Years ago when I surrendered to write for God, I experienced some success. I won awards. Made the best seller list. Finaled in contests. Then came a time when the writing contracts slowed. At first I didn’t worry. Life had become complicated. Perhaps I needed down time, or the chance to deepen my faith and truly seek what God wanted. But, as time went on I faced discouragement as many other authors do.
With the popularity of social media, other’s successes are posted every day. Signing contracts. Book releases. Cover reveals.
I want to rejoice with all those authors, many are friends and it’s wonderful to see their success. But some small part of me wonders–what’s wrong with me?
Have you ever heard testimonies similar to these?
I decided to write and had more than twenty contracts within..[a short time].
I went to a writer’s conference with a few handwritten pages and received a contract within two weeks.
Talking to an editor on the phone, I gave them a brief sketch of the story line and they sent a contract.
Within an hour of sending in the proposal, I had a contract.
Although those are fictional, they are based on accounts I’ve heard over the years. I want to “rejoice with those who rejoice.”(Romans 12:15) Truly I do. But, in truth, sometimes it’s been hard. While I’m happy for the other writer I’m questioning my own worthiness. Did I do something wrong and now God can’t use me? Is there something I’m supposed to learn, but I’m too dense to grasp His lesson? Often, I’ve cried out, “God, what do You want me to do?”
God taught me much through the story of Peter walking with Jesus on the beach. Jesus asks Peter to feed His sheep, tells Peter what will happen when he is old, then instructs Peter to, “Follow Me.” (Jn. 21:19)Peter looks back at the “disciple whom Jesus loved,” and says, “But Lord, what about this man?”
Jesus answered, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.” (Jn. 21:21-22)
As I read those words, it hit me that I am a lot like Peter. I tend to take my eyes off of Jesus to look at those around me who have a similar calling and base my worth on what Jesus called that person, or writer, to do.
I shouldn’t be concerned with what Jesus is doing in their lives, but only following my calling. As long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, and trust him to guide me daily, I can “rejoice with those who rejoice” without facing disappointment in my life.
Whether I publish one hundred more books, or never see publication again, I can rejoice, knowing His plans for me are perfect. Perfect for me.
(Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixaby)