Five Minute Friday: Haven

Along the Way @ mlsgregg.com

Gentle Reader,

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday: For a writer, rejection is a badge of honor.

Of course rejection stings. It strikes right at the core, right in that tender spot. To read, “your work has merit, but it’s just not quite the right fit for us” is crushing. I felt the blood rush to my face. I immediately began to question just who in the world I think I am, sending book proposals to literary agents.

Then I looked up the word merit.

And found that it means, “the quality of being particularly good or worthy, especially so as to deserve praise or reward.”

I’m choosing to focus on that. My work has value. It may have been rejected. I may come through this process bloody and bruised. At least I’m stepping into the arena. My prayer is that God would give me a spine of steel so that my head will never bow in shame. For rejection comes. It comes to everyone who must write.

I realize, in this feeling of being sucker-punched, that I am a writer. No matter if my name never appears on a spine. No matter if no book of mine ever gets a MARC record. (Sorry, library talk). I am a writer.

Speaking this truth to myself now as a sense of smallness washes over me again and tears blur the screen. Don’t pity me. They are the tears of a fighter.

Kate asks to write about our: haven(s).

Go.

The wind brushes against the rosebushes, moving pink blossoms, green leaves and honey-colored trellises in a waltz whose tune only nature knows. Rhythmically the heavy flowers bob and weave, flashing their bright yellow pistils here and there. In and out, up and down. The trees join in with a joyous rustle.

We never see the wind and yet we know it’s there.

So, too, the Holy Spirit. In the middle of the busy and bluster, He fills me with a knowing. A belonging.A deep and abiding feeling that cannot be categorized. I am stilled in the chaos at the sound of His whisper. I strain, longing to hear more. He speaks life and truth. Never aloud. Never contradictory to the words on the thin pages of my Bible. He tells me that I am safe when the adrenaline rushes. That I am beloved when I wish the floor would open and swallow me whole. That I do not have to lash out in anger. That it will turn out all right.

I cannot stay home all day, every day, much as I often wish I could. And so He is my Haven, my Rock, my Fortress. He pulls me close. If I lean in, I can hear His heart, filled with holiness and love. The beat drums into me the sweetest kind of peace.

Stop.

My journey to faith. (15)

Photo Credit: Michael Fertig
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26 thoughts on “Five Minute Friday: Haven

  1. “At least I’m stepping into the arena.” YES! And even in the arena, you have a haven in Christ. Press on, friend! (Also, I just read a stat the other day that “The Help” was rejected, like, 60 times before it became a bestseller.) << (That was supposed to encourage you.) 😉

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    1. That does encourage me. I spent some time reading some articles about writers and rejection yesterday evening. There was one that made me laugh out loud but that I won’t link to because of language, but basically the author said you have to picture yourself as this kick-butt fighter who takes a punch and comes up swinging. For whatever reason, that cheered me.

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  2. Oh yes, the sweetest peace. And friend, you are indeed a writer. It is so hard to not feel rejected. I look at my numbers this week from book sales and my heart feels defeated, but then I gave to remember why I did this in the first place. “For his glory, write!”….yes that’s all I need! I’m in the #8 spot this week.

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  3. Oh Marie, this is beautiful. Hugs in your tears today. It is so hard hearing words of rejection, but yes, your words do have merit because they carry the power of the One in you. And I’ve been blessed by them here, today especially, with your reminder of our Haven, our safe place. Keep writing, there is beautiful purpose in what you’re sharing.

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  4. Rejection can be such a crushing blow, but your processing of it is commendable, leaning into Him when you feel small and fragile – so beautiful. You are a writer, keep on writing xx

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  5. Yes! He’s my haven too. I’m cheering you on, Marie. I’m proud of you for stepping out and being brave in your writing and sending it on to give others an opportunity to take it in too. Even though it wasn’t the right-now result you wanted, God is still bringing good from it. Praying He opens another door, wide and big, for you to walk through. Your work does have merit. I’m blessed to read it often. Much love.

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    1. I may very well do that in the end. For now, I’m sitting on it for the next two months to let this literary-agent seeking process play out. Just attempting to be obedient to where I sense God leading.

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  6. I am so sorry to hear about your book being rejected but as I continue to read on in this post but also your others, as you said I can see you are a fighter. You a fighter who knows who your Haven is. so encouraged and wishing you well. #10 this week

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  7. Hey, friend, rejection sucks in a major way. I hope your skin gets tough and your expectancy from God goes greater through this process. Your hands are wide open. I think you will catch the wind.

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  8. All I’m trying to do is get two pages published and every time the rejection hurts. Our work feels like an extension of us – and therefore the rejection can feel so personal. Especially when the story is personal. I don’t know much of your story or what book you’re trying to publish, but one thing I have to remember as I stumble about for the words to express myself again after too long shutting myself down, is that every story matters because of Who truly wrote it. So your words, your stories, all of it matters. And you spin the words together so beautifully.

    Love this post about the Holy Spirit and His truth! “That I am beloved when I wish the floor would open and swallow me whole. That I do not have to lash out in anger. That it will turn out all right.” –>> this is something I need every live-long day. So thank you!

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