Tuesday, November 06, 2012

A Timely Disappointment

I just got today's mail.  On top was a letter addressed to me in my own handwriting, a self-addressed, stamped envelope being returned to me.  My heart skipped a beat.  It was a reply from the literary agent who had been recommended to me at the writer's conference I attended in September.  I had sent her a manuscript that I have been working on and shopping around for years.  Slowly and methodically, I opened the envelope and scanned the letterhead stationery.  I stopped when my eyes found the word 'unfortunately.'  It was another 'no thank-you' letter.

I have received so many of them at this point that I don't react very strongly anymore, but I had held out higher hope for this one, since it came on a recommendation from someone within the industry.  I sighed.

As I mused on the matter, I realized that it was very timely to receive that letter today.  Regarding this query to the literary agent, I did what I could.  I worked hard on making sure my manuscript was as good as I could possibly make it.  I wrote an excellent cover letter.  I had a personal recommendation of an agent who might be able to market it to publishing houses.  I put it in the mail with the proper postage and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.  I jumped through all the hoops.  I did everything I could possibly do to make sure this one was a success.

But it didn't turn out the way I had hoped.

How do I respond?  Do I become despondent?  Bitter?  Angry?  Do I give up all hope of ever seeing any of my work published?  Do I allow myself to believe that this is it--the end of all my hopes and dreams?  Is everything ruined and my future in jeopardy?

Of course not.  That would be silly, you say.  You did what you could do and it didn't turn out the way you had hoped, you say.

If you are a Christian, you may even say things like, "Sorry it didn't work out the way you had hoped, but don't despair--God has a bigger plan than this one thing.  He knows the plans he has for you, and His purposes cannot be thwarted.  Perhaps God is doing a greater work in you through this disappointment.  He is still on the throne and is so much bigger than our circumstances."  You might say those things, right?

No matter how this election turns out, and no matter who you voted for, remember these things.  Whichever side wins, it is likely not the end of the world for those who are disappointed in the outcome.  Conversely, it is likely not the great hope of the future for those who celebrate the results.

God uses all sorts of bizarre circumstances to further His kingdom.  Trust Him.

Do what you can, yes.  By all means, educate yourself, be an informed citizen and VOTE!  We have this freedom and privilege and it should not be squandered.  But if things don't turn out like you had hoped, don't despair.  Trust.  And pray for our leader, for the 'king' that God has allowed to be appointed to this position of leadership.  There is a bigger plan at work.  God is still on the throne and His purposes cannot be thwarted.

Sigh a little, yes, but then move on.


1 comment:

Jeannie said...

Good post, Sherry!
Sorry to hear your disappointing news.
Do you realize I will see you again next week? Wow!