Tom Petty sang, “The waiting is the hardest part.” He captured in lyrics what we know from experience – the agony of the wait.
Last summer I experienced waiting in a completely different way, as hope. A publisher was considering my manuscript on works of mercy. We began conversations in June, and she presented the manuscript to her Acquisitions Committee in August.
In the time between, the waiting, I was so excited to have the opportunity. I felt like everything was coming full circle and that God really did have a plan for me. I worked hard polishing the chapters and helped put together a marketing plan, but I wasn’t anxious. Instead, I felt like I was in a pale pink bubble, not made by a fairy-tale godmother, but by God himself. I was on the cusp of a dream, closer than I ever thought possible. Instead of feeling like the waiting was the hardest part, I wanted to remain in it. It seemed too painful to be so close and experience rejection. For the first time in a long time, I felt genuine hope. I would have been content to float on that hope for the rest of my life.
The Bible says that hope does not disappoint, and maybe it doesn’t. But rejection does. Rejection hurt in a way that I didn’t think possible. The bubble burst, tears fell, and the glory of the wait was over. The publisher liked my writing and my subject, but they wanted me to have more “followers,” more popularity, before they reconsidered publishing.
And I get it. That’s how the industry works. If you are a social media darling, if you are a virtual superstar, you are virtually set. That wasn’t me, and, those weren’t my ambitions.
I wanted to write a book about works of mercy because I genuinely believe in their capacity to better the world. I want people to read it, because it is worthy, not because I am good at writing witty captions on Facebook.
Mr. Petty, God rest your soul, I would have done anything to go back to the waiting, to the hope. But what I’ve relied on since then is faith: in works of mercy, my goal, and God. It’s been nothing like floating on hope. It’s been messier, mountainous, and just plain hard. I’ve wanted to quit, to climb so far underneath the covers of defeat that no one would ever be able to get me out of bed.
But where hope is floating; faith is a foundation. It catches me before I fall. Its grip gives me the strength to move forward, and I’ve been awed by its capacity to hold me upright.
I’d rather be in the waiting, in the hope. But right now, I am letting my faith carry me and it hasn’t been the hardest part. I think that would be a life without faith. Free falling.
This is where I write something to engage you so that you leave a comment. How about leaving a comment? 🙂
Miss last week’s post? Read here.