Sunday, September 1, 2013

rejection of the Story

{via pinterest}
there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you :: maya angelou 

i haven't started a blog post with a quote in a long while. but this, this one, i felt was all too appropriate for my soul-season right now. 

i have a lot of emails sitting in my inbox right now. one of them is one that has been sitting there since February of 2011. i can't bring myself to delete it, even though i really really really really want to, more than even i realize. 

it's my very first novel rejection letter.

frankly, it wasn't all that surprising. the publisher had asked for my first fifty pages of my {still} unfinished fantasy novel, and i had sent it along with a small shred of trepidation in my heart. and i heard back. they thought it was wonderful. they used words like "brilliant" and "beautiful imagery" and "radiant." 

but it just wasn't for them. 

and i cried. it was the strangest most painful compliment i'd ever received. it was as though they were saying :: your work is good, great even. it's just not good enough. 

i never finished the novel. it's still sitting in my WORD file, completely untouched since that rejection letter arrived in my inbox more than two years ago. 

part of me wonders if it's because i needed to let it die, like a stone-pile monument to the moment i realized that i was officially a rejected writer {rejected as in, a right of passage to have your words turned down}. but then, maybe it was because i got scared. maybe the idea of a monument, a reminder, was romantic in a strange sort of way, and i was okay with leaving it like that instead of facing that fact that rejection sucks and i wasn't looking forward to dealing with it ever again. 

which, as a writer, is laughable. 

which, as a human, is laughable. 

rejection comes, like brutal hammers or like shards of glass in your shoe. it's there, banging down your door, right in your face. it's there, whispering quiet doubts that borrow deep into your soul and lodge there, eating you up into nothing until your story shrivels away into broken twisted stems. 

no light, no air, no water :: the story dies. 

{via pinterest}
and so i'm writing again. it's September. there's a thousand things happening this month, so many challenges laid out on the road in front of me like Turkish Delight, tempting and covered in powdered sweetness. it's a luring concept to take them as excuses to just not write, to just let the story lay "one more day." 

but there's a table laid out before me, gleaming and right, brimming with love and light by the Hand of the Lion with enemies and rejection pressing at the edges. but He growls so low into my soul. 

courage, dearheart
I have known you long. 

and i dine for strength. and my laptop perches gently on His broad back. i write, and He leaps over the kingdom of darkness until we rest on a beach with the gently cresting waves giving me glimpses into His Country across the sea. and i dip my toes into the Light-Water. 

and the Story puts out leaves. 

{want to enter a community of Story, of grace, of Jesus, of growth? Jesus found me in story 101. are you ready to take the leap? you won't regret it.}


  1. Dear Rachel
    Keep on writing, dear friend! Your words just as it is, always have a mystical quality about them even if you write a post! Remind yourself about about things like Albert Einstein that was, according to his teachers, to dumb to finish school. That didn't bother him, or if it did, he didn't allow it to stand in its way!
    Blessings XX

  2. Don't give up, friend. I've had more rejections in my in-box than I can count - and many not nearly as glowing as yours! Your voice is unique, your story is yours and His and your spirit is beautiful, friend. Don't give up.

  3. I believe all the greatest people had been rejected or didn't succeed first time or many times. The secret is not giving up. It is your passion. So just write and enjoy the writing and wait for God's perfect timing:)

  4. Don't give up my friend. I believe this dream will be realized! Trust Him. His timing really is perfect!

  5. I loved this post! I haven't yet finished my manuscript to be sent off, so I can't imagine how it will feel to get a rejection letter because I know rejection letters come with the field of work. Not everyone is going to 'get you' and what you have to say but that's okay, someone will. So I love that you haven't given up and are back at it. I'm just truckin' away each day on mine. Cheers to writing the story we want heard!

  6. Rachel,
    Don't give up...I am glad you are writing...I'm impressed you even sent it out because I have not reached that level of bravery plus I don't have a manuscript...keep writing as God leads you :)


I look at you and see all the ways a soul can bruise, and I wish I could sink my hands into your flesh and light lanterns along your spine so you know there's nothing but light when I see you. :: Shinji Moon