A few weeks ago I received hard news.
It was the kind that hits the heart of any writer planning to be a published author.
I shared the truth of my hard news, including the tears that followed, with the Rise Up Writers community on Facebook
. Support came in spades.
I’m not sure what that phrase means, but it seems appropriate. That is, if spades means that a lot of people showed up with care and prayers. Because, y’all sure did. Thank you.
I want to share truth that is helpful, not truth that is burdensome. Sometimes I say too much. Sometimes, too little. Weighing how much to say online is challenging for all of us. When you lead a group, there’s an extra layer of responsibility.
Honoring self, God, and others is vital.
- Would my news honor others and my situation?
- Is there something helpful in sharing it publicly with a group, or am I motivated for self-focused reasons?
These questions ran through my mind before posting this news.
I lost my agent after two years.
Did you even know I had one? Yeah, I kept it kind of quiet for several reasons. Maybe part of me thought it was too good to be true. Another part knew I was going through hard seasons and it wasn’t time to publish just yet.
I’m honored that I was signed for any time at all. I’ve worked hard for two years to complete one book proposal. I now have three in the works, but none are ready. Yet.
They are a whole lot richer for the work done though. I’m super excited about what God’s revealed and what’s yet to come when the time is right.
While the news hit hard and grief needed to be processed, something deeper took hold. A sense that this “no” was the right decision, for right now.
Who knows what the future holds?
Only God, and I plan to keep on pursuing Him and this road He’s allowing me to walk on with Him.
You need to know I pray this for you as well. That you would continually seek His voice over others and press in to the work He’s called you in the places He leads you to. Big, small, and hidden.
They are all more than worthy because of Him. So are you.
Rejection Stings, But it Doesn’t Have to Stick
When rejection hits, most of us will feel the sting. Somewhere inside of us we cannot not feel it.
The sting could be related to expectations that don’t get met.
We feel disappointment, or something stronger, when we expect hard work to pay off with specific results. Any time we relate actions to planned outcomes and they don’t line up, there is a gap felt in our souls.
What will we do with it?
The sting can also be tied to what we believe about ourselves deep in our core, even if we know better in our head. Somehow our identity stays wrapped up in what others think and the approval we get or don’t get.
We might ascend to factual knowledge about having our identity in Christ, but experiences and even unknown beliefs create shaky foundations. Again, there is a gap between the two and it’s palpable at times.
If we want to close the gap, we have choices to make when rejection hits.
Close the Gap
Our immediate reaction will include a slew of thoughts and feelings. It’s important that we choose to capture those immediately.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV
Our thoughts impact our feelings and our feelings impact our thoughts. It can be a vicious cycle. To break it, we must intentionally capture what’s happening in our mind and body and take steps to deal with it.
This can be done through journaling, prayer, conversations with trusted friends, or whatever it takes to notice what thoughts are coming to mind and how we feel.
Our choices come into play when we decide what to do with the thoughts we have,
and attend to what our emotions tell us.
*Note: A powerful way to help you capture thoughts and feelings, bring them before God, and respond to what they reveal is to use the tool I’ve created called Unleash: Heart & Soul Care Sheets.
If we don’t deal with the thoughts and feelings that surface, the sting will stick.
We might be able to shove it aside for a time. Or bat it away repeatedly, but eventually pain wreaks havoc in our souls. It hinders our ability to serve well as a Christian communicator.
If rejection keeps you from moving forward, if you’re not growing and putting yourself where God calls you to be, it’s time to dig deeper.
Rejection stings, but it doesn’t have to stick.
Don’t Let Rejection Take You Off Course
When rejection causes a writer to become jaded about the world of writing, or disengaged from the the vision that set them on this course in the first place, or disillusioned and reticent to try again, it grieves me.
Humans have a tendency to put blame somewhere in an attempt to shove aside the discomfort of disappointment.
It must be someone else’s fault, we reason.
“They didn’t…” “They should have…” “If only they…” “How could they…?”
Or, we make it all about us.
“I’m a horrible writer.” “What was I thinking?” “No one wants this anyway.”
We even make it about us when we say things like…
“They just don’t see the value.” “I’ll show them.” “Forget that, I’ll just…”
Finally, we might make Satan the fall guy. When someone says no, or things don’t work right, or people don’t respond, Christians have a tendency to immediately assume it’s the work of the enemy.
It could be, but it could be a number of other things too.
The thing about obstacles, like rejection, is that the hard thing we face is not always the work of the enemy.
When doors close one after another it may actually be God’s grace, not the enemy’s game.
We need to step back and remember there is more to the picture
. It’s not all about us and our goals. It’s about participating with God in the work He’s doing in and through us.
Don’t let rejection steer you off course. Keep asking the Holy Spirit for courage and wisdom.
Don’t Give Up
If we let the enemy or pride take us down because we face rejection, we allow them to render us ineffective for the kingdom.
- Don’t give up because things don’t go the way you want them to.
- Don’t give up because it’s hard.
- Don’t give up because it hurts.
Remember this, dear Rise Up Writers.
We are on a journey to be used by God and transformed by Him along the way.
Our mission as writers includes using words well, but it is dependent on the Word made manifest and revealed well in our lives.
God uses hard things to grow us. Without obstacles, challenges, and changes in direction, we’d be full of ourselves and less reliant on Him.
Writers can choose to see hard things as an opportunity for growth as long as we remember to let God shape us along the way.
I know it’s not easy, dear ones.
Lean in and listen, spirit to Spirit. Don’t give up unless it’s His leading.