Ambition is not a word that I generally associate with my personality. I have never seen myself as an ambitious person, but we all have something we want to accomplish in life, whether we look upon it as ambition or not. When I was in my twenties, I wanted to get a master’s degree in creative writing. I couldn’t really afford to go back to school, but I never really tried to make it happen. It was one of many things that I wrote off by saying, “Maybe when I get married, I will. . .” I guess I wanted someone to share the risk and burden with; I wanted to have support in my endeavor. But there was something more to my putting off things I wanted for myself. In truth, I wasn’t that eager or passionate about doing them. My greatest ambition in life was to have a family, and my ambition to be a published writer lagged somewhere behind that. It didn’t help that I spent most of that decade struggling with depression and barely mustering the energy to support myself. I praise God that in the subsequent ten years I have felt this fog lifting away. I have learned to hold my dreams more loosely and to cling to God more tightly.
In this past year, I have been overwhelmed with an enthusiasm that I have never known before. Lately, I’ve been pondering whether the word ambition could be considered an antonym for depression. It has occurred to me that the ambition I now feel so clearly, was conceived a few years ago. It was born when I set to work on my book, with an earnest desire to complete the task that the Lord had put on my heart. That endeavor led me to create this blog. I have been surprised by how much I enjoy the process of disciplining myself to write something each week. The more I take on, the more I want to do. It is all tied in to God. The more I get to know God, and the more I study His Word, the more I want to know Him and know His Word better. The writing flows naturally as I learn, and the hunger to do more grows.
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by his power, so that the name or our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
That God is a part of the desires in my heart shows me how much I’ve grown. I wanted to get a Master of Fine Arts degree so that I could write fiction. It was about me and my love of writing stories. Now, I want to go to seminary so that I can be equipped to write and teach about God’s word. The passion for writing has been in me since I was a child, but the passion for sharing God’s Word is relatively new. Taking action toward a goal is also new.
Having always desired a family more than any career success was an obstacle that I had to overcome. God had to get me past the lost hopes. This is why having new aspirations and different goals is such a big deal to me. New ambition is also a clear sign to me that God has helped me gain control over my depression. I have come to accept where God has me in life, even though I still pray that I might be able to have a family at this late stage.
I find myself dealing with a strange kind of restlessness. In the past, my energy to accomplish my hopes was insufficient. I was never zealous enough to get up off the couch and make it happen. I have mentioned before that to write a book and to keep up this blog, I have given up some of my rest and TV time. I finally had something that I was passionate enough about to compel myself forward. The more I give up not-doing for doing, the more fidgety I feel when I sit in front of the television. I can’t help but think that God’s got me right where He wants me: more comfortable doing than sitting. I’ve still have a way to go, though, because I am still drawn to that silly screen more than I’d like to admit.
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.
This is peace and contentment for me: having dreams for the future, but not feeling that my happiness is contingent upon them. It indicates an understanding that God’s faithfulness is true, no matter what comes my way. So, I am giving my ambitions back to Him. Lord, if you are the one who has put this in my heart, I need you to show me how to make it happen. I’m not giving God my share of the responsibility; I know that I have a part to play. But now that I have ambitions that are bigger than the day-to-day, I know I can’t accomplish anything without Him. After all, not even the day-to-day can succeed without Him! I guess I have finally learned to be dependent and trust Him. I am sure that my trust will be challenged again, soon, but it is a blessing to sit here in this moment and see how far I’ve come. This is how far God has brought me. To Him be any glory for anything I have done or will do!