiling – they influence me and my characters.
Kindness. Mercy. Generosity. Faith. Those are the things I write about. This doesn’t mean my stories revolve around unicorns dancing on rainbows and nibbling clouds. No, I write about people. And people are flawed. But they are also beautiful and incredible and created for greatness.
I believe the world needs to read more about these people.
And so, as much as the change from clueless high school student to society-functioning adult is challenging, and as much as I miss the routines that have changed now, likely forever – the beginning of this new phase in my life excites me.
I truly enjoy, and look forward to a lifetime of writing stories that inspire others. Stories that motivate people – including myself – to offer their best. Stories that testify to the wonderful Hope that is very much still alive today, despite what we may be tempted to think.
I believe the shoots that rise from the ashes are the greenest. I believe the gold that’s been refined shines brightest. And I believe the people struggling to make it through the storm will reach land stronger, and ready for any gale. Together.
I still don’t like endings.
But then, some things have to end, to make way for the new.
And I do love beginnings.
‘But now, this is what the Lord says…
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze…
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.’
(Isaiah 43:1-2 & 19 NIV)