They Never Give Up

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“What Do You Know About Being a Hooks?”
“We Never Give Up.”
“That’s Right.”

My kids have watched me fail. They have watched me not get chosen, and not get picked. My kids have watched me dream big, and work hard, and not one thing turn out, or work out, or have a big huge happy ending. My kids have watched me cry over disappointments and have phone conversations with people and promises…And they never came true…My kids have stood by, and watched me fail.

Their mom is a writer. A crazy artist lady full of words and flowy skirts. Writing and re-writing and deleting and waking up early and staying up late and creating deadlines for herself. Their mom is the one who has an idea and can’t stop thinking about it and can type 90mph just to get the idea out, and let it build into something beautiful.
My kids have heard my husband, and my best friend and some amazing Jesus people encourage me and tell me not to give up. They have heard long conversations with me asking what to do next…what to do after rejection…what to do when God has been so clear for me to write books…books y’all…and they sit inside your computer or under a pile of other books on an agent’s desk who no longer returns your emails…And there are moments, big long-pause-moments, when I look at them and just know they must think I’m crazy.

When Your Kids Watch You Fail…
They Ask Hard Questions.
They Wait for the Answers.

I have always been a writer. I can’t sleep or think about anything else when I have something to write. It started with poetry and short stories. Filled notebooks with rhyming words…Lined paper with eraser marks everywhere…Imagining every detail…Feeling proud and a little terrified when someone else would read my stuff. I had dreams of writing THE book everyone talked about forever…the book worthy of life changes and hope and dog-eared pages full of underlining. I got a type writer. I set out to write a novel. I was 10.

And I wrote a book…my book…I was 38. I was 38, and I finally wrote the book. After kids and chaos and in the middle of this ordinary life…I wrote it. And I loved it. So dang much y’all. And my kids, well, they saw it all take shape. They watched me write Bible Studies and blog posts and outlines for talks. They have stepped over me when I prayed face down on the floor. They have yelled at each other for interrupting me. And they have asked, with all the hope and curiosity of kids, what I was writing and who was it for and was I nervous…

“What Do You Know About Being a Hooks?”
“We Never Give Up.”
“That’s Right.”

These four kids of mine were there when we went out to celebrate the book and the phone calls and the dream coming true…And they were there when I sat on my front porch swing, three years ago and cried…It didn’t happen…It just didn’t happen. And they watched as a middle-aged woman was surrounded by her people…her Jesus Friends and that crazy husband too…And they said don’t quit…don’t give up…don’t listen…who cares what anyone else says…They were there in November when I ordered my first books myself, and believed if God said to write it, then God meant what He said.

My Heart is Tired.
My Hopes are Tired.
My Fingers have been Crossed So Long.

I sat outside yesterday with my son. We were in the driveway, and he had the look of a teenage boy trying not to cry. He was talking about being disappointed. He was talking about mistakes. He was talking about wishing things were different. And I was asking him the same question, the always question, what did he know about being a Hooks…and he answered the answer created to help him get through learning to ride a bike, and learning to read, and playing sports, and moving, and trying the drums and all of life’s not getting chosen…The Hooks never give up. Y’all. I have said it enough that this little herd of people believe it.

And what if, what if these kids of mine have amazing things to create and do and put out into this world…What if they have words to say and songs to play and auditions to go on…What if it is going to be harsh and hard and dog eat dog and filled full of critics who tell them everything they are not…What if it is full of unanswered emails and heart wrenching almosts…And what if God just knows…And what if our most important job is to show them what it looks like to never give up…To do the things Jesus placed in our hearts because He placed them there and it matters y’all.

I am reading the book of Mark. I have read it before. There are underlines and notes written on the pages. But I am completely blown away again by one story about Jesus. The story of Jesus calming the storm. His disciples are terrified because they are on a boat and a squall comes up out of nowhere…They think they might drown. And Jesus…He is just sleeping…and they are desperate…And He wakes up and calms the storm and asks them where their faith is…And it’s always the same when I read this story…Always Jesus sounding like a jerk to ask fishermen who have lived their lives on boats and in storms where their faith is because y’all…they knew a storm for sure…they knew a bad storm…And this storm, well, they thought it was the end.

But it’s right there.
Right in Mark 4:35…
“Let us go over to the other side.”

Jesus says it. He tells this crew getting on a boat where they are going. And when all seems lost, and the end seems right in front of them, Jesus wonders why they don’t remember what He said…He told them where they were going. He told them. No storm can change His words. Nothing can change His words. If He told you…Y’all…He meant it. If He told you…He meant it.
So, let me say this to y’all today. Let me say the words I pour out all over this little family so they will know what I am supposed to know…

What Do You Know About Being a Christ Follower?
They Never Give Up.
That’s Right.

Y’all. Get up. Keep going. Don’t stop. Hear His voice and the voice of all those folks placed right next to you saying, “Don’t give up!”. There are words to write and songs to sing and recipes to create and new blogs to post…There are chances to take and buildings to build and stores to open and courses to take and children to watch it all…There are moments not to be missed and pictures to be taken and classrooms to be taught…Don’t give up. The world needs everything Jesus sat out to do through you. Weather the storm. You are going to the other side too.

17 thoughts on “They Never Give Up”

  1. Sharon Carlisle says:

    Magnificent. Your words are like a treasure! Y

    1. jackiehooks says:

      Thank you for reading and all the encouragement!

  2. I love this and love you. I learned something really important in this, so thank you. <3

    1. jackiehooks says:

      I love knowing you learned and were spoke. To in this little post…it’s where I am standing…

  3. Kelly says:

    Such courage and encouragement in these words. Truth my heart needs to hear again and again and again. Keep singing your song. It’s beautiful and needed… and heard.

    1. jackiehooks says:

      I love that we have been on this journey together for soooooo long and we are keeping it going because Jesus asked us to…your voice matters so much too!

  4. Kimberly says:

    Thanks for this, just what I needed to hear right now. I won’t give up!

    1. jackiehooks says:

      You are meant to be salt and light…flavor and to shine…Don’t give up.

  5. Lin Ermon says:

    Love that revelation about the passage that once Jesus has told us where we are going, no storm should cause us to fear or to make anew course!!

    1. jackiehooks says:

      I love that revelation too!!! It holds me close…it holds me accountable…We are followers of Jesus and His words are mighty…He never small talked…

  6. Janet Ronshausen says:

    I think you are wonderful. Your words matter. And your children must call you Blessed. Thank you. You make me want to be a better Christian, A better person.
    Come back and see us in NC.

    1. jackiehooks says:

      Oh my gosh I am so hopeful some day I am back in your neck of the woods…
      Thank you for the encouragement!

  7. Patty evans says:

    You and your words are so Beautiful wonderful and important! You continue to show me faith and perseverance that inspires me! Love you Jackie!!

    1. jackiehooks says:

      Thanks Patricia Joy!!!! Love living this life with you…

  8. Kelli Moore says:

    Truth rings loudly and courageously as I read your words. They are empowering and uplifting. They are focused on the one with the answers. What a treasure you are to me.

    1. jackiehooks says:

      I’m so glad I wrote this…I’m so glad you read it…I wanted to write a million amazing things, but Jesus said tell them not to give up and show themyour failures…

  9. Rosanne says:

    I really love this! People think writing is glamorous and interesting and in some ways mysterious. But it’s just hard work and growing really thick skin and persevering! Btw, if you are pursuing the indie path, be sure to check out Joanna Penn and Derek Murphy. I don’t know if you write fiction or non-fiction, but they really are very helpful with the practical side of writing! 🙂 Just thought I’d share that.

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