I am a stubborn woman (I think my husband just said amen to that!). I figure out my goal and throw myself at it. I strategize, plan every minute detail, and calculate my odds at achieving that which I want most. I subconsciously live by the belief that if I just work hard enough at it, I can have it.
But sometimes what I want and what God wants for me are two different things.
Sometimes He says wait.
I just received my first book rejection two weeks ago. Now at first that would seem like a bummer. No one likes to be rejected. However, this person had a lot of nice things to say about my manuscript. As a writer, I needed to hear that. But she let me know, in the end, that the Christian book market (at this point) is not looking for a book like mine.
Anything else I could work with. If my manuscript needed more work, I could do that. Better writing, a thorough grammar check, a stronger main character: those are things I have control over. But the market? No matter how hard I work, I cannot change the market.
I stared at the email a couple more times, elated that someone liked my work and yet disheartened about the state of the market. Why write then? I thought. Then God pointed out two things:
He is not confined by the market. He can do what He wants when He wants. If God wants my book out there, then He has the power to do it (that if is a scary word).
Only He can make it happen. I can write the best book I can, but only God can bring together the market and the people to make it happen. That is out of my hands. Believe me, the stubborn side of me wants to. But I can’t.
So what do I do now? I write and wait on Him. Waiting is not easy, but it produces patience and self control. Instead of barreling on ahead with my own agenda, I am learning to quiet myself and wait for God to move. That might be months or it might be years. I might not see it in my lifetime. But I believe that I am supposed to write. So therefore I will continue down the path God has shown me and trust Him with the ending to my own life story.
I wrote that post back in September 2010. Two years later I published my first book, Daughter of Light, with Marcher Lord Press. The next year Daughter of Light finaled in many prestigious awards. Along with that I published the second book in the series, Son of Truth. I am now finishing the last bit of rewrites on Heir of Hope, the third and final book in the Follower of the Word series.
God has done so much with my writing since I received my first rejection, above and beyond what I ever imagined! Sometimes I need to remind myself that I have no idea what God is going to do, but to just trust. Writing is hard, very hard, and I want to know that I’m not wasting my time. But the future is not mine to know.
I want to encourage those of you who are writing to keep on writing. Place your dreams and stories before God. I don’t know what He’s going to do with them, but when they are done for Him, they won’t be done in vain, even if it touches one soul. In the end, it is worth it.