Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I will press on.

My insides feel sore. Especially right beneath my breastbone. You see, after three months of anxious anticipation, even allowing myself to spin a few 'what if' type dreams (though I've tried to keep a lid on those), I got what is perhaps the most disappointing rejection so far.

A fat manuscript-sized envelope. I knew it the minute my son brought it in. Fat envelopes--bad for writers. The hoped for phone call from that editor would NOT be coming.

My entire ms, packaged up with hope, excitement, trepidation, dreams, (a lot to fit into an envelope) returned with a letter saying, 'Thanks, but no thanks at this time. Good luck with your writing career.'

My first thought on reading that line was, "What writing career?"

Feelings are a fickle leader, aren't they? Just this week, I felt like something big was going to happen with my writing this year. I felt good about the places I had mss under consideration. I felt good about where the current WIP was going and the work I was getting done on it.

Right now? I feel like nothing is ever going to happen. I feel that none of my mss will ever see the light of day in any of the places to which they have been submitted. I feel like my current WIP is dust and ashes and no matter what I do to it, it will remain the same. I feel crummy.

I'm so glad God doesn't govern according to His feelings, and that He doesn't order history and the future based upon how I FEEL, for those feelings change with the climate.

Today I read in Psalm 37: 3-5 Trust in the Lord and do good: Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, turst also in Him and He will do it.

Timely verses for a woman who was soon to FEEL as if the desire of my heart had been shattered utterly.

Trust in the Lord and do good. Am I trusting in the Lord? Am I doing good? It sure is easy to say I'm trusting in Him when good things are happening. A lot harder when things don't go according to my plan. Herein lies the key. If things don't go according to my plan, and this throws me awry, then I am not trusting in the Lord.

Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Stay in the center of God's will for me and do the work necessary to be faithful. Cultivation takes time. Faithfulness is the result of hard work, not an overnight acheivement.

Delight yourself in the Lord. Do I delight myself in the Lord? Is He the source of my joy and stability, my hope and my peace? Am I satisfied with all He does and says He will do in me and for me? I confess my delight is easily swayed, easily distracted by things shabby and temporal.

And He will give you the desires of your heart. Really? Truly? Can this promise be for me? I have a hard time believing that a God who knows me by heart would be gracious and generous, would give me something I want so badly. I know myself to be unworthy, and yet, here is His promise. Why do I strive, why do I strain and fret when His plan is laid out right here? I am bad at asking God for what I want, even though He stands by longing to give me His best, out of the riches of His grace.

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it. Is my way commited to him? Have I committed it only to take it back time and again? Am I trusting in Him that even the most disappointing rejection of my writing career is allowed, nay even PLANNED by Him for my good? He will bring me the desire of my heart. That desire might well be to become an author. That desire might well be changed as I continue to learn to trust my Heavenly Father to do me good and not evil.

So though my heart is sore, my hope is not dashed, for my hope is in the Lord.

I will press on.

6 comments:

  1. Erica,

    I'm sorry for your news. I clicked on a "random" link in the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and found myself on your blog! We've been out of contact so I'm not sure if you'll remember me but we were originally connected to each other through The Writer's View. Anyway...I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for your news. It's so hard! I know. But keep pressing on.

    God bless!

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  2. Beautifully written! And how cool that I sent the email about the "trusting" part BEFORE I read your blog. Honest! If that's not confirmation to you, I don't know what is....

    I'm sorry too. And you better press on! Don't make me come out there!!

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  3. Ohhh, don't give up! You're such a trooper. We've all been and even multipubbed authors face rejection time and again. You are not alone, this means you are trying and putting your heart and soul out there for scrutiny! Its scary but it means you are acting out God's call on your life and what is more rewarding than that? Press on, sister. Press on. =)

    And thank you so much for the sweet comment about my interview. I appreciate your support!!!

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  4. Thank you all for your support. You are just the encouragement I needed.

    Elaina, of course I remember you! I'm still waiting to get to read Mei Mei's Red Thread. I love the premise of that story and the title has captured my attention. I love how God does "random" things just when we need it. It's so great to hear from you.

    Donna, your sweet gift arrived at just the right time. It's so cute, and God knew I would need it to come in the same mail as my rejection.

    Betsy Ann, I thoroughly enjoy your comments on the ACFW loop (the story of the spider in the keyboard was hilarious). You are such a breath of fresh air.

    Thank you all, and thank you, CJ...you KNOW why!

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  5. Erica, I'm so sorry to hear about the rejection. Like Betsy said, it means you're putting yourself out there, and that's good. It hurts, but God has the timing of your writing career--yes, you have one!--in His capable hands.

    A long time ago I heard a different interpretation of that scripture: if we delight in the Lord, He will give us the desires of our hearts (as in, He PUTS the desires--His plans for us--into our hearts.) The desire/passion you have for writing came from Him and He'll fulfill His purpose for your writing. So keep going!

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  6. Mrs. Erica, it's been two days and if I know you, you've picked yourself up and are back in the saddle again. I feel blessed that in the last 2 years you've let me see your heart...and it's in the right place.

    This week I've been writing about joy. Remember that Paul was in prison when he said, "Rejoice in the Lord always." I'm guessing he might have also thought, "This is NOT what I signed up for when I agreed to follow You, Lord." Okay, maybe not, but you might have thought that in the last few days. (I know I've thought it.) The thing about joy is that, unlike happiness that's centered around circumstances,joy's a CHOICE we make when what we want to happen doesn't happen to happen the way we hope it will happen.

    Erica, I do believe that one day your writing will bring joy to people who pick up your book in their local CBS, but in the meantime...choose joy in whatever He asks you to do today.

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