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Finally Accepted
by Mary Elder-Criss
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Finally Accepted
© Mary Elder Criss
August 2003

I raised one eyelid and stared blearily at the bedside clock. Its red LCD numbers glowed faintly in the morning light. 9:45 a.m. Nine forty-five a.m.!! What was I thinking staying in bed so late? Untangling the blanket from around my legs, I stumbled out of bed and up the hall to begin a pot of coffee to try to jump start my day.

Cup in hand, I began my day as I did most days, with a time of meditation and prayer. The rest of the family were still in bed asleep, as we were on vacation, so I decided to take a moment before getting everyone up and moving and check my email.

As I signed on, I noticed four messages from a Christian online magazine I had recently submitted some articles to. Feeling the now familiar combination of both dread and hope rise in my stomach, I breathed a quiet prayer for strength.

As I opened and read the first email, I was not really surprised to find it a politely worded rejection notice. “Good concept, thanks, but it's not for us.”

I took it in stride, and moved on to the second. “Interesting, but not for us, thanks.”

O.k., on to number three. “This one isn't for us, either, but thanks for submitting it.” "I hope to hear more from you in the future."

Big surprise. Might as well get the fourth one over with, and call it another day.

Hi Mary,

I made some very minor edits to your article below and would like to use it in the upcoming issue on August 19 if you agree to them. (Your original is below that.) Please let us know.

CLUNK!!! (the sound of me hitting the floor in shock) Say what? I read it again.

Hi Mary,

I made some very minor edits to your article below and would like to use it in the upcoming issue on August 19 if you agree to them. (Your original is below that.) Please let us know.

What?!? It did read the same as the first time!! I pinched myself to see if I was dreaming. OUCH!! Nope, wide awake. I read it again, just to be sure.

Hi Mary,

I made some very minor edits to your article below and would like to use it in the upcoming issue on August 19 if you agree to them. (Your original is below that.) Please let us know.

Oh my. It was beginning to finally sink in, now. It was truly an acceptance letter. I’d never honestly seen one before with my name on it, so it took awhile for it to penetrate the gray matter between my ears.

As the realization of what it meant finally began to dawn on me, I found myself unable to move from my seat. I simply sat and stared at the letter for the longest time, and then just to be absolutely, positively sure my eyes weren’t playing tricks on me, I read it two more times. It didn’t vanish before my eyes. I wasn’t dreaming. I was wide awake, with a hot mug of coffee steaming beside me, birds were singing outside the window, and the sun’s morning rays were slanting across the hardwood floor of my study. If there were any lingering doubts in my mind about the validity of it, I also had the red mark on my arm where I had pinched myself as proof.

It was real. Finally, finally, my prayers had been answered. I was going to be an actual “published writer.” No enormous amounts of money were involved, it was, after all, just an online magazine. There would be no actual print on real magazine pages, nor a slick glossy photo of me accompanying the article, to lay open on the coffee table. Yet none of that mattered.

What mattered was that God had fulfilled the promise that He had given me three years earlier. What mattered was that God had not forgotten me, and that He had proved Himself faithful to bless the works of my hands. What mattered, was that after suffering from feelings of unworthiness as a human being, for many years, after being emotionally bruised and battered, after surviving hardships and trials, and betrayal at the hands of man, that God had finally helped me to rise above it.

Finally accepted. Yes, the words that God had given me had finally caught someone’s attention enough, so that they wished to purchase the rights to them.

But what was even better?

The realization that dawned upon me that even if they were never accepted by man as being worthy, even if I myself was never deemed acceptable by the world, Jesus Himself had thought that I was a long time ago. Not by any words, not by any works, but just by being me, and by the free gift of grace.

Not just finally accepted, but finally accepting of that wonderful truth as well.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Deborah Porter  08 Aug 2003
Oh Mary, this was wonderful! I loved the way you kept repeating the message. It really showed how amazed you were at finally hearing this good news. Success really does smile on effort - and faith in God's call and purpose for our lives also has everything to do with it! Keep writing, submitting and believing! With love, Deb
Donna Haug 07 Aug 2003
Mary, How appropriate! FINALLY! I'm so happy for you. As you remain faithful to God's calling on your life, He will use you as He pleases. Keep trusting! God bless! Donna
Violet Nesdoly 07 Aug 2003
Yes!!! I am so pleased for you. I knew it would be just a matter of time. All your faithfulness and perseverance have paid off. (Also, I really like the way your turned the last 'finally' of your article onto an action you could do!). Wishing you many more such emails! ~ Violet
Debra L. McKeen Sparks 07 Aug 2003
Mary, congratulations -- the Lord is so good! Keep being faithful -- and I know He will continue to bless you. I'm so thrilled for you!!! Debbie
Jenny Smith 06 Aug 2003
I'm so excited for you! What a wonderful 'finally' to be through! Great encourgment for us aspiring writers!
David Ritchie 06 Aug 2003
Absolutely great, congratulations. When God promises something we may need to refer many times to the passage, "Though it tarry wait for it, for it shall surely come," but if God has promised, come it will - and now it has. Congratulations. Davy


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