Hello, wonderful PI girls! My name is Jacquelyn Eubanks, I am 16 years old, and I am the author of a best-selling, award-winning Christian novel called The Last Summer!
It’s been a long, challenging road to accomplishing my dreams as a published author, but with a lot of hard work and faith, anyone can achieve their goals. I’d love to tell you about how anything is possible with God, especially when you allow Him into your life to help your dreams become a reality.
My whole life I’ve always loved writing. Even when I was in preschool, I would draw scribbles on a piece of paper and read them to friends and family as if they were actual words in a story. Every year since then, I was always writing some sort of story or another, forever dreaming of one day publishing my own book. I knew it would happen eventually; I just didn’t know when.
By the time I was in seventh grade, I had written three full-length novels and had tried to get them published. They all fell through, and I was getting very discouraged. I wondered if I would ever get published, or if I was even good at writing. I was on the verge of giving up writing altogether when I began the story of The Last Summer. I wrote it and let my seventh grade classmates read it – until one person in particular told me it was “boring” and “stupid.” I was heartbroken, and I decided to quit writing forever.
Months passed, and finally I gave in to the urge to write. I sat down and finished my first draft of The Last Summer in one day. Once it was complete, something inside me just knew that this was the book to get published. I wouldn’t let anything stand in my way.
The road to accomplishing my dreams was definitely not easy. I had to type up my book and work with an editor for my whole eighth grade year. The work was daunting. I had to do so much editing and rewriting that it really got discouraging. I wondered if the editing would ever end. I questioned myself. I thought that maybe my book was terrible, and that’s why my editor made me fix so much of it.
Finally, after a year of editing was completed, my family and I looked for a publisher. I wanted to go the traditional route, where you send your book manuscript to a publishing house, and they read it and publish it if they think it’s good enough. My parents decided against that, though, and we decided to use Create Space, a self-publishing division of Amazon.
It took many months to work with them to get my book ready for print. During my whole freshman year of high school I had conference calls with cover designers and interior formatters in order to pull the whole project together. It got frustrating at times, trying to pull together all of these things at once, and I sometimes thought about just giving up because it was so hard. It just wasn’t fun anymore, and I wanted to quit. It seemed too difficult.
Finally, after literally two and a half years, my book was published. It had taken from January of 2010, when I wrote the very first words of The Last Summer down in a notebook, until May of 2012, when I finally received a first edition print copy of the book in my hands. It’s now available on amazon.com, Kindle, and barnesandnoble.com, and I’ve sold more copies than I can count. I’ve had professional book reviewers and kids alike give it top ratings. I have been featured on radio shows and in newspapers, such as The Christian Post. I have even won awards for my book, including “Best New e-Book: Fiction” finalist for 2012 from USA Book News.
It has been an unbelievable journey – long, daunting and strenuous at some points – and I could not have done it without the help of my family, friends and God. Through the strength and endurance God gave me, I was able to complete a seemingly insurmountable task.
Do you have a dream that you’ve always wanted to achieve? It could be anything – recording an album, playing a varsity sport in college, climbing a mountain, travelling to Europe, getting the lead role in a play. If it’s something you want so badly, something you’re willing to work tirelessly for, something you’ve prayed about time and time again, then here’s what I have to say to you:
- God knows what you want. He has heard your prayers and felt your longings. He has a plan for you. Trust in Him, for He will help you accomplish your goals. In fact, He has placed that goal into your heart for a reason, and He has every intention of helping you achieve it. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
- Be patient. God will help you accomplish your dreams in His time. He knows when the time is right. Do not get discouraged just because it seems it is taking forever for your dreams to come true. He is already at work; it just may take some time. “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay” (Habakkuk 2:3).
- Do not give up. Paul tells us that “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). This is such a true statement. When your dream seems impossible, when you are struggling to overcome challenges that stand in your way, remember that our God moves mountains! There is nothing you can’t do if you rely on Him and ask for strength and courage. The truth is that there will be obstacles you’ll have to face on the road to achieving your dreams, but God will get you through it.
- Believe in yourself and in Him. Have confidence and hope. You have this dream for a reason! Deep inside you, God has given you the abilities you need to achieve your goals. Everything you need, He will provide for you. He has given you gifts, talents, qualities, family and friends so that they might help you. Do not be afraid to use what God has given you! Believe that you can succeed, and you will. Keep faith and always remember that you can do anything if you truly believe it. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23).
- Everything you do, do for God. It is important to keep in the back of your mind that you are achieving your dream not just for yourself but also for God and for others. God has given us talents and dreams so that we may use them for the good of others. Use the gifts He has given you in His name. When you accomplish your dreams, thank Him and the people who helped make it possible. Give back to others and stay humble. “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
Written by PI Girl Jacquelyn
Do you have words of wisdom you want to share with the PI community? Submit your own article here!