If you are pursuing a goal, you have likely been tempted to quit. Maybe it is excising more, eating healthier, saving money, or spending more time with your family. My mother’s goal was to help translate the Bible into a language in which it has not yet been published. Tucked among the papers on her desk when she passed away was a verse from Scripture. Written in capitals, it said, “BE STRONG + DO NOT GIVE UP – FOR YOUR WORK WILL BE REWARDED,” 2 Chronicles 15:7.
On a recent Saturday, I caught a TED Radio Hour talk on NPR with Diana Nyad, the first person to swim 111 miles non-stop from Cuba to Florida. For the next quarter-hour, I was spell-bound as Nyad shared her journey of perseverance, overcoming multiple failures, physical challenges, and pain so severe that jellyfish stings caused her body to go into convulsions.
After a decade of working to write a memoir about how God changed our lives through our daughter, Ruth, it seemed that I had come to the end of everything. I had already done everything in my power to see it published and could do no more. My best efforts to find a publisher who shared my family’s vision of helping other children through Ruth’s story had failed. Miserably.
Last week I realized with sadness that it was finally time to throw away a favorite mug. “Pause if you must,” said the bold black words beneath the badly cracked rim, “but don’t stop believing.” That mug – a gift to myself three years ago – had gotten me through the not-so-best and worst of times, always by my side.