I’m a people-pleaser by nature, so I’m thinking God has called me into this business to hack away at that tendency. Because you can’t get very far in this publishing journey without rejection.

I remember one in the past that really stung. The powers that be accepted one half of a speaking team, which meant they did not choose me–they wanted my team teacher to teach the material alone. Ouch. We’d spent a lot of time coming up with our material, talked on the phone, strategized our approach. So it hurt when only one was asked to present.

Or take reviews. Some people love my books. Others don’t. I wish it could be that everyone loved them, but that’s not the nature of this journey, is it?

Embracing of an editorial letter and relishing revision is also very hard for me. I admire those who can. But it’s still a struggle.

Why?

Because the way I was raised (why does everything hearken back to childhood?), I had to work very hard to justify my existence on this earth. So unfortunately I’m still working through the sanctification process of that. I know I am more than what I do. I know Jesus loves me even if I sit in a chair and rest. But Somehow I equate my worth with what I produce. So when someone says “all is not well in your book,” or “No thanks, don’t speak for us,” it takes me a while to recover.

Part of the reason I believe God has called me to write is to get through this. Suffering all that rejection as a writer has been a blessing for me because I’ve had to toughen.

And, it’s odd, but every book I’ve written has served to be one of God’s tools to heal me. I don’t find it a coincidence that the day I finished my third Defiance book, my stepdad’s wife passed away. I sense a connection between the two, and I hear God calling me to meditate as to how the two events (a finishing, a passing into heaven) coincide.

The process of rejection or being critiqued is part of God showing me that it’s okay not to be perfect, or produce everything right the first time. After all, He’s not after my perfection.

I remember Oswald Chamber’s astute words:

“I am called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life produces a longing after God in other lives, not admiration for myself . . . God is not after perfecting me to be a specimen in His showroom; He is getting me to the place where He can use me.”

So perfection’s overrated. It’s about perfect relation to the One who spun the world into existence.