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And then I received another rejection letter

March 4, 2015

I remember the letter like it was yesterday. In a nutshell, it was another publisher telling me my writing did not meet their needs at that time.

And in his attempt to soften the blow, he’d added a wee bit of humor. “Just use this letter as the liner of your cat litter box as I’m sure one day things will work out for you.”

As if a little humor ever helped someone who has just been knocked into a pit of rejection.

The letter wasn’t even signed.

I was standing at my mailbox at the time because at that point in my life I didn’t think email would ever really take off and I’d requested all communications to be sent to my home address.

And by all future communications of course, I had a book contract in mind.

Not a litter box liner humor rejection letter.

It was clear from this letter that nobody at the publishing house stood up in awe as they read my typed words and enthusiastically exclaimed, “Girl has skills!”

I hung my head, got into my car, and drove to my local bookstore. I saved up all my tears until I was smack dab in the middle of thousands of other books – thousands of other writers who’d received a thumbs up to their dreams – thousands of other people with evidence that their writing mattered – and I sobbed.

The kind of sobbing that should be reserved for a funeral.

But in that moment, the death of my dream that never had enough life to warrant a funeral was a deep, deep grief.

The tears didn’t come from my eyes. They didn’t come from my heart. They came from my soul that was always slightly suspicious that God really didn’t have any sort of spectacular plan when He created me.

After my rather impressive display of emotion in the middle of the bookstore, I drove home and silently declared I’d never set myself up for this kind of rejection again.

I put all my writing attempts in a file drawer. I made tacos for dinner. And I made note of the fact that God did nothing to soften this blow.

There was no verse mysteriously written on a slip of paper that suddenly wafted down from my kitchen ceiling. There was no friend that called and said she felt led by the Holy Spirit to encourage me in my writing. There was no divine directive that gave any sort of inspiration for me to keep going.

Nothing.

There was just this utter realization that I’d now have to tell all those praying for me that this writing a book thing was a no-go. In essence, with no affirmation from a publisher, I felt I had no skills. And I’d obviously heard God wrong.

So, surely I should give up.

Oh how I wish I could go sit with myself on that day from the vantage point of this day.

I would hand myself a tissue and state that this was not at all a rejection from God. It was a timing issue.

Sometimes callings from God unfold in a miraculous instant. But more often callings happen within a million slow moments of revelation and maturation.

I needed to experience God revealing Himself and maturing me so I could properly handle the Truth I would eventually write and speak about. And so that I could develop my communication skills by learning how to string thoughts and words together that connected and could be received by an audience.

We are charged to be prepared in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” I needed the revelation of the Word so I could properly preach the Word. I needed maturity so I could fulfill that last part of the verse “with great patience and careful instruction.”

I am thankful it would be nearly 4 years – approximately 1,400 days – 35,040 hours – over 2.1 million moments before I was ready emotionally, spiritually, and developmentally to properly handle the weight of God’s Word and a book assignment.

Have you ever felt a stirring to write or attempted to write only to have something or someone shut it down?

I understand. That’s why 14 years ago, after I finally had a publisher say yes, I knew I had to help other writers coming behind me. So, I developed a conference called She Speaks to train, equip, connect, and breathe life into other writers’ dreams.

You can click here for more information about She Speaks.

But whether you want to put pen to page and write or fulfill another calling from God, let me assure you slow progress is better than no progress.

The slow unfolding of readiness in us is often misunderstood to be a quick rejection by God. What a tragic mistake this is for many of us who too quickly shut down in our flesh what God is trying to develop in our spirit.

Sweet sister, don’t give up. Stand up! Ask yourself the reflection questions I’ve listed below. Then, walk toward the calling God created you to fulfill.

1) Have I taken this seriously by investing time, effort, and resources in my development?

2) Have I given up too soon?

3) What have I let dissuade me from this that I need to face?

4) Have I mistakingly bought into the lie that all the opportunities for my calling have already been given to other people?

5) What’s one thing I can do today to move my calling forward?

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56 Comments
  1. Tracy

    Tears here. This is me today in so many ways. Thank you for being so transparent. I know God has a plan. I just need to wait awhile longer and let it unfold.

    Reply
    • Jenni DeWitt

      I agree with you, Tracy! Sometimes it’s so hard to wait for that Holy Timing…especially when I have “better” ideas. But hindsight is 20/20 and looking back God’s timing is always better than mine. It’s like he knows something I don’t! : )

      Reply
  2. Trudy

    Lysa, you have no idea how much these words of yours meant to me!! I am a self-published newbie author and have many times wished you and I could just have a chat about writing, speaking, life, marriage, kids……Thank you sooo much for this blog post! I wish I could attend this conference but Texas is a bit far away from NC. Maybe one day! I will take these words to heart, because quite simply, my heart needed this!

    Reply
  3. Liz C

    i took this from a whole different angle as I was reading this! Just today I asked someone to pray for me regarding the part time business I started. I am getting no’s left and right from people and so far still have not received a no from God. This was perfect to confirm my thoughts, I am in a holding pattern right now. Time to learn and grow where I am at and be able to stop and really start listening to what God wants me to hear! Thank you for confirmation!!

    Reply
  4. Alaina Doyle

    This is a great message. I had my performance review today and although it wasn’t bad, it was not what I expected. I know God sees all of the sacrifices I’ve made and He has a different system to rate/value me. So for today, I may be feeling like I’m inadequate and unsure of myself but tomorrow is a new day. Thank you for the wonderful post.

    Reply
  5. Laura Lee

    So timely today for me!!,! Thanks for always being so honest and sharing the wounds of your heart!Thanks for being obedient !

    Reply
  6. Nico Smith

    There are many things that are good to remember about God. All things are possible when we completely give our lives fully over to Him. No matter what happens, God is the answer to every trouble we may be facing. We see God’s hand at work in things around us, and God goes before us in all circumstances that may come about throughout our spiritual journey. “Soak in these words from before you go to bed tonight… – God is the solution for every single one of my troubles – God is within me and perfectly equips me to know what to do – God is with me therefore there is nothing I’ll face alone – Evidence of His constant work is all around me if only I will choose to see it…”~Lysa TerKeurst Wow! What a powerful thing to remember on this late Wednesday afternoon! With God, there’s absolutely nothing that I can’t do. All things are possible because God can open many doors of opportunities in my lifetime. “I remember the letter like it was yesterday. In a nutshell, it was another publisher telling me my writing did not meet their needs at that time. And in his attempt to soften the blow, he’d added a wee bit of humor. “Just use this letter as the liner of your cat litter box as I’m sure one day things will work out for you.” As if a little humor ever helped someone who has just been knocked into a pit of rejection. The letter wasn’t even signed. I was standing at my mailbox at the time because at that point in my life I didn’t think email would ever really take off and I’d requested all communications to be sent to my home address. And by all future communications of course, I had a book contract in mind. Not a litter box liner humor rejection letter. It was clear from this letter that nobody at the publishing house stood up in awe as they read my typed words and enthusiastically exclaimed, “Girl has skills!” I hung my head, got into my car, and drove to my local bookstore. I saved up all my tears until I was smack dab in the middle of thousands of other books – thousands of other writers who’d received a thumbs up to their dreams – thousands of other people with evidence that their writing mattered – and I sobbed. The kind of sobbing that should be reserved for a funeral. But in that moment, the death of my dream that never had enough life to warrant a funeral was a deep, deep grief. The tears didn’t come from my eyes. They didn’t come from my heart. They came from my soul that was always slightly suspicious that God really didn’t have any sort of spectacular plan when He created me. After my rather impressive display of emotion in the middle of the bookstore, I drove home and silently declared I’d never set myself up for this kind of rejection again. I put all my writing attempts in a file drawer. I made tacos for dinner. And I made note of the fact that God did nothing to soften this blow. There was no verse mysteriously written on a slip of paper that suddenly wafted down from my kitchen ceiling. There was no friend that called and said she felt led by the Holy Spirit to encourage me in my writing. There was no divine directive that gave any sort of inspiration for me to keep going. Nothing. There was just this utter realization that I’d now have to tell all those praying for me that this writing a book thing was a no-go. In essence, with no affirmation from a publisher, I felt I had no skills. And I’d obviously heard God wrong. So, surely I should give up. Oh how I wish I could go sit with myself on that day from the vantage point of this day. I would hand myself a tissue and state that this was not at all a rejection from God. It was a timing issue. Sometimes callings from God unfold in a miraculous instant. But more often callings happen within a million slow moments of revelation and maturation. I needed to experience God revealing Himself and maturing me so I could properly handle the Truth I would eventually write and speak about. And so that I could develop my communication skills by learning how to string thoughts and words together that connected and could be received by an audience. We are charged to be prepared in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” I needed the revelation of the Word so I could properly preach the Word. I needed maturity so I could fulfill that last part of the verse “with great patience and careful instruction.” I am thankful it would be nearly 4 years – approximately 1,400 days – 35,040 hours – over 2.1 million moments before I was ready emotionally, spiritually, and developmentally to properly handle the weight of God’s Word and a book assignment. Have you ever felt a stirring to write or attempted to write only to have something or someone shut it down? I understand. That’s why 14 years ago, after I finally had a publisher say yes, I knew I had to help other writers coming behind me. So, I developed a conference called She Speaks to train, equip, connect, and breathe life into other writers’ dreams. But whether you want to put pen to page and write or fulfill another calling from God, let me assure you slow progress is better than no progress. The slow unfolding of readiness in us is often misunderstood to be a quick rejection by God. What a tragic mistake this is for many of us who too quickly shut down in our flesh what God is trying to develop in our spirit. Sweet sister, don’t give up. Stand up! Ask yourself the reflection questions I’ve listed below. Then, walk toward the calling God created you to fulfill. 1) Have I taken this seriously by investing time, effort, and resources in my development? 2) Have I given up too soon? 3) What have I let dissuade me from this that I need to face? 4) Have I mistakingly bought into the lie that all the opportunities for my calling have already been given to other people? 5) What’s one thing I can do today to move my calling forward?”~Lysa TerKeurst Amen! Wow! What a very powerful thing to remember! God is always reminding us of what He wants to do in and throughout our lives. When we fully trust that God knows what’s in our very best interest- no matter how our lives may currently be going for us right now.

    Reply
  7. Theresa Rozanski

    Lysa,
    The timing of this post is most certainly the hand of God – a ‘God-wink’. I have found myself in the perpetual trap of comparisons. Sadly, I have left my fate in the hands of Facebook numbers and the assumed opinions of others – which always lead to despair. If only I could remember that my steps are determined by the loving hand of God that never changes rather than the ever-changing winds of my well meaning yet fickle friends, family, and followers. When I’m complimented I enthusiastically proceed, when the compliments slow, I despair and entertain the idea of giving up. So conditional! Yet, God accepts and loves me unconditionally as He called me to write my grace story. I believe it was Ann Voskamp who said that when she started her blog she kept the background black to emulate the quiet space for her and God alone, her audience of One. She kept her comments turned off because she knew that she would be swayed by the opinion of others. Maybe the compliments slow to remind me why I started this writing venture to begin with. Because it is what I’m called to. If I move in the motion of compliments that I’m living in the place of consequence rather than the certainty of who Christ says I am and what He has called me to do. The greatness of my faith isn’t determined by what I receive but by how long I can go and receive nothing. Your post is a reminder (14 yrs since that litter box liner rejection) of how much sweeter the result is the longer we wait to receive what our hearts long for…ultimately a deeper intimacy with Jesus…the gift that’s given while in our waiting rooms. I know I speak for many when I say, you never cease to inspire and encourage me and if those of us that you bless regularly with your words, have been born out of your anguish and rejection, then your labor hasn’t been in vain.
    As a Compel member I can tell you that I wouldn’t be as far a long in my journey, even without a book contract or large Facebook numbers, if it wasn’t for the encouragement of you and all those at Compel that spur us writing sisters on toward the goal…’write’ into the heart of our Savior! 🙂
    Hugs and many thanks to you, my sweet sojouner sister in Christ!

    Reply
  8. Pam Brown

    Thank you, wonderfully encouraging! I can remember loving to write and read ever since I was a little girl. I have spent the last 25 years only writing for my medical career, so much of my creativity has been lost. But God has definitely been nudging and pushing me for the past few years to write. I certainly don’t know what His overall plan is and am learning to just trust day by day knowing that the more I resist, the more the words toss about in my head and I know they have to come out. I have only written a few small blog pieces and I know they are probably not the most interesting thing for others to read, but they are my heart and for now that is all I know to do. I really appreciate your reflection questions and will apply those as I continue to practice and press forward. Hopefully I can work a She Speaks conference in soon.

    Reply
  9. Dr Carol

    Thank you, Lysa, for sharing this piece of your journey. Just yesterday I signed my very first book contract – after years of waiting, trying wondering, praying, writing, and yes – tears. But as I look back now, I realize how much both me and my writing has matured during those years. I’m grateful for the grace to just keep going, and looking for the good things God has ahead. I hate to think what would have happened if I had given up!!

    Reply
  10. Trena

    I watched the free resources available from the Compel training, and you said something that spoke to me, and that was recalling sitting down at your computer with a message and the desire, but now what? I can certainly relate! Thank you for your encouragement, and I’m glad God wouldn’t let you give up!

    Reply
  11. Susan Kintzel

    I am grateful for the timing and content of your post, Lysa. Thank you for sharing your experiences to encourage me (and others) to lean into God’s timing as I write. After finishing ten chapters of my story, I realized that one of the chapters needed to be totally re-written or removed. Rolling in on the heels of that realization came a negative voice saying, “Seriously, what do you think you’re trying to do? No one will want to read about this stuff and it is so ‘out there’ spiritually that even if someone reads it, they will think you are crazy.” Your email arrived at my crossroads moment and yes, I will finish what God has called me to write. And it will be a blessing and an encouragement to whomever God leads across its pages.

    Reply
  12. Kati C

    You just met me right where I am in my journey with Jesus!!! So grateful you chose to share your great big life story and all the tiny chapters that make it raw, real, and refreshing to us Jesus girls.

    Reply
  13. Jeane'

    “I made tacos for dinner”. That line from your piece here, along with those around it made perfect and complete sense to me. Because in a season where the dream is dangling but the timing is elusive, it’s easiest to shove hope in a drawer and stick with what you know. And for me, making quick work of ground beef and a packet of McCormmick seasoning is a familiar fallback. Thank you for this, Lysa.

    Reply
  14. Amy Jo Hawkins

    Oh the timing of me landing on your blog…. I literally just made a post on my Facebook page about how being a woman, aka an emotional basket-case, is really hard some days. I had an emotional day full of lashing out and break downs in a public restroom and just plain ugliness making both my day and my husband’s day fairly miserable.

    So, I expressed my frustration with just how hard it is some times. One of my girlfriends asked if I had ever read Unglued, mainly due to the fact that I had mentioned in my post that while our emotions can be intense at times, they’re not just hormones or the weather, they’re REAL and they’re there for a reason, to remind us we’re living.

    Now here I am reading your blog post for today and your comments regarding publishing a book are hitting me across the face like a two-by-four. And, then I scroll down the page to see details about She Speaks conference and it dawned on me.

    In just two days, I will be celebrating my first book at my book signing / release party. What does this have to do with anything you wonder? I have spent the past 5 years working on this book due to God’s calling for me and I’ve fought it ever step of the way. I had some severe emotional days prior to the books release on Amazon and here I am again today struggling emotionally due to the party. I’m nervous and scared and worried that I don’t deserve this acknowledgement, that I won’t be able to live up to the expectations, that I’ll be seen that I’m not good enough.

    The book, It Doesn’t Have to be That Way, is a true story full of REAL and RAW details of a particular couple’s struggle with addiction, divorce, poverty and all the other junk that comes with that. And that particular couple… just happens to be me and my husband.

    It’s terrifying putting yourself out there. But, I know it’s God’s will and it’s His story. And, I have to be strong and remain courageous to share something that not everyone wants to feel or learn from. Thank you for reminding me of that.

    I’m hoping that I can attend the conference in July. I also find it extremely ironic that this chick’s busy schedule is completely empty that weekend:-)

    Giant Hugs,

    Amy Jo

    Reply
  15. Laura Crosby

    Much needed encouragement! Thank you Lysa! Even before a book dream, developing a blog platform can be daunting. The world of social media is a dangerous place and we have to find ways to guard our heart, fight comparison, and put in appropriate boundaries. Today I’m praying to stay rooted in my identity as a beloved child of the king above all else.

    Reply
  16. Krist Cambron

    Oh my, Lysa! THIS. Just this. All of it.

    I can’t tell you how many times – over four years – we were RIGHT THERE in your shoes. In the bookstore aisles – I was there crying a time or two. And could have wallpapered my dining room with the rejection letters we received. It was so heartbreaking. BUT (and that’s a big chasm word when you’re in the thick of it)…In His timing, in His perfect will, He’ll make the road passable for every one of us. I had a hard time with it and His sweet words whispered to my heart were this when I compared myself to another author whom I believed must never had received one of those rejections: “Her success is not your failure.” WOW!

    His promises are real — In fact, you and I now have the same publisher! How cool is that?

    Everyone out there who’s commented on this post – with a dream (writing or otherwise), I would love to encourage you… KEEP GOING, Sisters! (Matthew 21:22, for a little truth on that.)

    Thanks for your heart exposed and shared with us every day, Lysa. Hugs!

    Reply
  17. joyce

    I located this website and blog so that I could comment regarding your book What Happens When Women Say Yes To God which I received as a Christmas present. This morning I read chapter 24 The choice to worry or worship – and while I appreciated all you said here, the line that I will especially take from the reading is “Each time I feel my heart being pulled down into the pit of ungratefulness and grumbling,” ( I may hang out dangerously close to that pit) ” I recognize it as a call to draw near to the Lord”. Which ties into an earlier sentence -“Conviction invites us to make positive changes in our lives.” I am enjoying the book and thanks for your perseverance in your writing.

    Reply
  18. JC

    These words jumped off the screen today at me. “The tears didn’t come from my eyes. They didn’t come from my heart. They came from my soul that was always slightly suspicious that God really didn’t have any sort of spectacular plan when He created me.” ~ I am going through a really tough time, a time of disappointment, sadness and fear. Not about a “dream” or a “goal” but about making HUGE, scary, uncomfortable changes…And that is how I have been feeling. Maybe all my life.

    Reply
  19. Becky Keife

    Lysa,
    Thank you so much for allowing us this backstage glimpse into the long journey that God has used to bring you to your present place of living out your calling. I needed to hear that truth written here. Because it can be so easy to look at others and think, wow, look at all they are accomplishing! while forgetting to be mindful of the millions of unseen moments that God used to shape their path and orchestrate events according to HIS timing. Such a beautiful testimony of God’s unfailing grace.

    I’m all the way out here in California and in a season of mothering littles…but attending She Speaks is definitely on my dream list and I’m trusting in God’s goodness and perfect timing to lead me there when He sees fit. Blessings!

    Reply
  20. Olivia

    What an answer to my prayer. I prayed for one thing today…affirmation of God’s plan with my writing. Big or small, just a nudge to remind me of his perfect plan. Thanks for that…and all of the other things you’ve written that have changed me for the better :-).

    Reply
  21. christy

    Thank you, Lysa, for the incredibly encouraging words. So often we only hear of the instantaneous that we forget that often times God’s timing is very different from ours. If I know God has called me to something, I must continue to “hold fast” to His calling and promise.

    Reply
  22. Leslie

    My goodness I needed this message today. I have been struggling through fertility treatments for the past 6 years and have had 4 miscarriages in the last 15 months. I always try to recognize God’s plan in all of it and am normally happy and good–except for today! I needed the encouragement to keep moving forward and to accept God’s bigger plan. I am weary but grateful. I look forward to looking back at this time and smiling. Until then…thank you for giving me comfort!

    Reply
  23. Jeanette Lytle

    I registered for She Speaks this week. This was two years later than I planned, but I know God’s timing is everything. Thankful I can hear God calling me.

    Reply
  24. Joanna Branson

    Thank you soo much for your honesty in sharing your experiences. I needed to read this today! 🙂

    Reply
  25. April

    Thank you for being transparent and diligent to Gods calling and sharing. These words of encouragement gave me hope.

    Reply
  26. Sharray

    Thank you so much for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit and For allowing God to use you. God’s timing is everything. .everything! I will be able to support myself. I will find a job. I will go to Law School and I will be a District Attorney. I will fulfill the purpose God has for my life. Thank you ..Thank you Be blessed. Blessed..Blessed!

    Reply
  27. Diana

    We are going through similar with work for my husband. Over 60 applications over 5 years, savings almost gone, a job that recently we both felt was ‘the one’ and we were in such faith for it and were all ready to move there, but yet again another deep disappointment and we are back to square one.. We are trying to have faith that there is a special job out there, but its hard not get to get discouraged when all the savings you had for when you are older have been used up and you have no income.

    Reply
  28. Renee

    Not in writing, but this is exactly how I feel every time ANOTHER friend gets engaged or I attend yet another wedding. As a 40-something, it feels as though God has forgotten me. Tears from the soul? Check! Having to tell the people praying that the newest relationship is a “no-go!” Check! Deciding that this will be the last rejection. Check! What started as a tiny voice 20 years ago has been turned up to a deafening roar, “You’re unlovable.” Such a disappointment. I have no other complaint. God has shown me grace and mercy in so many ways but chooses to remain silent in response to my request for a life partner. I bury my sadness, put on a smile and press on.

    Reply
    • Petunia

      Hi Renee,

      I’m just stumbling upon this blog, and when I read your post, it felt like the exact same cry that I am having in my heart at this point in time. I’ve always trusted and believe God for a life partner but it has been so many years and it has culminated to the point where you feel you need to do more or be like a certain way in order to find that special someone and it is so tiring. I am really sad as well. But I know that we can only hope and trust in God for we have even less of a solution then him. Press on my friend <3

      Reply
  29. Linda Lochridge Hoenigsberg

    Thanks Lysa…I needed that one. I had just finished the first draft of my memoir in October 2014…a memoir in which the opening scene takes place with me waking up from brain surgery in Oct. of 2006, when I got the shocking news….the brain tumor was back…and a surgery that took several years to recover from was going to have to be repeated. I actually had tickets to last year’s She Speaks Conference and couldn’t go. Now it’s been 2 1/2 weeks since this second brain surgery and I am not giving up. I know this year’s conference is near the end of July and I am praying to be well enough to attend.This time,surgery was more difficult but the aftereffects are much easier to bear so far…so we’ll see. You are a blessing, Lysa.

    Reply
  30. Michelle

    This phrase: “They came from my soul that was always slightly suspicious that God really didn’t have any sort of spectacular plan when He created me.” That phrase made me gasp. That’s how I’ve felt my entire life.

    Reply
  31. Sandra Harwell

    Lysa, Just read all the comments of all the ones you have touched. That is encouragement! What you posts..touches me. The words are just what
    I need to hear. We all have such burdens..wondering if God is really listening. I SO need daily encouragement. I believe God sets it up that way…so, that I always need Him! Thank you for writing from your heart!
    Sandra Harwell

    Reply
  32. Melissa Longval

    Dear Lisa,
    I have just read this post and started to read What Happens When Women Walk in Faith. I’m sure you hear it all the time, but I am completely blown away by the power of your words…God’s words…like my heart was cracked open and those words have filled these gaping holes…filled with hope, excitement, joy, and now a determination to walk in confidence in faith! Thank you seems hardly enough! I am praising God for you and your surrender to him! Can’t wait to start the online Bible study at Proverbs 31.

    Reply
    • Melissa Longval

      I did spell your name correctly, but autocorrect got me! Lysa!!!

      Reply
  33. Kelly Basham

    Lysa,

    I needed to hear this. I was sitting on my bed in tears today having the very same thoughts, emotions, and fears. Thank you for writing this and for sharing it today. God is so perfect with his timing. I am looking forward to She Speaks 2015. Looking forward to all I will learn and praying God leads me to make connections with others who share the same heart.

    Reply
  34. Anne

    I have been doing made to crave. I am struggling with what to do for healthy eating plan. I am in the “without a plan, men fail” place. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  35. Amanda

    Lysa,

    Thank you so much for continuing to encourage others in things that may be marked by fear, especially things that we want to do and that God calls us to do. I didn’t realize until the past 2 or 3 years that I really did want to write more than I would even allow myself to believe I wanted to write. I had forgotten all the years growing up when my friends and boyfriend (now husband!) would encourage me in the writing that I would actually share with them, and I hid that part of myself for so long. More friends and husband continue to encourage me over the past two years, and yet I have been hesitant…the only writing I have done is just thoughts and journaling…terrified to put anything out there anywhere. But, between husband, friends gently encouraging and cheerleading me on, and reading encouraging words about writing from women like you, Rebekah Lyons, Ree Drummond, Jennie Allen, Ann Voskamp, and Jen Hatmaker, I have finally “put myself out there.” It’s a small thing, but a huge step and start. I put my first blog post out there on the world wide web tonight. Shew! Why am I so nervous?! so now to figure out blog design stuff…but the important part is out there…the words. Thank you so much!

    Amanda

    Reply
  36. Annette

    Hi Lysa,
    I couldn’t find anywhere to contact you privately so I’m leaving you a message here. First of all, thank you so much for helping me in my walk with Jesus. You are an incredible inspiration to me.

    I wanted to contact you because I know your husband is a Chick-Fil-A owner and my husband is praying and thinking about being an owner as well. From your bio, my husband sounds so much like yours. He would be interested in speaking to your husband and getting any feedback from him that would help him in his decision. I hope this you see this and are able to let me know either way. Thank you!

    Reply
  37. Barbara Ann Gareis

    Lysa,

    I so needed this today. I was running full force with speaking and signing events when my second book was published. Then suddenly it all seemed to come to a halt this year. I’m not getting the responses I had hoped for, my calendar is practically bare, and I’m becoming discouraged with writing the study guide I started a few months ago.

    Your blog post just reassured me of what I already knew deep down in my soul – that God needs me to slow down. It’s HIS timing that matters; not mine. I am now seeking HIM more than ever and focusing on my spiritual growth. The rest will fall into place when He takes me to that season.

    Oh, and I should mention that my Bible Study group at church is starting The Best Yes tonight, which is how I ended up on your blog! God is so good!

    Reply
  38. Beth

    I needed to read this today! Thank you for encouraging me as a working mother.

    Reply
  39. Christy Engelhart

    This really hit home for me today! Thank you so much for being faithful to the calling that God put into your heart so many years ago. Your words made an impression on me TODAY! The verse that you shared – 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” – was just what I needed to hear. I was a youth pastor for eight years and then felt called to step out of vocational ministry to focus the majority of my time and attention on raising my three young children. I KNOW that God called me into the ministry and that He still has plans for me to minister in some capacity. However, the season of life that I am currently in, is so very different from the past. Sometimes I get impatient to move into the next phase of life! Your words and the verse you shared were such good reminders to be faithful, patient and PREPARED to be used no matter what season of life we may find ourselves in. I am painfully aware that I still have a lot of growing and maturing to do. But I’m excited to see how God will use what he’s doing in my life today, to make an impact for His kingdom in the future! Thanks for the encouragement. It was just what I needed to hear today.

    Reply
  40. Petunia Buk

    Hi Lysa,

    I’m from Singapore and had the most miraculously encounter to pick up your book ‘the best yes’ just a while ago. It was a complete God-incidence, for when my eyes laid upon the cover of ur book, I felt this overwhelming feeling that I needed to get this book.

    I was and still am going through a very difficult time of my life and I feel more or less alone and find that there is no one so far that I am able to seek wise counsel from. There are so many thoughts and regrets and doubts and insecurities bombarding my mind that sometimes I feel rather crazy and depressed. The more I thought of them, the more negative emotions I feel and it goes on a downward spiral more and more. I lost sight of objectiveness as the subjective clouded my vision more and more. Hope was starting to lose out, and I was starting to give up on life as well.

    I’ve read your book now and then when I have had the energy to, and its been inspiring and encouraging. I love how real you are with your troubles because the people that I have seen around me seem to be hiding behind a façade of ‘everything is going to be ok as long as you do these…’ and I cannot identify with them at all. The more I read your book, the more my life seems to be untangled and I know I felt and thought of certain things was because of a reason, I’m not crazy and I’m on the right path. It has started to sprout a little bud of excitement and that’s why I’m typing this.

    Thank you for your blessing and for being as real as you are. If you have any advice of how to do good at work as a child of God, I would really love to hear some.

    God bless,
    Petunia <3

    Reply
  41. Lisa

    These thoughts have flown through my head countless times. While I’m a confident woman on most areas in life, it seems like the hardest blows come when it’s the very specific thing you feel like you’re created to do. The passion feels intense and so when someone says ‘no’ to that it’s so confusing. But…I’m thankful for your heart and continued pressing into God’s call. That the shut door wasn’t a ‘no’ but “not that one…not this time!” Grace denied — future grace supplied 🙂

    Reply
  42. Jennifer Dougan

    This is so encouraging. Thanks, Lysa.

    I was at She Speaks in 2010 or 2011 and I loved it. I’m working on my book proposal and I’ll be back. Hopefully summer 2016.

    Have a great week,
    Jennifer Dougan
    http://www.jenniferdougan.com

    Reply
  43. Liz

    I’ve been thanking God for bringing me into this season I am in now for my writing but it’s taken 20 years! I’ve been writing since I was in my 20’s and I’ve held on to my writing because I was NOT supposed to send manuscripts off in my 20’s or 30’s. I wasn’t mature enough, ready for change, wise enough and I most certainly had not walked with The Lord the way I have now. He has been working on me all these years, teaching me how to be patient, letting me struggle and many times sending blessings my way. Many times, I wasn’t positioned where I was supposed to be to receive his blessings. So many things I did not know or understand back then. What a refreshing reminder after reading this post about God letting us “simmer” just a bit longer for things (for me 20 plus years.) if I could tell my younger self something, I would say, “don’t give up, trust that The Lord wants what you want more than you do, and there will be a season for you-one day.” Thank you Lysa!!

    Reply
  44. S. P.

    Thank you for this post, but I’m not sure what God has planned for me. I seem to have no passions, and I have no direction for my life. I’m in the position of being suspicious that God doesn’t have a spectacular plan for me, but I’m terrified to give up hope about it because I’ve been there before and I know where it leads. I’m filled with despair, and I wish I knew what to do.

    But thank you for your posts and books. I really do like them 🙂 Thank you.

    Reply
  45. Leah K.

    This was for me. What an encouragement! …And to think, you almost gave up. 🙂

    Reply
  46. Sarah

    If only you knew how much I needed to read this. I’ve been trying so hard just to start writing only to have the enemy show me how much I “couldn’t do it”, using excuses like, “You’re a new mom and the baby comes first”, “you can’t even get your house clean, when will you have time to write”, and even “it’s a stupid idea. Just like all the others you’ve had that have FAILED”! I wish I had been able to read this when I first got the calling to write. I think it would’ve saved me a lot of heartache and tears… or at least have been a reminder that God’s timing is different than my own. Thank you, Lysa. Thank you for being such an amazing woman of God, an incredible encourager, an excellent role model, and on top of all that, for being real and honest. You just don’t know how much it means to young women like me.

    Reply
  47. Audra

    Please pray for me. I am confident that God has a plan for me. I’m in a struggle. Maybe even a spiritual battle. I don’t know what’s going on. I do lkniw that I need provision. I am a highly skilled and trained nurse. I am out of work. I am desperately seeking income. Doors are consistently shut in my face. No, no, no and more no! This happened once before from 2008-2011 and we lost our home… I don’t want to go down this road again. I know God has plans for me and wants to bring financial freedom and abundance to me and my family! According to hHis word! I’m going to pray this through. I need help. Prayer warriors to come along side me. I refuse to stay in this bondage. I must have a breakthrough. Thank you Lysa, and anyone and everyone else praying. God is good. I am praising Him anyway. Thank you. Thank you so very much. God bless.

    Reply
  48. Jessica

    This post says exactly what I am going through right now. This post gives me the encouragement and motivation to keep pursuing what God has called me to do and to continue to grow and trust in his word. I thank God that you did not give up.

    Reply
  49. Sheila

    Lysa, I just read your message on “Encouragement for Today” about the rejection letter.
    I’d like to order about 500 reprints of this — I’m planning on wallpapering my writing studio with them!! LOL Seriously, I pray this devotion is on the top of the stack when I get my first rejection letter. I know it’s coming and I plan to be brave, but when I’m not I’m definitely thankful I’ll have your words of encouragement to fall back on.
    Can’t wait for She Speaks, hope to get a chance to meet you there.

    Reply
  50. Susan

    Hello Lysa
    We have never met though I subscribe to Proverbs 31 and enjoy reading the e mails I receive.
    My story is a little different to yours. I had no urge to write or instruction from God to do so but I am in print, one chapter of a compilation book, and my contribution is about income tax of all things. I saw a picture of someone representing a cause I wanted to help in the November and in the following spring “out of the blue” along came an appeal from a publisher for an author to write a section of a book due to be printed in July, from scratch. I would not have dared take on the responsibility of writing the whole section of the book the publisher needed, but He seemed happy with the one chapter which I wrote which then enabled me to give the gift of my first attempt at writing back to Him and tick a few other boxes that needed ticking.
    That having been said, I love playing with words and the art of communicating clearly and with skill. I suppose it shows that God can use Christians to write about all manner of things and not just “religious” subjects and you never know when your call to write may come or indeed what it may be about .
    Take care and have a lovely Easter vacation.

    Reply
  51. Jessica Campasino

    Lysa,
    Tears here today as I read these prophetic words. I’m glad God takes His time with us. I’m encouraged to know today that He does have a plan for me and the rest of these women here who have poured out their hearts. I’m in the middle of the “one million slow moments of revelation and maturity” process. It’s painful at times but I’d rather move forward now than look back over time and see how I could have progressed. Thank you for the encouragement in Christ and the galvanization to keep on keeping on! I will be checking out She Speaks! God bless you.

    Reply
  52. Lauren Benson

    Wow. I stumbled across this (after following you on Facebook for ages), and your words really, truly rattled me. It was actually Proverbs 31 that turned me down, about three years ago. The writer of that rejection e-mail told me I was too angry to be a writer on God’s side (paraphrasing). Or at least, that’s what I took from the e-mail. Like you, I’ve had countless doors slammed in my face, my heart shattered, doubts. Like you, I’ve put that dream in a drawer, assumed I was mistaken about this dream, and made some tacos. 🙂 And like you I think I’ve come to the conclusion that timing is of the essence. I don’t know what God has in store for me. So I continue to dabble in writing and continue to more than dabble in this faith journey. I’ve discovered some other gifts that compliment my writing, and I’m beginning to have an inkling what those gifts might culminate into. And I like to think I’m not so angry anymore — that’s been my prayer anyway. 🙂

    Thanks, Lysa, for your words of encouragement. I hope some day I too can be published. If it really is God’s will — if not, then God will use me. I trust that.

    Reply
  53. nombongo

    Your words ALWAYS inspire me! Thanks for being at His service. Stay blessed!

    Reply
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