Cheering for the Young

VF01Last weekend, I attended graduation receptions for two young women. I have followed these girls through the lives and prayers of their mothers – two of my friends. And when I see these girls on Facebook or at my church, I smile – even though I know they probably don’t realize who I am or that I have an interest in their lives.

But now they are embarking into the future, armed with one of the greatest treasures we all hope to possess: passion.

Each of these young women are passionate about who they are and what they want to accomplish. Each of them is unique with giftings that show how incredibly smart they are and how much potential they possess.

On one hand, I want to protect them from what is out there. I know they will experience losses and resulting griefs. That is just life. They will also be tempted to abandon their passions for lesser goals. I hope and pray that does not happen.

Generations of women have abandoned their passions for lesser goals. That is a travesty. Many women have even forgotten what it felt like to have a dream and feel energized to make that dream happen. So many women believe they are not enough and try to find artificial ways to make themselves measure up.

And so…within this blog platform…I wish to give you female graduates some advice. As an older woman, I’ve earned the right to do that and as a woman who has prayed for you, I believe it is my duty to share insights learned from long years on my knees and long hours trying to find the restorative keys to my own passion.

Dear Ones, please listen and heed this advice:

Always keep your passion alive. Whether you long to become an editor of an international publication or you yearn to join the Philharmonic Orchestra or you hope to run the Boston Marathon and beat the guys – keep your passion secure and alive. Without your passion, your soul will become stale and you will lose the energy and zest for life that is so necessary to not only survive, but also to thrive.

Never settle for what is merely good – whether in jobs, possessions or love. Instead, wait for and strive for what is best. Fifty years from now, you will look back and be glad that you waited for the best because that gives your life significance without regret. God created you as unique, and he wants the best for you. So never settle for only the good.

Be authentic. If you don’t want to join the crowd, if you don’t want to be part of the sorority, if you hate broccoli – just be yourself and stay authentic. Wearing a mask is more tiring than being yourself. And trust me on this – you are already incredible. You are beautiful and you are a treasure. You are already enough.

When life gets hard, remember that your parents raised you to embrace your passion. They have sacrificed much so that you could run toward your goals and every day, they think of you and pray for you.

Then also know this…if you listen very carefully, somewhere in the atmosphere you will hear the rest of us women who have gone before you. We are cheering for you and hoping that you will be the ones to break the barriers of gender abuse, so that all women everywhere will be embraced as the incredible creatures we are.

I love you both. I continue to pray for you. I believe in you.

©2014 RJ Thesman – “Intermission for Reverend G” –

Journey of a Novel – Step 4

In Christian circles, we talk about the divine coincidence. This is a moment when everything in the universe centers around a particular event, and we find ourselves in the middle of something wonderful. The divine coincidence is birthed in the heart of God. When it happens, we are reminded once again how much God loves us and desires for us a truly abundant life.

A divine coincidence produced Step 4 of my novel’s journey.

As a member of a writers’ group, I attend monthly meetings. During this particular meeting, the focus of the program was a critique group. So each of us were supposed to bring something the other writers might critique.

Although my novel was finished, I had not found a publisher. In fact, I had almost decided that this particular novel was just for practice. Maybe God never intended it for print. That made me sad, but I resigned my heart to the possibility. Still, I wanted to contribute something to the group discussion, so I printed off my one sheet and took it to the meeting.

The one sheet is a tool that writers use to whet the appetites of editors and publishers. It starts with a killer hook, so that the reader wants more. It describes a bit about the book, how many words, how many chapters, what the topic or the story is about. The one sheet also includes a bio about the author and a bit of marketing information – all on one page. The one sheet is the first step toward getting the proverbial foot in the door and moving ahead with a full-fledged proposal.

So I took my one sheet to the meeting, not even sure if I would have the opportunity to share it. But of course, I didn’t know God had planned a divine coincidence. He and my guardian angel probably chuckled in the back of the room, knowing what would happen.

At my table, I sat next to the acquisitions editor for CrossRiver Media. In some pocket of my brain cells, I remembered that this particular person was an acquisitions editor, but I had not put two plus two together to equal four. I’m a writer; not a mathematician.

Other people at the table shared their manuscripts for the critique and finally it was my turn. I passed out copies of my one sheet to the other people, then read it through – hoping that someone might give me a clue for how to make it better.

I had barely finished the last word when the editor said, “I love it. I want it.”

Stunned, I wondered if I had heard right. Maybe it was just my imagination, spurred from the desire of my heart or maybe it was too much Mexican food the night before. Not enough sleep. Too much salsa.

But the editor was serious. She liked my one sheet and wanted to see the entire proposal. I left the meeting trying to decide if I had just dreamed the sequence or if it had really happened. A publishing opportunity for a first-time novelist, for a writer who never thought she would venture into the fiction realm? A confirmation of the journey God designed from Step 1 when he told me to read a book about writing novels? This was one step closer to a contract, to share my words with the world.

Was that a chuckle I heard from the back of the room? Probably, because Step 4 was the divine coincidence that set up the next step in the journey.