Today I signed a publishing contract for my first novel with Koehler Books, the fiction imprint of Morgan James Publishing, a NYC-based business publisher. Of the 5,000 manuscripts they receive yearly, they only publish about 125. Since this is my first novel, I feel humbled to be one of the chosen. I’m grateful to get in the door at a time when the publishing industry is clamping down. The other Koehler Books fiction authors I contacted as part of my research all felt the same.
The journey to this point was arduous and patience-inducing. The market tilted and changed from 2009, when I wrote this supernatural-speculative story, until today. Four years ago it wasn’t time. Now it is. But the waiting was difficult. Since starting this blog in August 2011, I have written many times about the struggle. Last summer, as I dug this manuscript out again to revise one more time, I penned this in my journal:
“Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch” (Ps. 5:1-3 ESV).
David-like I must psalm today. I’m overwhelmed. Learning patience is difficult.
My heart seizes within me, straining for a breakthrough. Arms weakening, I dangle over the precipice, gripping the edge, hope sliding away, fingers slipping. Despair rises.
I don’t want to fall into the black pit again. Lord, how do I hold on?
If it’s your will, dangle me. Mold me into the woman you want me to be. Do whatever it takes. You’ve done it before. Once again, you have me in the place where I can’t rely on my own strength, where I must depend on yours, where you have to do the holding. This secures me to your side.
I yield. I give you all of me to pummel or to pamper, to stretch or to relieve. Do as you will.
Create in me a clean heart, O Lord. Forgive and purify my self-reliant heart, my arrogance and impatience that prompt this lesson over and over again. Make me what you want me to be, a slave effective for your service, a child representative of your family, a daughter thriving in your kingdom.
I am weak, and you are strong. Catch me when my fingers slip. Grip my wrists when my grasp weakens. Don’t let me fall again. Show yourself strong and miraculous! Provide relief!
I trust in you. In you alone do I secure my hope. You alone can open doors, throw wide windows, provide sustenance, enliven hearts, and dry eyes. Yank me up over the precipice into your arms, into the path you have for me.
Thank you, Lord, that you always, only, and ever do what’s best for me, that you move in the most glorious way, that you work out your will on the earth. Thank you that nothing can thwart your good purposes. You reign forever, and all your acts flow from your great love for me.
“In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life…nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8: 37-39 NIV).
Today, I arrive at this contract signing having been sifted and shredded. I have been humbled, and I have grown. My blog postings show my trek through despair and frustration to yielding and focusing on Christ alone and his will for my life.
And now, having brought me to the place of yieldedness, God has opened the door, and I have walked through. The contract is signed. Let the editing begin. I now face the next test—balance while editing, marketing, and publishing! Undoubtedly, I will learn much in the process.
How has the Lord taught you character through waiting?
Second image from: http://creationswap.com. Third and fourth image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net