By Gabrielle Meyer
Recently, I learned that one of the publishers I write for is closing their historical line. It was a blow I didn’t see coming as I watched my well-laid plans crash at my feet. After working for five years to get where I was, it felt like I was back at square one.
I’d faced rejection letters and other forms of disappointment in my writing journey, but this felt different. Before, when I had a “thanks, but no thanks” email from an editor, I knew I could work harder, improve my craft, write a new story, and resubmit. Rejections were part of the process. If anything, the rejections I received propelled me to fight harder. I knew if I was persistent, I could achieve my goals.
This time, however, there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t work harder. I couldn’t write better. I couldn’t resubmit. The decision was made and it was final.
No matter how hard I tried, I could not control this situation.
Suddenly, the idea of giving up felt like the best idea I’d had in a long time. It felt easy. I was tired and disheartened. Why keep fighting for something that isn’t in my control?
I cried out to God and asked Him what I should do. His answer?
“Be still?” I cried back, shaking my head. “If I’m still, how will I move forward? There are hundreds—no, thousands—of people fighting for only a few slots in Christian Fiction. If I don’t work harder, do better, be faster, and give more, someone else will step in and take my place. Being still seems like the opposite of what I should do.”
But again, He whispered in my heart: Be still and know that I am God. The past five years, I’ve let you strive and do it your way. Let’s do it my way this time.
I sat in silence as God brought to mind the countless times He had proven Himself faithful, even in the darkest hours of my life, when I had no strength to fight, no will to continue, no hope that I would overcome. I didn’t always get what I wanted, but He always gave me what was best.
Are you there, friend? Are you tired and frustrated by the rejections, disappointments, and setbacks in your writing journey? Are you wondering if it’s worth it to continue?
Let me tell you something a writer friend once told me: God doesn’t call us to this journey just to get published (or stay published). He calls us to walk with Him so He can change our hearts. Right now, He’s changing my heart to see that my ways are not his ways, and his thoughts are not my thoughts. This journey He called me on was first and foremost His idea. He’s not surprised by this turn of events, nor will He abandon me now.
In being still and trusting Him to go to battle for me, I find rest. In knowing that He has this all under control, I find peace. Joy for my writing returns and I feel energized to do what He has called me to do: write.
I’m thankful for the books I have slated to release this year and the novella contracts He has provided for next year. I’m excited to see what He has in store. But above all else, I’m eager to see what He’ll do with my heart, because at the end of it all, it’s the reason He called me on this journey to begin with.
Gabrielle Meyer lives on the banks of the Mississippi River with her husband and four children. As an employee of the Minnesota Historical Society, she fell in love with the history of her state and enjoys writing fictional stories inspired by real people and events. To learn more, visit www.gabriellemeyer.com.