For a long time, it was just Lu & Me, so now that people are reading the book and passing it on and recommending it, it’s fun.
But this is also happening:
I can’t thank you enough for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your good words with us. Unfortunately, we could not find a place for your piece in the magazine.
… [the sound of silence (queue Simon & Garfunkel)]
Rejection makes me feel small – not exactly the swagger I wanted to muster this past Friday as I trolled Lu about greater Cincinnati. I already knew requesting book real estate at these places would be a reach, and I received this rejection right before I was about to leave. With me feeling so small, it felt impossible.
“Because,” you say, “even teeny little ants can climb the table to get the food.” (Interesting metaphor you’re offering, BTW)
“But I don’t have sticky pads on my hands and feet,” I remind you. I couldn’t even climb the rope in gym class. Or do a chin-up. Or a real push-up … and now we’re off-topic thanks to your metaphor.
I leaned my head against my chair, closing my eyes to block the rejection email and trying not to think about all the other unanswered ones still in limbo.
“I don’t want to do this,” I whispered.
And then … that’s what you’re waiting for, right? I certainly was – the point where scripture hit me like a magic bullet, and I remembered who I was and went forth in confidence as a child of God.
Except that scripture doesn’t work like that for me. Ibuprofen is the pill I take when my head pounds. Coffee is the drink I swig when I need a pick-me up. Music is the tune I play when I want to dance like no one is watching. But scripture?
Scripture is why I can admit I feel small and stay there for a while.
Scripture is why I can confess, “I don’t want to do this,” without a next step.
In a world that spins everything – fake it ‘til you make it, find the most important person in the room and stand next to her – scripture stops me and calls me to account. I turned to Romans 4.
Against all hope Abraham in hope believed. Without weakening in his faith. He did not waver, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
I did feel small. I didn’t want to do this. And I could be honest about all of it.
I looked down at my left wrist, where more often than not I wear the bracelet I bought myself after I finished the first draft of Lu. On worn leather sits the one word, the one reason, I attempted such a thing. Faith.
“You didn’t want to write this book, either,” I reminded myself. “Writing it often made you feel small.”
“So what’s it going to be?”
Because that’s the paradox. This scripture that makes us stand still? There’s no standing still in it. Either you believe it’s true and move on, or you believe something else and head another way.
I got out of my chair, resolved to get to it. But first, eyeliner. And a curler to tame the frizz. Then, I packed the books in my car and left for Cincinnati.
Winning makes for a great story, but not without this start.