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If it weren’t for a slamming door—a rejection in my life—you most likely wouldn’t be reading this right now.

In the fall of 2017, I attended my first writer’s conference. I had high hopes for that conference. Although I’d dabbled in writing over the years, I hadn’t seriously pursued it. But that year, I started dreaming.

I had completed a fiction manuscript, and I’d worked up the courage to pitch it to an agent at the conference. My mind whirled with the possibilities.

What if the agent liked my book? What if she offered to be my agent? What if she found an interested publisher?

What if I got published????

The last few years of my life had been full of heartache and disappointment. Not just little stuff, but life-altering things like becoming a single mom, moving internationally, having to work long hours to provide for my children, and frankly, not having a whole lot of “fun” going on.

I kinda figured I was due for God to drop a big, happy blessing in my lap.

Being a first-time attendee at the conference, I was only guaranteed one agent appointment. I took great care as I meticulously prepared for my appointment. I practiced my presentation, made sure my one-sheet (a one-page description of my book) was polished to perfection, and prayed earnestly for God’s blessing.

I walked into that appointment with great expectations, certain God would open doors for me.

My appointment lasted all of four minutes. The agent was very kind, but not interested. She bid me a hurried good-bye, then ducked into the nearest ladies room.

Wow, was my one chance at getting this book published thwarted by the call of nature?

Was my book terrible? Should I quit? Why did I spend all that money to come to this conference anyway?

Didn’t you hear any of my prayers, God?

I was severely disappointed. I headed back to my room to lick my wounds.

I spent some time in prayer (and I admit, some time feeling sorry for myself), and then headed out to my next workshop. I decided since I came all this way and spent so much money, I might as well make the best of it.

The rest of the conference was incredible. I learned how to craft interesting stories and to use words more effectively. I learned how much I didn’t know about writing. I made new friends. I learned how to better connect with my readers.

But still, the rejection stung. When I returned home, I put both my novel and my dreams of writing fiction on the shelf for awhile.

But the writing bug wouldn’t go away. (Funny how God keeps prodding us until we listen, isn’t it?)

I began writing weekly devotionals. I submitted an article to Regular Baptist Press, which was accepted and published. They even asked me for more articles. Encouraged, I began to write regularly.

The weekly posts turned into daily devotionals, and a new ministry was born. A ministry that God intended for me all along.

If that agent had accepted my proposal, this blog and my daily devotionals on Facebook wouldn’t have happened. What I thought was a door slammed in my face was really God directing me down a different path.

The path He had for me all along.

I don’t know what God has in the future for my writing. Perhaps I will publish a book one day. But for now—right now—I know beyond any doubt that I’m supposed to be using my words to encourage the hearts of God’s children. I know I’m supposed to be doing this. 

My friend, sometimes the rejections sting. The closed doors bring tears. The disappointments bring pain.

But don’t give up. Don’t despair.

What appears to be a door slamming in your face is just God directing you down a different road.

It’s okay to feel the disappointment and shed a few tears, but don’t stay there too long.

Look around. When God closes a door, He’s trying to tell you something. Keep your heart tuned to His voice and your eyes open for the next step He wants you to take.

It could be just around the corner, and it might just surprise you.

 

“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21)

“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” Psalm 32:8