Thanks, But No Thanks

Sometimes it’s so hard to press forward when you want to quit.
I recently faced this struggle a few months ago after receiving a rejection for a story I’d written. I don’t know why this particular rejection was harder than the many I received before, but it was.
All I can say is I read the submission requirements a hundred times to be sure I understood the assignment. I spent hours working on the piece. I read it out loud, and gave it to trusted friends and kindred writers to review and critique.
After countless revisions I felt satisfied with my work and took the plunge. I held my breath and hit the send button.
Days passed.
And with the passage of time, came an odd and unexplained confidence that THIS time the answer would be a resounding “yes”.
I was certain – in a way that’s now embarrassing to admit.
You already know the end of this story. The answer was “no”. And not just no. It was a no with a written critique detailing all the reasons why my piece was rejected.
For writers, receiving personalized feedback is a rare luxury and I tried to see it as such, but every sentence screamed of my inadequacies.
Now that time has passed, I’m able to consider the advice more objectively and to appreciate the information that was so generously provided. There are tips and pointers that have already improved my writing.
Some criticisms I still see as subjective and a matter of preference, but maybe one day I’ll see them differently too. Like autumn leaves that change hue according to their own schedule, advice sometimes turns its own shade of valuable over time.
Artists tell you that when you embark on a creative path, you must be prepared for frequent rejection. I’ve had many, but this rejection had a very different effect on me.
For a few weeks after THE NO, it was hard to write. I second-guessed every thought I had for a story, or post, convinced it was unoriginal or at the very least, that I wasn’t the person to tell it best.
Worse, I didn’t trust my own judgment about what constituted a “good” piece of writing.
I entertained thoughts of quitting and more than once muttered “what’s the point?”
In short, my confidence suffered a setback.
Rejection of any type often suggests we’re not enough, or we’re too much. For me, it can go either way, depending on the kind of rejection we’re talking about.
Rejection is simply part of the human experience and we’ve all suffered its sting at some point since it comes in all shapes and sizes.
The husband who no longer wants to be married.
The friend who moves into a new circle and no longer seeks you out.
The job not offered when you know your qualifications are exactly what they’re looking for.
The church that conveys their disapproval for your choices.
The college that seemed like the perfect fit yet denies you admission.
The mortgage application for your dream home that isn’t approved.
The list goes on.
Are you facing any of these in your life right now? Have any of these rejections left their mark?
This quote is on my desk for moments when my determination falters:
“Failure is not the end, unless you quit.”
Michael Hyatt
How do you press on when your confidence has been shaken or your hopes dashed? How do you shake off the feelings of inadequacy that cling to your every thought?
Objectively, I know sometimes we’re rejected because of many variables that have absolutely nothing to do with who we are at our core or what we have to offer. In other words, it’s not always about us.
But it’s hard to remember that when the wounds leave bruises, and sometimes scars that take time to heal.
As believers, we belong to God where there is no rejection, no inadequacy. We come to Him as we are and He loves us for who we are. Ultimately, that’s the best place to park our minds, the best thoughts to replace the ones that cause doubt, confusion, despair, or apathy.
If God placed a passion in our hearts, it’s there for a reason. We may not know exactly what it is, but we can be sure it’ll be used for His glory if we are willing to trust. The Enemy would love nothing more than to take us off the path God has set our feet upon by sowing discouragement.
We can’t allow that to happen.
And so I press on.
I write with confidence one moment and insecurity the next.
I write with a message in my heart, but a fear of not expressing it well.
I write because I simply want to say something that matters to someone.
I don’t know what He envisions for my writing life. Maybe this is it. But I’m along for the ride, doing as much as I can, with whatever I can, for as long as I can.
What about you? Is there a rejection that you’re struggling to accept? One that is causing you to forget who you are in God’s eyes? Can you trust God and His plan for you, making it easier to release the disappointment?
Scripture for Reflection
Commit to the Lord whatever you do
And your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3

I can do all things through him that gives me strength.
Phillippians 4:13

God is within her
She will not fail.
Psalm 46:5

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