Ignore the one that yells.
One of my favorite scriptures is when Elijah ran to the wilderness to escape from Jezebel’s death threat after God had destroyed 500 of Baal’s prophets.
His own faith had taken a strong hit, and he wanted to die, for he felt as though he had failed the Israelites, and because people sought to kill him anyway.
And [the Lord] said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” – 1 Kings 19:11-13
Almost a year ago now, an agent I spoke to at the ACFW conference wanted me to send the first three chapters of my novels (three of them). After a few months, I heard nothing back. Six months later, still nothing.
Many have suggested that if you don’t hear back within a certain amount of time (unless their submission guidelines say different), it’s appropriate to email said client to verify they received your submission.
After six months I thought, “Perhaps I should send the agent an email.”
But that little voice I learned to trust a long time ago told me not to. So I didn’t. Every few weeks or so, I once again asked myself if I should. Again, the voice said no.
I figured it was God’s way of telling me to forget about it.
I received this email a few hours ago:
As we are coming up on conference season, I wanted to thank you so much for allowing me the time to read, research and consider your proposal. Unfortunately, at this time I’m going to pass on offering representation. The concept is strong and I like your writing, but I feel I am not the best agent to take this product forward into the marketplace.
I wish you all the luck on your journey to be published!
When I saw who the email came from, I admit my heart thudded a few times. For five seconds I gleefully entertained the idea that said agent agreed to represent my books.
As you can see, not this time. I still liked the email, though, especially the first half of the last sentence. I responded thusly:
Thank you so much for the response and comments. It’s always nice to hear positive (and negative for that matter) feedback on my writing, so I appreciate you taking the time to do so.
All the best to you and yours.
So was that “still small voice” God’s way of telling me to wait? I think so. Sure it resulted in news I didn’t necessarily want, but at the same time, it’s teaching me patience, and to trust that God’s timing isn’t the same as mine. The fact the agent liked both my concept and my writing gives me a boost of confidence I sorely need. Perhaps that was the point.