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  • Unfinished

    For years, I carried the belief that I was lazy. I initiated countless projects only to leave them unfinished. I was proficient at starting things, brimming with creativity, but utterly inept at translating that creativity into productivity. My self-imposed label of 'lazy' eventually led me to a point where I convinced myself not even to attempt anything. I'd say to myself, 'This is a great idea, but it's bound to lead nowhere, given your history of great ideas left unrealized.' Then, during one of my meditative moments, I had a revelation. It wasn't laziness that held me back; it was an intense aversion to failure. I had to confront the fact that my fear of failing had paralyzing effects on my willingness to try. Reflecting on my past failures, I discovered the most beautiful aspect of failure: the boundless optimism at the outset. Then it dawned on me that the key to persevering in any endeavor was to sustain that optimism. I stopped allowing self-doubt to undermine my projects. Whenever I hit a roadblock (as we all inevitably do when venturing into the unknown), I'd sit and daydream about the finished product. I've started and abandoned numerous book projects, but what set my latest book, 'Stupid Christians,' apart from mere outlines was a decision I made one day at Starbucks. I had arranged for a babysitter, packed my heavy books and study materials into my bag, and found a cozy spot at Starbucks. With a hot drink in hand, I opened my laptop, ran my fingers over the keyboard, and then...nothing. No inspiration came to me—neither good nor bad. In the past, even when stuck, I'd at least have a page of gibberish to show for it, but this time, I didn't even have anything to 'backspace.' At that moment, I placed my coffee aside and went to the restroom. I stood before the mirror, staring at myself, and there it was—the same negative narrative creeping in: 'Do you realize how many people write books? Why would your book matter? You've lost your writing gift by letting it lie dormant for so long. This is your punishment for not utilizing your gift; it's been taken away.' However, something had changed in me this time. I simply didn't buy it anymore. I literally spoke aloud, 'Yeah, I don't buy it,' as if I were dismissing my inner Debbie Downer. Something clicked that day, I stopped believing the lies I’d told myself about myself. What lies have you told yourself, or have others told you, that you need to stop believing? Whether it's doubting your ability to marry, thinking you're not educated enough, or believing your aspirations will never take off, it's one thing to silence the voices of your critics, but it's another to acknowledge that you've been sabotaging your own dreams. What I did next may seem even more illogical. I returned to that blank screen and started writing. In the center of the screen, I typed and underlined, 'The Day I Finished My Book.' Keep in mind; this was the same book that hadn't even been started yet. I wrote a message to my future self, the one who would become an author and who wouldn't quit. I told Future Erica how proud I was, how it felt to hold that book, and how I committed to praying for the people who would hold it. That day, everything changed. I had convinced myself to embrace the truth instead of the lie. The truth was that the God who placed the desire in my heart to write this book would see it through to completion. Maybe you've lost your optimism. Instead of incomplete book outlines, perhaps you're staring at negative pregnancy tests, a college rejection letter, or a business plan that's been sitting untouched for a decade—reminders of what you haven't accomplished. Regardless of our circumstances—rich or poor, educated or not, young or old—we all have unfinished aspects of our lives. I challenge you today to write a letter to your future self about the day 'it' finally happens. Jesus sets a powerful example of starting with the end in mind. Hebrews 12:2 says, 'Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: the Cross, shame, whatever.' Do you know what happens when you focus on the end before you start? You build resilience against setbacks. So what if you've held the same goal for a decade? So what if three of your friends achieved it before you did? Today, let's stop giving ourselves permission to let these things matter. You might be in the midst of your journey, but with God, it's already finished."

  • The Burden of Being Gifted

    Have you ever felt lost? It’s as if everyone around you is moving forward while you are just standing there. Not because you wanted to, but because you couldn’t figure out exactly what to do. I’ve been there too, feeling like I was sitting on the sidelines as a spectator as everybody else was immersed in the game of life, making their mark on the world. Every time I glanced around someone was finishing their book or starting their business or hosting an event and it all just made me feel small. More than making me feel small it made me feel guilty. Here I am with all of these dreams and talents and skills, yet I couldn't seem to harness them for any meaningful purpose simply because I lacked direction Back in high school, I chose an amazing college to attend, believing it would shape my future. That glass ceiling would be shattered just as I walked across that stage to collect my diploma. But interestingly enough, after graduation, it appeared as if there were workers on the ceiling adding another layer of glass. I got sucked into a job that sucked. I wasn’t passionate about it. It’s just one of the few jobs I could get with just a bachelor’s degree, so I took it. Before long, I realized that a bachelor’s degree alone wouldn’t unlock my dreams, so I plunged further into debt for a master’s degree, hoping it would provide a sense of direction…a path…a plan. That path was short-lived as I quickly realized that I had overpaid for a piece of paper with fading ink, essentially useless in guiding my way. We do a lot of things not to feel inferior. We find ourselves knee-deep in futile endeavors that barely scratch the surface of our true purpose, all in our quest for significance. Some even crave more than just significance; they desire fame. We live in a world where one viral post can make anyone a sensation, and we are deceived into believing that it matters. Unfortunately, this only inflates our ego and compromises our standards as we jockey for more attention. Personally, I’m not seeking fame; I’m in search of purpose. That’s why it can be challenging to be gifted. Gifted individuals continually grapple with finding a suitable outlet for their talents, struggling to satisfy the nagging inner-voice that is making the constant demand for them to “DO SOMETHING!” We search for the thing that will finally give us a sense of accomplishment. It’s really a quest for significance because after all isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we all just want to be acknowledged for doing something great? I’ve struggled with feeling insufficiently adequate for most of my adult life. It's the feeling when you know you possess everything you need to fulfill your purpose, a purpose that God temporarily placed you on this plant for. Yet, you recognize that most of the things you’ll attempt to do barely scratch the surface of your inner potential and only fuel your creative restlessness. So, you wait. You wait, convinced that your moment is just around the corner, and you don’t want to squander it on trivial projects that divert from “the thing.” Can I share a secret with you? Small steps lead to significant achievements. You won’t fully embrace the rewards of fulfilling your calling without completing numerous smaller callings along the way. So, go do something! Do it passionately. And as you accumulate a series of “somethings” in your journey, you’ll inevitably find yourself achieving THE THING you’ve been waiting for your entire life. And then finally, you’ll realize that your gifting was the most beautiful burden you’ll ever be privileged to carry.

  • Press Record

    "When you feel called by God to accomplish something, one thing is certain: you will encounter opposition. In fact, opposition often serves as a sign that you're on the right path. I've been aware of my calling for quite some time now. For years, I've known that I'm meant to share God's Word to bring people closer to Him. However, the most significant challenge I've faced has been finding the courage to use my voice. I'm never short on words, but when it comes to sharing them, I often second-guess my readiness. I had spent weeks preparing to record my inaugural podcast episode. I had written the script, set up the studio, and rehearsed the key points until they were etched in my memory. Everything was in place—the lighting, crisp audio, immaculate set—yet there I stood, hesitating before the daunting red "record" button. A nagging voice in my head questioned my worthiness, intelligence, and readiness to share my thoughts with the world. That's when I realized that God had already chosen me, and the only person I needed to convince of my calling and capability was myself. Sometimes opposition to your calling is in your own head. It was then that I decided to confront my fears head-on and hit that record button. I'm asking you to do the same. I don't know what's been holding you back from pursuing your dreams, but I urge you to confront your fears and take that bold step—press record. Many of you have prayed for a sign that it's the right time to act, and here it is: send the manuscript, upload the music, make the post, start the business. Fear can disguise itself as indecision, procrastination, caution, or even wisdom. Instead of admitting our fear of taking the next step, we label it as wisdom, saying it's wise to wait for ideal conditions. Here's a reality check: ideal conditions rarely materialize. The secret is to move forward anyway. Courage, not readiness, is the first step in pursuing your goals.

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