Don't Stop Believing

When God nudged me to attend my first writer’s conference, I signed up then freaked out. The weekend of the conference, I showed up with quaking knees and sweaty armpits, hoping I’d find the courage to speak with an actual editor, agent, or publisher without throwing up.

God was gracious to me, and I met some wonderful, kind, encouraging people in the publishing world. The following week I immediately began writing articles and submitting them to various publications, as I’d been instructed.

But week after week passed with no responses.

And then, the rejections trickled in.

I wanted to quit. All this writing was a lot of work—for nothing.

Frustrated, I told my husband we had to pray. For six months I had been faithfully writing and submitting, yet nothing was happening. And I was okay with that. Except that it was a lot of work for this homeschooling mom. And I couldn’t see the point of working so hard doing what God had clearly told me to do, only to be met with the sound of chirping crickets—or worse—rejection.

As we clasped hands to pray, I inhaled and a flood of words rushed out. “God, please show me if I should continue writing. I’m only doing this because You told me to, and this is a lot of work for me. You know I’m a slow writer and …”

Don’t grow weary in well doing.

The words were clear and encouraging, like my grandfather’s voice when he taught me to swim by repeatedly stepping backwards as I stroked toward him in the pool. Exhausted, I’d sputter and reach out for him, but he’d already moved back a step. Then he’d smile and say, Come on, you can do it. Just a little further.

Two weeks later I received my first acceptance. That year, many more of my articles were accepted for publication.

You may not be pursuing publication like me. Perhaps you’re waiting for a job. Or believing God to intervene in your marriage. Maybe you're fighting health issues. Or maybe you’re just about to give up on a dream God placed in your heart.

I don’t know what you’re hoping for, but I’m linking arms with you today and reminding you that with God, all things are possible. Keep paddling forward, sweet friend, you can do it. Trust that God is at work.

Don’t give up.

Don’t stop believing. 

And as for you, brethren, do not become weary or lose heart in doing right, but continue in well-doing without weakening. (2 Thessalonians 3:13)


Susan said...

Thanks for sharing that, Julie. I have to admit that I let the crickets and the rejections stall me: I quit submitting things. I keep writing and working on my blog posts, but I honestly don't know whether to pursue publication or just blog and encourage my other writer friends. I seem to do a decent enough job at that ;)

I won't stop believing and I won't give up. I just don't know which way to go!

Cheryl Barker said...

Julie, I think we all need to hear the don't give up, don't stop believing message in some area of our lives. Such strengthening words and scripture -- thanks for sharing them!

By the way, I'm a slow writer, too! :)

Julie Gillies said...

Susan, I'll be praying this week for God to give you clarity of direction.

And Cheryl, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only
s-l-o-w writer. I'm in good company! :-)

Jeannette Duwe said...

Julie - I so appreciate your heart and this post. I've been reading The Circle Maker (Mark Batterson), and realized that I've not been CLAIMING the promise I believe God gave to me years ago concerning my writing. Realizing how integral prayer is in this whole process...otherwise we are doing it in our own strength. Thank you for sharing your encouraging story.

AmyAlves said...

Dear Julie,
Thanks for obeying... I'm always blessed by your writing. :) ~ Blessings out sister, Amy

Melanie Dorsey said...

Good encouragement! I've decided to concentrate on my writing this summer. I sent a query last week (need to send more) and I'm waiting on a reply. It is a lot of hard work and takes time from other necessary pursuits. But I'll keep plugging away.

Lelia Chealey said...

Love this Julie and knowing the heart it comes from makes it even more special. Thank you for the encouragement.

Lelia Chealey said...

And I love the visual of you learning from your Grandfather.

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