Monday, April 20, 2009
Guest Blogger: Janelle Mowery
I’m about to give away my age, but do you remember that TV game show Let’s Make a Deal? That’s right. The one where contestants sit with so many others, yelling and waving their arms, hoping to get noticed by Monty Hall? When chosen, the contestant is asked which door they prefer. . .door number one, two, or three. . .never knowing for certain what awaited them once they made their selection.
I see publishing as something quite similar. So often we do everything we can to get noticed. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s our job. Work hard to get our writing to its absolute best, then wave it around to get it noticed. The trouble comes when we barge into the doors before invited, not truly caring what’s behind them, just so long as they open.
When I first started trying to publish my stories, I ran into so many doors, I felt fairly certain my face must look like a heavyweight boxer after fifteen rounds. Well, that’s not exactly true. I had a brief open window that had me flying with hope until it, too, closed and I smacked into it just like the birds that hit my windows from time to time. Though at the time it was difficult to admit, my writing wasn’t ready. Spiritually, neither was I. You see, I was trying to get published on my own. . .my plan, my way, my timing. That just never works out well. But God let me know I wasn’t to give up. I just hadn’t taken all the right steps yet. The steps God wanted and planned for me to take. As I look back at them now, I am humbled and amazed.
I continued working hard, learning all I could, and applying everything to my manuscripts, and then sending out those manuscripts. Then the call came. It was Susan Downs, editor for Barbour’s new mystery line, announcing that she wanted to contract the story I coauthored with Elizabeth Ludwig. God had opened a door. There’s nothing quite so pleasing as waiting on the Lord’s timing.
Much too soon, that door closed when Barbour announced they were going to end the new mystery line. I won’t say I wasn’t deeply disappointed. I was. But I had seen for myself the way God works. We serve an awesome God. Within two weeks after that first door closed, God opened another one. Harvest House wanted to contract my three book historical series.
In one of the articles Kim Vogel Sawyer posted for Writes of Passage, she said, “He always has my best interests at heart. Whatever He plans for me is better than anything I could plan for myself, and it also brings blessing. Which means it's always worth waiting for.” And in another post, she says, “Worship HIM and watch doors of goodness swing wide!” She also mentioned a song by the group This Hope called "Break My Plans" that touched her heart. It absolutely grabbed hold of mine. Take a moment to listen.
God’s way is always best. Give Him your plans, your heart, your will. If our Lord is working on building us mansions, certainly a few doors and windows won’t give him any problems.
Editor Du Jour Becky