I woke up the other morning with an odd thought buzzing in my mind.
Thank God for the no’s and not yets.
It wasn’t as though I had just come through to the other side and gotten a glorious yes on my writing journey and was reflecting the beautiful tapestry created along the way. In fact, it was the opposite.
I’m slogging through the middle of seeking publication, trying stay focused and tame pesky discouragement. There are days I can’t see the steps ahead. Rejections line the path, softened with bits of encouragement. Keep going they say. But not yet. Not this project.
I’m not blogging today as one basking in glorious hindsight, but one in the midst of the land of “no.”
As I laid there in the still quiet hotel room, thanking God for the no’s and not yets, with my family sleeping all around me, peace descended. It wasn’t hindsight that brought me thankfulness. It was faith. Because though I am still waiting on some yeses, I know the no’s behind me have changed me. They’ve pushed me. And I’m not who I was when I started because of them.
I’ve become braver. Because to be rejected, I must have the courage to put myself out there in the first place. To let people lay eyes on work I hold so dear. Take risks. (Anyone else out there hate risk taking as much as me?)
The no’s and not yets have caused me to continually examine what I’m doing and why. To realize my writing is more than a hobby, it is part of what I was created to to do, regardless if it is accepted or rejected. I learned (okay the accurate tense is am learning if I’m being gut honest;)) those things because the path has been frustrating, and even discouraging at times. (I tried quitting or “taking a break” a few times, but it turns out I’m terrible at quitting.)
My work and my projects have improved because the path has been uphill. And I know it will continue. How thankful I am that my first attempts didn’t get an automatic yes….
Most of all, the “no’s and not yets” reinforce that I am not doing this alone, but with God. (And all my wonderful friends out there supporting me along the way. I’m talking to you, amazing people who keep me sane with your encouragement)
If I continue pressing onward, one day a yes will come, and honestly that terrifies me more than the “no’s.” Because “yes” takes me to a land of new and unfamiliar terrain. Outside of my comfort zone. Thrilling. Exciting. And scary. After the yes, there are different types off rejection. A place where any mistakes I make will be more exposed. For now, I’ll embrace this training ground. (Although sometimes I feel like my 5’2” self is standing in front of the crazy wall thing on American Ninja Warrior…stuck ;))
Whether you are a writer, painter, musician, or entrepreneur. Wherever you are on the journey–just starting, along the middle, or have just received a “yes.” Whatever your goal and area of ministry–take time to thank God for the no’s and not yets. After all, if you believe that He is guiding your path, then hasn’t He brought them to you for a reason? Not to discourage you, but to strengthen you. To cause you to dig deep and take hold of how much you believe in the calling God has given you. To help you reevaluate and refine why you do what you do. Let your no’s encourage, not discourage. They show you that you are on the path. Your working toward a goal. Something that matters. Otherwise those “no’s” wouldn’t sting so much.
In the comments, tell me about your hopes, dreams, and goals. I’d like to pray with you. Whether you are just getting started, you are somewhere in the middle, or you’ve gotten a yes you’ve been waiting for.
I’m going to give one commenter at random the hand painted watercolor featured at the top of the blog. If you would like to receive it, leave a preferred way for me to contact you should you be selected. Email address, Facebook , Twitter handle, Instagram handle….etc.
I’ll update this post with the when I chose the recipient one week from today.
July 6, 2018
Congrats, Amanda Wen! Blog art coming your way! Thanks everyone for stopping by and commenting.