Monday, June 21, 2010
A Reversal of Destiny
Missy Tippens, here. And I’m wondering if any of you has been at the point of giving up in your writing? Rough contest scores? (I once tied for 35th place out of 36 entries!) Rejection? Tough critique? And even if you’re published, have you had a proposal rejection that discouraged you? Well, read on, and I hope you’ll find some encouragement where I have.
I was blessed to take part in my first Beth Moore Bible study this past spring. We studied the book of Esther. An excellent study I highly recommend! I’ve always loved the book of Esther, but this study really opened my eyes to the idea of reversal of destiny.
Esther—a Jewish girl who hides her identity, becomes Queen of Persia and finds herself in a place where she has to risk her own life to try to save her people. You may be familiar with the verse in Chapter 4 where her guardian, Mordecai, charges her to intercede on behalf of their people (the end of verse 14): “Who knows? Perhaps you have come to royal dignity for just such a time as this.”
Several things Beth Moore said in the study really struck me. First off, the timing was awful for Esther. Her husband hadn’t called her to him in 30 days. So this is a huge expectation to ask her to risk her life in approaching the King. Plus, appealing to the King will reveal her identity as a Jew. But either way, she’s toast (since she’ll be annihilated with her people). So Esther was in quite a dilemma. But as Beth says, the worst time in the world for us just may be God’s time.
You know, the idea of destiny really appeals to me. It makes me feel as if there may be something big just around the corner (a new sale, an award, some fabulous recognition!). However, in the study, Beth says that the idea of destiny makes us feel special, BUT we’re put here with a purpose beyond ourselves. We, too, are here for some group of people.
--from Ephesians 1:11 Even when we’re blind to the evidence, God “works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will.”
--from Philippians 2:13 God “works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.”
Another thing Beth said that spoke to me was this: As God sheds light on our destiny, He often shines that light after a crisis. He often uses something to pivot us. And after the fact, we see that the crisis was critical to the path.
Have you ever felt like God spun you on your ear and sent your life in an entirely different direction? Like you had a reversal of destiny? I’m talking about in your writing or otherwise.
Before I sold, I had been writing for over ten years. Okay, I’ll admit it. It was actually more like 12 years. Along that journey, I nearly gave it all up several times, but each time, God provided some little encouragement that kept me going. And it’s really amazing how I got my first sale. An editor who’d had my submission for a while had left the company. I was so, so bummed when I heard the news she’d left and realized I had to give up on that manuscript. But then a wonderful editorial assistant found it and emailed me. And of course, that major pivot point led to two rounds of revisions and then The Call. (The Editorial Assistant is now an Assistant Editor, and more importantly—for me anyway—she’s MY wonderful editor!)
Recently, my critique partner, Lindi Peterson, shared an email with our F.A.I.T.H. blog group. She’d been having a tough time, feeling discouraged and down. But after listening to a sermon about being an encourager to others, and while praying/thinking, she heard this voice in her head: Do For Me
She was beside herself excited, feeling a renewal of her spirit. At the end of Lindi’s email she said of God, “He's paving the way for great and amazing things to happen for His glory.”
Later that same week, she got The Call. Yes, great and amazing things!
Mary Connealy shared with me a pivot point in her life. She says, “I remember so clearly reading a copy or Romance Writer's Report, the monthly magazine from Romance Writers of America, and seeing this tiny article announcing the beginning of Love Inspired. It was like a light bulb went on for me.I'd been writing for years already, and writing these CLEAN romances, and watching the market move steadily away from CLEAN. It was down to mostly just Silhouette Romances left that didn’t require (or, to me SEEM to require) premarital sex. And I wasn't going to write that. So that left me with ONE place to submit my books. And as I looked into Love Inspired I found the whole world of Christian fiction just opening up. And there I was with all these books written. They didn't have a faith thread but they had characters who conducted themselves as Christians. The faith thread was there, it was just unspoken. It was very easy to add it. It was a huge turning point in my writing career (though it still took me a long time to get published).”
And we all know how that story is turning out! :) Mary has published, what, like 5 gazillion books already??
So again, I’ll ask, has God turned you on your ear lately? If so, be encouraged that God is working. He has a plan, and He wants each of us to be a part of it! It may not be an easy path. And it very well may not be on our time schedule! (Do I hear an amen to that?) :) But God does have a purpose for each of us. We just need to remember it goes beyond us.
I’d love it if you’d share a turnaround story (it doesn’t have to be a first sale story). Or just share with us if you feel discouraged right now so that we can help cheer you up. And goodness, if you stayed with me this long, you deserve a prize! I’ll do a drawing for your choice of one of my books (as available) or any Steeple Hill book of your choice that’s available on e-harlequin when I order the prize. Please leave contact info if you’d like to be entered.
Missy Tippens’ next release for Steeple Hill Love Inspired, A Family for Faith, will be out in April 2011.