So Help Me, If I Get One More Rejection Letter…
Proverbs 16:9 The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
“We think you have a great story to tell, but it is just not a fit for us.”
Attempting to get a submission accepted by this organization feels like I am trying to squeeze my fluffy-momma-frame into a tiny size 2 pair of jeans. Trust me, if anything isn’t “a fit” that certainly qualifies!
Would you believe I have received not one, not two, but 5 rejection letters in the last several months from the same place?
Maybe I am stubborn. Or maybe I am a horrible writer. Or maybe, just maybe, this isn’t God’s plan for me. And I need to accept it.
If at First You Don’t Succeed…
“If at first you succeed try, try again” is what I have been raised to do. (It’s either that or the competitive spit-fire in me who won’t take “No” for an answer…)
Anyway, I did my homework. I read through the published articles hoping to get a pulse on what they were looking for. Apparently the pulse I “picked up” on wasn’t theirs, so they rejected my submissions-all five of them.
And the worst part?
It felt like they were rejecting me. Perhaps something has happened to you. It could be that it wasn’t your writing that was rejected. Maybe it’s something else.
Do you “feel me,” here?? Am I striking a chord in your soul?
Take heart, discouragements aren’t without purpose. This might sound a little warped, but I learned a little something through this-rejections can actually be good.
The hard truth is that the rejection letters are just as much a part of God’s plan as the acceptance letters.
Better Than an Acceptance Letter
I really wanted an acceptance letter. (Okay, I wanted FIVE of them.) I was completely convinced I would eventually get at least one. But I didn’t. And I struggled with that like two sumo wrestlers fighting over the last California Roll.
I had my plans and my goals laid out, and then I told God to approve them and work His magic.
What was I thinking? God is not my personal “Genie in a Bottle.” He’s God. And His plans far exceed my short-sighted vision for my life.
So guess what those rejection letters turned out to be?
They were God’s GPS for my next step. He moved me away from something, even though I was doing all I could to go full-board in the opposite direction.
When (Not “IF”) the Next Rejection Letter Comes
I’m not so naïve to think that I will never get another rejection letter. I’m sure there are many, many more to come. And truth be told, they’ve already come flooding in touching all areas of my life. You likely have a stack of your own.
I asked God to “fix” all that is broken in my marriage-REJECTED
I asked Him to “zap” me into the perfect parent-REJECTED
I asked Him to cause my mom’s terminal illness to “disappear”-REJECTED
I asked Him to “take” my physical ailments away-REJECTED
There are so many more I could add to this list. It could be that your list sounds similar to mine, or you have different things you are expecting God to do for you.
But ultimately, what we want doesn’t matter. We have to remember that God is at work in our lives. And God’s “toolbox” is our trials and our unmet expectations. God uses these trials and disappointments as a means to show HE IS WORTHY of our honor and praise, even if it means we get a big, fat rejection letter in our inbox. (James 1:2-4)
In the end, God’s plans for us are better than any schemes we concoct on our own behalf.
So, let’s determine that next time we get a “rejection letter,” whatever it is for you, let’s see it as a gift of God’s love “signed, sealed and delivered” to us, from Him.
Let’s trust that His plan is best for us. That “No” is just His way to carve out the path before us so we don’t lose our way.
And to take it one step further, I pray that if I get one more rejection letter that I will say “Thank you, Lord” with all my heart.
Oh, that we would have eyes to see His provision and grace, that God is always faithful to show us right where He wants us to be-even in the rejections of life.
Photo Credit: Creation Swap, Keep Out, Aliesha Knight