As I perused the publisher’s rejection letter, I felt like I was in middle school gym class all over again, waiting for one of the team captains to call my name. The words “unable to place” and “good luck” stood out in crisp contrast to the white of the page. Although this wasn’t the first time, nor would it be the last, I felt the need to crawl back into bed even though it was 3:30 in the afternoon.
One of my first writing teachers had prepared me for this. He once told me he’d considered using all of the rejection letters he’d received over the years as wallpaper for his office. His writing space. A twisted sort of motivation to keeping trying, and to submit only his best work.
As much as we try to prepare ourselves for rejection, it always stings. We make ourselves vulnerable, wrapping the essence of ourselves in words and then bravely put them on display for the entire world to see. And sometimes the world simply doesn’t have the have the same connection with the words that we do.
We call out to God in prayer, asking him to bless our pursuits while telling ourselves that we really do desire his will and his timing, but when we receive the dreaded answer that we must wait, we hang our heads in despair. We don’t like it. We tap our feet with restless uncertainty, trying our best to tame the fire that burns within us. Wondering how we can possibly handle another decline, another “no.” But when He finally answers, we realize that his plan far exceeded anything our wildest dreams could’ve set in motion.
Our culture fervently screams “now is best,” but God calls us to yield and rest.
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11