As 2021 began, Summer Ball entered the home stretch of a six-year trek, graduating from Regent University with a master’s degree in Journalism. She confided that a love for words, writing, and telling stories had consumed her since childhood and had continually pushed her forward throughout her studies at Regent. In 2019, Ball completed her bachelor’s in English with a minor in History as a Regent University distance learner but admitted she had questions about what was next. Ball spent time with the Lord in prayer considering her options, and the Lord brought to mind the idea to continue her education. Ball opted to continue as a distance learner at Regent. She graduates at the end of the year with a Master of Arts in journalism and a certificate to teach English to non-English speaking people.
Inspiration Came Early
Her paternal grandfather, Neil Adelbert Ball, spent 50 years as a journalist writing for newspapers in Michigan and California. His career became a determining factor in her decision to pursue a master’s degree in journalism. She said: “It’s his life and work that inspired me. It was a tribute to him to study journalism. He was a great inspiration.”
Having given her heart and life to Christ at 7 years old, Ball has always desired to honor and glorify the Lord in every aspect of her life. “I need God’s word every day and the Holy Spirit to keep my focus where it should be,” she said. “The greatest reward is honoring Him.” She continued that it could be challenging to honor the Lord in the writing and media world. However, when discouragement tried to creep in, her favorite Bible verse was John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world” (Modern English Version).
Ball noted that she didn’t know God’s comprehensive plan for her life, but He had given her a passion for writing and telling stories, and she fully intended to use it.
“I’ve written short stories, poetry, plays, magazine articles, blog posts and I aspire to write children’s books,” Ball said. “I want to reach the younger audience as a point of ministry.”
She also indicated creative writing is close to her heart but “making a living” with journalism seemed more feasible than writing creatively. Ball said the thing that would make her the happiest was “to write something that some publisher loved, appreciated and wanted to publish.”
When questions were raised about emulating or imitating other writers, Ball said, “I love J.R.R. Tolkien’s and J.K. Rowling’s fantasy fiction, for reading and writing. I like C.S. Lewis’s insights and how he told his stories.” However, Summer continued that she drew from multiple authors, not just one, knitting styles together. “I want my own voice but inspired and influenced by a multitude of people,” she said. One renowned novelist that heavily influenced her writing was Flannery O’Connor. “Her stories included a lot of Christian allusions, metaphors and imagery.”
Ball stressed her desire to include the Lord in her writing. “I want what I write to be used by God, to build His kingdom.” Keeping her focus on the Lord, His word and following the Holy Spirits’ lead for the future are central to Ball, be that through a writing career, through teaching English as a second language overseas, or through being a wife and mother. “If what you do doesn’t build the kingdom, what’s the point? Our reward isn’t here; it’s later. I want that reward rather than being celebrated now.”
She did give a hint that after graduation, there may be a fresh start forthcoming. She has lived in Hawaii for most of her life but said a change of scenery might be beneficial. Ball said she would consider locations in Europe, Texas, Wyoming or Florida. “It’s all in God’s hands and dependent on His plans for my future. I am also open to pursuing a doctorate and teaching higher education,” Ball said. “However, I believe the most significant legacy a woman can accomplish is training her children as Christ’s followers and honoring her husband.”