12 December, 2013

A dream fulfilled

I looked at the question: Who would you be if you could be anyone at all?

I decided to answer it.*

Actually, I didn't have a choice. All the missionary women at the small retreat in northern Japan were expected to contribute an answer. 

At the time I'd been in Japan for three years, had two young boys and were hoping for a third child soon. Neck-deep in parenting small children as well as culture-stress, it wasn't so hard to dream about what else I would like be doing.

My answer surprised people: magazine editor. 

I think it surprised me too. I wasn't a solid A student in English at high school. Nor did I study anything to do with publishing or writing at university. My degree was in the Occupational Therapy (OT).

However, in the years since I’d married, had kids, and became a missionary I'd drifted away from OT. One of my monthly pleasures was to produce our family's monthly newsletter, the one required of missionaries.

At the time this question was asked, I had no plans to become a magazine editor. I saw no avenue for that in the missionary work we were committed to. But only a couple of years later other missionaries began to ask for help with various publishing projects. Around the same time I began to work proactively on my writing skills: taking a short course, joining an online writing critique group, and seeking avenues for the publications of my articles.

Soon, to my surprise, I found myself with an invitation to work on the editorial team of a quarterly magazine in Japan for missionaries.

Now it’s been nine years since I answered that question and I’ve been the Managing Editor of Japan Harvest for nearly two years. It’s not been an easy job, but I enjoy the challenge and the satisfaction of the finished product. I’ve learned many things and it’s given me much pleasure. But probably the best thing about it is that I can look back and see how God’s taken a dream (or maybe gave the dream) and made it a reality.

Dreaming of the future can be a good thing, especially when your current situation makes you feel trapped.

 *This was a writing prompt from the blog, writetodone.com called Scene Stealers.


-J said...

This is very encouraging, Wendy!

Ken Rolph said...

"Who would you be if you could be anyone at all?"

When you posed that question I thought about what my answer would be. And it occurred to me that finally, at this late stage of my life, I am the person I wanted to be.

Probably in previous years I might have given different answers.

April said...

I am in that "two young kids" stage, so this was very encouraging. Thank you.