This post, from my lovely friend, Greer Oharah, is the first post of our Take One Step Series here on the Art of Adventure blog. Starting now through November, you will hear from six different women about their one small step. It is our hope that you will be encouraged to see your tiny, seemingly insignificant steps everyday as the backdrop for the miraculous, and the pathway of a beautiful adventure. Perhaps God isn’t waiting for us to take adrenaline-pumping, picture-worthy leaps of faith, but to simply put one foot in front of the other, with childlike expectation, everyday. Where is He inviting you to take one step, to break fear’s power, and trust Him with the outcome?
I’m sitting at the kitchen table, my eyes staring blearily at an open document. The tea in my mug has become lukewarm and the passion in my belly is following suit. The idea that seemed so grand, so bold, so sure in the shower has been transferred into actual words and as I look at them I wonder if there’s anything actually worth reading. I edit a few sentences, tweak some paragraphs, delete words here and add others there. Still those thousand words sit there, entirely less perfect than I had envisioned, increasingly more vulnerable than I feel comfortable with. I down a few more sips of that no-longer-hot-tea and read over the words one last time. I hold my breath, copy and paste them into a google doc form, press submit, and close my laptop, exhaling as the proposal is no longer in my control.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember. But, as adult-life often turns out, it is much harder to break into the writing world than I had envisioned as a ten-year-old writing fiction in my childhood bedroom. I thought I would be “discovered” by now. That a publisher would find my words on my blog, among the billions on the internet, and decide I was his next best-seller. That at least one of my posts would be viral by now. But that is not my reality. Most days being a writer feels like being an aspiring Broadway actor and a house realtor in an overpopulated market, flailing through auditions in front of stiff-faced judges and showing properties to picky buyers. There are a lot of words out there and to put mine alongside them isn’t as easy as I thought.
Two days before submitting this last proposal I received this email from an editor at another site: “Dear Greer, thank you for sharing your words with us. We don’t want them.” I’m sure it was written more politely than this, but this is how it feels when you spend hours of your precious life crafting words to share with others only to have them dismissed.
I didn’t feel motivated to sit back down and write another proposal. I didn’t feel worthy. I didn’t feel good enough. I didn’t feel like I had any sort of a chance.
And yet, there I was, butt in chair, writing again.
I have yet to hear back about my proposal. There’s a high likelihood that I won’t receive so much as a rejection letter and those words that I labored over will be left to float around the internet. Or maybe I’ll get another “Dear Greer, we don’t want your words,” email in my inbox.
But I clicked submit anyway.
I clicked submit because I believe God wants me to write.
And when God puts something on your heart – a message, a calling, a dream, a vision – what option is there but to go after it with all that you have? In the beginning it feels exciting, like our own epic adventure. But then that rejection letter comes. We think we’re doing something wrong.
If we were supposed to be writers someone would have noticed us by now, right? But maybe we have the whole adventure mixed up. Maybe the adventure isn’t supposed to be this exhilarating ride to success. Maybe it looks like putting one foot in front of the next, day after day, doing the next right (and often small and unseen) thing. Maybe it looks like clicking submit one more time.
What would it look like for you to let go of the fear of rejection, to take one more step…again?
Papa God, Don’t let me give up too easily. Place within me a desire to keep traveling with you. Rejection has tried to discourage me and fear wants to keep me stuck in lies. Release in me an excitement and an expectation to take one step with you. To try again. To explore the unknown with you. In Jesus name, Amen.