• Shannon Aardsma

Taking Risks

A few weeks (or months) ago, my teacher convinced me to send a poem of mine into a poetry competition in the area. I was wary of doing so but finally caved and sent it in. I didn't even tell my parents about it because I didn't want the added pressure of them asking daily if I'd heard back. I've been anxiously awaiting a reply, but had pretty much given up hope. I figured that I hadn't made it to the "winner's circle." Oh well. It's not like I really expected to anyway. But guess what I found out today? I did make it! "The Lamb of God" became a finalist in the contest! Now that may not be much of an accomplishment as I'm not sure how big/small the contest was, but it still feels good. Sometimes taking risks can be a good thing.

On the other hand, I'm struggling with another risk I could take. Since I'll be graduating from high school in June, I need to find a job for next year. My sister suggested I apply to a school near her to be an assistant preschool teacher. Now, I'm a very cautious and shy person who hates new things - especially when I'm not exactly sure what I'd be doing. I've been feeling pressured to at least apply for the job, but I haven't had any peace about doing so. On Saturday, April 7th, I decided that I'm not going to worry about it. This is my life and my decision and I don't need to take that job. I may still send in the application but I'm going to focus on finding a job that will allow me to do what I love: write. Perhaps I'll find a job editing or become a freelance writer for a magazine, but whatever I do, writing is my focus. So if you have a dream but are afraid to follow it, don't be. If you believe God has given you a passion for something, pursue it! Sometimes you'll have to put your fears behind you and take a few risks, but never forget about that one thing that makes you, well, you. Chase your dreams, tackle your goals, and keep looking forward. I believe in you! Write-on friends, and never forget who you are and to Whom you belong. :)

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