I wouldn’t say I was a tomboy as a child, but I spent a lot of time building forts. My Carpenterfriend Alison had an old barn in her backyard, and there were a lot of old boards laying around. We borrowed a handsaw, hammer, and a couple handfuls of nails and dreamed up a plan to build a fort complete with a roof, windows, and a swinging door. I can’t remember now how we got the door to swing, but it did.

That summer we spent countless hours sawing and hammering. I can still remember the scent of the dusty old barn and fresh cut wood. I learned a great deal of carpentry skills like you need to be exact with your measurements, and how not to hit your thumb with a hammer. Alison and I talked, laughed and sweated, but mostly had a blast. After adding the finishing touch of painting our names in white on the door header, we stood back and admired our work.

I don’t think we played in it for longer than two minutes. Our carefully-constructed beautiful fort once built, became forgotten. For Alison and me, it was all about the fun of the building process. After that, we were off to the next project and adventure.

Life is about becoming, not being.

Lorri Dudley's bookshelf filled with writing books increasing her potential

I’m still learning about the writing process. My bookshelf is chock full of books on how to write. I think I’ve read more books on how to write than I did to obtain my degree in psychology. There is always room to learn. If we stop learning, we stop growing. Learning about my passion is an enjoyable progression. There are times where it’s hard to bear the criticism of my trials and errors, but I know it will strengthen me in the long run.

James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything,” (NIV).

I have to admit facing trials is a lot different than having fun building a fort one summer. Some of you may look at where you are and struggle to find any joy in your situation. The path it took to get you there might have been loaded with pain and heartache, but God is strengthening your faith so that you can grab hold of His righteous right hand, and let Him pull you out. Mark Batterson, author of The Circle Maker wrote, “We can’t have a testimony without being tested.” God is developing the maturity in you to persevere to the next level.

Find your joy in the trial by knowing you are potential in the making.

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