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This is a guest post by Emily Wierenga. Emily gave me an early copy of her memoir, Atlas Girl, and I loved it! She’s giving away 2 copies — just leave a comment on this post to enter;)
I’ve always wanted to be famous.
We were walking home from college one day, my boyfriend and I, the sun on our faces, the wind at our backs.
Trent was asking me what I wanted to become when I graduated, and this girl in the blond hair and bell-bottoms said, “A television news anchor.”
“Why?” he said.
I looked down at my feet. “Well, I guess, I’d like to change the world.”
In high school the boys had always just said, “You’d be great at that, because you’re so pretty!” I liked that response much better.
“Why do you need your face to be on television in order to change the world?” he said then, this farm boy who volunteered at kids’ club and bowled with his Grandma on weekends.
“I don’t know.” I was nearly running, trying to escape the past, but its legs were longer than mine. I was still the lonely preacher’s kid who was always comparing herself to others and turned anorexic.
Trent put a hand on mine. “You don’t have to be seen to make a difference,” he said, and I knew then I would marry him.
“But if no one sees me,” I said, “then who am I?”
I’d believed all those self-help books that say we are what we make of ourselves, that the power of success lies in our hands, that the highest rung on the ladder is the aim.
It’s been 15 years, and I’m an author and a speaker, and I’ve learned this: my husband was right. True success is not about being seen, or about having the right labels or the right job. It’s about this:
- Humility. Success is about treating others better than you treat yourself; it’s about seeing the person versus the mass; it’s about being small, and assuming the lowest position of service and waiting for the right time to be lifted up and recognized. Those who steal the show receive false glory.
- Integrity. Success is about doing the right thing, the hard thing, even if no one sees you do it. Because someone Higher and All-Powerful does see you, and he will reward you at the right time.
- Patience. Success is not about fast fame; it’s about slow and steady wins the race. We’ve lost the art of waiting.
- Honor. Success is about doing something well, and about the honor finding you. It’s about detail and beauty and respect and the fine wine that take ages to perfect; it’s about doing something people will talk about for centuries, versus days.
- Quiet. Success is about listening to what the rest of the world is too rushed to hear. The whispers of longing, of regret, of ache. Success is about hearing those whispers, and responding to them. One person at a time.
It’s not about us, friends. It’s about something so much, so the question is—How can your particular, amazing story become a candle that leads others home?
My memoir, ATLAS GIRL, is releasing this month, and I am excited to give away TWO copies today. Just leave a comment below to win!
From the back cover:
“Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.
“Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.”
Click HERE for a free excerpt.
I’m also giving away a FREE e-book to anyone who orders Atlas Girl.
Just order HERE, and send a receipt to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and you’ll receive A House That God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir — an absolutely FREE e-book co-authored by myself and editor/memoir teacher Mick Silva.
Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including the memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books). She lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. For more info, please visit www.emilywierenga.com. Find her on Twitter or Facebook.