Can I tell you a story? Would you mind if I depart from our usual Tuesday Teaser and tell you a tale of rejection? My rejection.
I think we’ve talked about that here before. It’s part of life as a writer. We submit proposals. We get turned down. We submit another story. The editor or agent we’ve sent our precious piece off to, says “no thanks.” Sometimes they say “no way!” Either way, being rejected is rough. But this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about rejection for a different reason.
You see, a few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from my agent about a proposal for a Christmas novella, that I’d put together back in August. After waiting for months to hear if my story had been chosen to be part of the anthology, we got a lovely rejection e-mail. My agent said she was bummed. And I was, too. The editor said she liked my story, but it just wasn’t going to fit with their needs. It’s hard to know what it was that they didn’t like about the story. I just knew that I loved it. And I wasn’t ready to give up on it yet.
I talked with my agent about looking for other opportunities for the story. But I had pretty much decided I was going to write it with or without a contract.
And then I was working late two weeks ago on a Wednesday evening . When I finally turned my cell phone back on and checked my personal e-mail at 7pm, I discovered a phone call, text, and e-mail from my agent. Apparently the editor’s needs had changed, and my novella was into the anthology! That’s a great feeling. Amazing really!
And it sent me back to my first sale. I’d been rejected then, too. The first time I submitted The Kidnapping of Kenzie Thorn to Steeple Hill, I received a rejection letter. It was right before Christmas, and while it was very kind, it was definitely a rejection. That turned into 7 more moths of back and forth with my editor at Steeple Hill before I was actually offered a contract.
It makes me wonder if I’ll have to be rejected by every publisher I ever publish with before they accept my project. Hmmm.
That’s an interesting thought. But what it really made me think about is how, as a writer, I scramble and scratch to make my manuscripts acceptable. I take my editors advice to correct every mistake. And even then, I’m not guaranteed that I’ll be accepted.
But, you know what? I’m so thankful that’s not how it is with God. When we come to God, he doesn’t ask us to fix anything before he accepts us. Sure, He doesn’t leave us in our completely messed up lives, but we don’t have to get life right before He makes us one of His own.
In this life, we’re pretty much guaranteed rejection from friends, family, significant others, and even editors. But God promises never to leave or forsake us and to welcome us when we come to Him with humble hearts.
It’s nice to know that I don’t have to worry about rejection from what’s really important.