“You’re such a pessimist,” my wife chided as we passed the local food mart. “You’re one of those the-glass-is-half-empty type people.”
The absurdity of the thought angered me; nonetheless, I held my ire.
“No, I’m not,” I replied. “I’m a realist. The proverbial glass is half-empty and half-full. You have to look at things the way they really are.”
The argument was the most ridiculous of all - we had argued over buying lottery tickets. My wife was in favor of it; I was against it. Although my explanation of the phenomenal statistical improbability of winning the lottery eventually won her over, I could not help but feel that I had somehow lost in the battlefield of impugned character.
A realist. I purposefully reassured myself that that’s what I was. Nonetheless, the email that I received a few days later tested my assertion. It was from Bethany House Publishers, a publisher of many genres of Christian literature. It was a rejection letter.
The momentary excitement that had filled my heart upon seeing the email heading from a book publisher quickly dissipated after reading the body of the message.
Dear John K. Hunt:
We received your query letter for IN THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST and appreciate your interest in publishing through Bethany House Publishers. However, the project you propose does not appear to fit our current publishing program.
Thank you for thinking of us.
Bethany House Publishers
I immediately told myself that it was completely to be expected, that very few authors ever actually get their first book published. And really, the fact that I had received any response at all was a victory in and of itself. It was the first response of any sort that I had received, despite the many query letters that I had sent. Regardless, I now had to fight back the melancholy spirit that was beginning to pervade my thoughts.
The psalmist says that our very steps are ordered by the Lord, and Paul states that all things work together for good for them that Love the Lord, for them who are the called according to His purpose. So, in that sense, even rejection letters are in God’s plan. You see, the Lord often brings situations into our lives to help build character, to teach us lessons, and to mold us to be more willing vessels to be used by Him.
Creating a novel was the impetus to my interest in writing. Prior to that, I really hadn’t written anything since high school. Through the process of writing that story - the story that I felt God had given to me - I had found something remarkable; I had found a love of writing.
Now I write for the love of writing, and the love of the Lord, two inseparable friends whose lives are intertwined with mine.
So, if I get a thousand rejection letters or I get none - or if I never even get my novel published - it makes little difference. I will continue to write for the sake of writing itself, and for glorifying the One who gives me the words.
For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.
-2 Corinthians 1:20