After weeks of doubt about why I’m doing what I’m doing (writing) and the incessant question, “What am I doing?,” I received a rejection letter from the one agent I sent a book proposal to.
I knew it was coming. I expected it. Not negatively like, “Of course they will reject my proposal. My writing’s not good enough,” but in a “knowing” way.
No matter how prepared I was to receive this rejection letter, the blow was still hard.
But today I’m thinking of other things… like the fear I experienced of being accepted.
Yes, you read that right. I was more afraid of being accepted than being rejected.
Afraid of having an agent working for me—an agent I could let down. Or having a contract with a publishing house, expectations and deadlines clearly spelled out. More people I could let down.
What if I can’t do it?
What if I’m not cut out for this?
Those questions played on repeat for the last month… maybe longer. Rather than explore those questions and fears with God, I tried to make sense of them myself. I began calculating without God in the equation.
I decided if I felt I couldn’t do traditional publishing, wasn’t cut out for it, that was because God doesn’t want that for me. And if traditional publishing isn’t the path He chose for me, then I shouldn’t go in that direction. I should self-publish—fewer people to let down. Except, from the start, I had a strong sense that was not the direction God wanted me to go.
Why were my thoughts veering in a direction opposite of where I sensed God leading?
Fear. More specifically—unbelief.
Even though God is doing amazing things with my writing—right before my very eyes—I wouldn’t let myself believe He’d carry it out to completion.
And what is completion? Traditional publishing.
Is this my definition of completion—the end result? I don’t believe so. I believe that’s God’s definition—His plan.
But that’s too scary to say. What if I’m never traditionally published after taking a stand and saying THIS IS what God will do?
Am I worried I’ll make God look bad?
No. I’m worried I’ll make myself look bad. I don’t want to look like a failure or a fool.
Oh, God, I’ve looked like a failure and a fool too many times already. Not again!
It’s so much easier to have small dreams. I’ve convinced myself the ministry God has had for me and will always have for me is a small ministry—small in numbers, small in impact.
If that is truth, I’m fine with it. Numbers are of no importance, and God is in control of the impact.
But what if God is saying it’s time for a larger ministry, larger numbers, a larger impact?
Terrified of failing.
Terrified of looking like a fool.
Terrified of messing up.
Terrified of breaking under pressure.
Terrified of being seen.
I’d rather stay in the shadows. It feels safer there. I need less faith, less trust, less belief.
It doesn’t hurt as much in the shadows. There’s less fear, less rejection, fewer tears.
There’s less risk in the shadows.
But I hear God calling me from the shadows. He’s calling me to an increased faith, an increased trust, an increased belief in Him…
And what He will accomplish through me…
If I will allow Him.
“I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:24b