Wednesday, October 11, 2017

It Should've Been Me

Today's post is so honest and hard that I hesitate to even write it. Because it's a rough-around-the-edges type of message that we all relate to, yet we all want to hide from. But I believe the Lord has something in this, so here it goes.

Four little words.

I don't care if you're an editor, a marketing director, an award-winning author, or a new writer with really big dreams. If you're further than six months into this journey, you've thought these four little words and you've felt them deep into your being.

It. Should've. Been. Me.

Can we get honest here? Because this is the ugly lie we've all caught ourselves believing.

Maybe it was a writing award. Maybe a promotion. Maybe the elusive book contract at the house of your dreams.

You've been chasing down this thing, and you've been hopeful, and you've been waiting expectantly. And then word comes that despite all the wishing and all the waiting and all the working, you aren't the one getting your dream. And maybe--even worse--someone else is living your dream (how dare they?!).

It bites.

Right? I mean, it does. And we all need to acknowledge that disappointment is inevitably going to sting. But at some point, we have to proverbially dust ourselves off and acknowledge something.

God does not dwell, nor does He gift, in scarcity.

See, the problem with our thinking is we begin to develop a victim mentality. Maybe we don't acknowledge it aloud, but each time we see the cover of that book that beat us in a contest or ousted us for a contract, our hearts constrict with longing. Longing is natural. But jealousy is ugly. We must carefully guard our hearts against the belief we are victims of circumstance, living in a realm of scarcity. For God does not dwell in scarcity, but in abundance. And God does not gift us in scarcity either.

If you are writing in response to God's calling in your life, you do not dwell in scarcity. Why would the God who created the universe be limited by contest feedback or a promotion or an acquisitions meeting? The Lord's plans are so much greater, friends.

So I want to encourage you--even as I encourage myself--to shift your thinking today from the perspective of scarcity to a perspective of abundance.

The big-picture verse for my current story is Psalm 66:12b. It reads:

"We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance." 

You can trust the shepherd of your soul with your writing journey, just as you can trust Him with your life's journey. That's not to say it's always easy. That's not to say disappointment won't come and that the fire and flood won't overwhelm you. But He will bring you through, because He is the giver of all good things. Rejection does not define you. Your calling and your passion do.

And if the Lord has brought us into a place of abundance, who are we to live as if we've anything less?


Ashley Clark writes romance with southern grace. She's dreamed of being a writer ever since the thumbprint-cookie-days of library story hour. Ashley has an M.A. in English and enjoys teaching literature courses at her local university. She's an active member of ACFW and runs their newcomer's loop. When she's not writing, Ashley's usually busy rescuing stray animals and finding charming new towns. You can find Ashley on her personal blog, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. She is represented by Karen Solem.


Angie Dicken said...

I am so proud of you for writing this, and it's something I need to print out and tape to every mirror in my house! What beautiful truth and honesty here! Thank you for sharing your heart, and no doubt, the heart of many many writers out there--mine included! ��

kaybee said...

Ashley, this is profound and painful. Thank you for sharing it. "Hope deferred makes the heart sick," I think that's in Proverbs somewhere, and that's why we need to guard our hearts. He has something wonderful for us, but it may not be when we think it will come or in the form we think it will come. PTW, that's why I like the Alley and Seekerville. There is Genuine Rejoicing when someone succeeds.
Thanks for putting this out there.
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

Ashley, I meant BTW, not PTW. Sheesh. I don't even know what PTW means.

Beth K. Vogt said...

Brava, my friend.
Honesty like yours allows all of us to breathe deep ... to come out of hiding -- whether we're afraid to celebrate our victories too loudly (or at all) or whether we're afraid to express our disappointments. As believers who are writers, I would hope we can be a safe place for both victory and (momentary or ongoing) defeat. Both happen in this world -- and we need to help one another look for God's abundance.

Robin E. Mason said...

i have to confess a wee bit of jealousy sometimes... and those four words sometimes translate to "what's wrong with me?" but they mean the same thing. thank you Ashley for sharing such a vulnerable post, for being so transparent. that ictim mentality isolates us and it's good to know that a) we're not alone in this journey, and b) Father has our path in His hand.

Ashley Clark said...

Lol, Angie! Just make sure the stickers have my face on them because that'd be awesome.

Ashley Clark said...

Kathy, SO true! Isn't it amazing how many emotions you can feel at once?!

Ashley Clark said...

Beth, yes and yes!!! Because emotions are oh-so-real, yet so is the hope and freedom of life for God's glory.

Ashley Clark said...

Yessssss, Robin! We all do. Because our hearts need reasons when disappointment hits-- ways to make sense of it. But how encouraging that God is not limited as the author of OUR stories.