Crushed

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Gentle Reader,

I was so confident, so sure.

I worked so hard. Hours and hours.

Now I have to write this, because it’s the only thing I can think to do.

Yesterday at work I opened an email. I was from WestBow Press, sponsors of the Women of Faith writing contest. While my entry had made it to the semi-finals, I was not selected as one of the winners.

How can this be?, I thought. I was so sure that this was the open door!

Several emotions washed over me. Embarrassment. Disappointment. Sorrow. Anger. Frustration. Confusion.

I had to hide away in the staff bathroom. There, with my cheek pressed up against the cool tile wall, I contemplated the situation. Immediately I felt like giving up, something which the Enemy quite handily pounced on, but that thought was quickly dismissed. I know I have to write. I need to write. God made me for this. The only thing missing, really, is the focus. The “what” of it.

Ultimately I realized that this is perhaps the single most humbling experience of my life. I’m accustomed to being the big fish in the small pond.  That’s just the way it’s always been. Now, as a regular or even small fish in a big ocean, it’s plain to see that the work will be harder – and that I’m not necessarily the one to catch.

Talk about a pride-killer.

I know, I know. This wasn’t the time. There’s another way, another plan. It was important to try. I understand all that. In writing this entry, I’m not looking for sympathy. Truly, I’m not. I think…I think I want to apologize.

I’m just an ordinary person saved by the extraordinary grace of God. That’s it. I’m sorry that I ever assumed otherwise. That I genuinely thought I had it all together. That my super-special superior talent would be recognized by that panel of judges. I didn’t even ask God if this novel of mine was what He wanted me to spend the talent He gave me on. I began it and then asked for His blessing. I see now that wasn’t the way to go.

In the last year I have seen the end of a Bible study group I cherished, experienced the heartbreak of diagnosis and have now had months of work rejected. I think the message is clear now. I’ve tried to glorify me. I’ve been entirely focused on my own goals and asked the Savior to come along for the ride.

Wow. Writing that sentence makes the thing hit home.

Pride is awfully sneaky, and I’ve had a heart full of it. I may well end up in that place again, but I hope that such times are not the hallmark of my life, because being humbled is too painful. The fall from the heights always ends with a sickening thud. I think I’d rather stay down here, content in my weakness and smallness. I’ll cover my eyes and not dare to meet His gaze with a proud stare. I’ll lift my hands only to praise Him and gesture toward Him.

As such, this blog will, inevitably, be undergoing some changes.

My journey to faith. (15)

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