By Marilyn Turk
As writers, we long to hear or see that word. Our writing has been accepted – by an editor who wants to read it, a publisher who wants to publish it, or a reader who wants to read it. Too often, though, we hear the opposite along this path to publication. “Rejected” is not used so often these days when our tender feelings are considered. Sometimes, we’re just “passed,” which sounds a lot like death. Or our subject is “not what they’re looking for,” or “doesn’t meet their editorial needs,” or they “already published something similar.”
The myriad forms of rejection include “the writing is not strong enough,” “I didn’t identify with the main character,” or “the story didn’t pull me into it.” On another hand, writers can be rejected just because they are new and publishers are afraid to take a chance on them. It seems there are a thousand ways to be rejected. New writers are counseled to expect rejection as part of the process of writing – as normal, or as a badge of honor. I’m still trying to believe the phrase “the more you’re rejected, the closer you are to publication.” Is that a mathematical formula?
Therefore, we should rejoice with each rejection? We should enjoy the fact that someone or some entity has deemed us unworthy of belonging to their elite organization? Perhaps there are some individuals stronger than yours truly that can view rejection in that way. For me, though, it is painful. It means I’ve been refused admittance to the “club,” the level of success I’m trying to reach. It’s as if I’m trying to get into a party and told at the door I haven’t been invited. Yet, I walk away from the door, paste a smile on my face, return to my keyboard and believe that next time, I’ll be admitted.
While contemplating my latest rejection, a phrase “accepted in the beloved” came to mind. Knowing it was biblical, I rushed to biblegateway.com and found it in the King James Version, the one I learned as a child. In Ephesians 1:6, it says “To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” I read the rest of the chapter which explains the grace believers have through Christ’s sacrifice that saved us and granted us fellowship with God as his children.
My spirits soared as I reflected on this acceptance. I’m accepted, not because of anything I did, nor am I rejected because I didn’t do something correctly. I’m accepted in the body of Christ because of what Christ did on my behalf. He didn’t reject me, and I can rejoice in the fact that I will always be accepted by God because of Him.
And that, dear brothers and sisters, is the best acceptance of all.
A multi-published author, Marilyn Turk writes historical fiction about the coastal South. Her fascination for lighthouses spawned her popular weekly lighthouse blog @pathwayheart.com, and inspired her upcoming Coastal Lights Legacy series and her Lighthouse Devotions. Her novel, A Gilded Curse, will be released March 2016 from Heritage Beacon Fiction, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.