Since announcing my contract signing with Winslet Press, I’ve been flooded with congratulatory emails, phone calls, notes, hugs, etc. Needless to say, it’s been pretty wonderful. But along the way, a few compliments have made me uncomfortable, not because what they said was bad. No, just the opposite. Their praise *felt* too good, describing me as persevering, faithful. Certainly they described someone else, someone more worthy.
They obviously didn’t hear my doubts or my pleas to God to let me give this up. After years of querying and conference attending and networking, the rejection had worn me thin, and I didn’t want to do it anymore.
They didn’t hear me question whether I was good enough or whether I could fit into the tight box publishers keep. How do you get past the comments that say, “You’ll get better as you write more.” (That’s after a lifetime of writing!) or “We don’t like male protagonists or protagonists who smoke.”? (Which left me scratching my head.)
They didn’t hear me ask “Who am I” or “Why does my writing matter to you, God?” or “Does it matter?” My faith, my trust seems so weak, and my constant prayer this past year has been from Mark 9:24b, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
Yet, sprinkled among all my doubts were little reminders, little nudges from God: Friends’ words of encouragement at just the right time. Contest success. Knowing I have three children who are closely watching me. Reading the perfect Bible verse(s). Hearing Him speak to my heart. And more … Without all that, I’ve no doubt I would have been disobedient.
So when it comes to perseverance and faith or talent, for that matter, I can take no credit.
I’m not worthy. None of us are. It’s only through God’s amazing love, by His amazing grace that I have come this far. When people look at me and see someone who’s persevered, someone with a strong faith, they’re actually seeing God at work in me. And, believe me, He’s got a lot of work left to do!
ALL Glory to God!