“I actually did it! I finished writing my first book!”
Like most writers will tell you, that is the easy part. Publishing your book is a different ball-game. And so began the submission process.
Rejection after rejection, I tried to guard my heart as much as possible from discouragement settling in and making its abode.
While I waited to get some hopeful news (somewhat growing impatient), I finally decided to turn my manuscript into an ebook and upload it on Amazon. Still longing to be signed by a traditional publisher, I continued submitting my manuscript.
Just when I didn’t think I could take reading one more disappointing emails, I received an email from a Christian book reviewer. She submitted a very encouraging and heart-felt review on Amazon after she downloaded my book during the week that I offered it for free. She also informed me that she passed on my information to a friend of hers who owned a small publishing company.
Immediately, he was in touch with me and already wanted to send me a contract!
I was floored!
I sent him my manuscript and within an hour, he emailed me the contract. I was hesitant, but figured the enemy was just trying to make me doubt my writing abilities.
My husband and I took our time reading through the contract. Nothing seemed to give us a red flag, so I signed it a couple days later and emailed it back.
I still had an uneasy feeling that only grew stronger, especially after I got an email back with their ideas for my new cover. I was so disappointed in what they thought was marketable.
My heart sunk.
What have I got myself into?
The very next morning (talk about strategic timing!), I received an email from the COO of another small, Christian publisher asking to speak to me about my manuscript I submitted to them. Although I was extremely excited to receive this good news, I now really felt torn inside.
Knowing that God is not the author of confusion or strife, I needed to seek Him in prayer. I decided to send the first publisher an email with my apologies for the inconvenience and asked to be released from the contract. I received a response within the hour granting my wish to void the contract. He was extremely understanding. Thank you, Jesus!
I then emailed the COO of this new publisher and we talked on the phone a few days later. We seemed to really have great rapport with each other right from the start. He had read my manuscript personally and had wonderful comments for me – he was excited to see if we would be entering into a partnership.
Although it was hard to contain my excitement, I knew to not let my emotions get the best of me this time. I spent time in prayer, and read over the contract very slowly several times. This was not something I wanted to jump into. I truly wanted this decision to be God’s best this time.
I sensed a release from the Lord to sign this contract and move forward with this new publisher. I could feel God’s peace surrounding me, along with the joy of the Lord. I just signed with a real publisher! My dream was becoming a reality!
A couple of days passed and the Lord brought this whole situation back to my remembrance. God doesn’t just let us walk through life without teaching us lessons.
He showed me how even though the first publisher might have sounded good … good isn’t always God.
He also revealed to me how often times the enemy will create a decoy to distract us from God’s best for us.
Decoy (via dictionary.com)
1. a person who entices or lures another person or thing, as into danger, a trap, or the like
1. to lure or entice (a person or animal) away from an intended course, typically into a trap
And most of the time, the enemy gets out ahead of God’s timing to get to us before God does.
God’s timing is perfect, but often requires much patience where we learn to wait on His direction. That’s why it is so important for us to spend time in the Word and in fellowship with the Father like Jesus did, so that we can clearly spot when we’re being tempted by a decoy of God’s perfect will for our lives!
Whatever you are desiring to happen in your life, don’t be lured away by flashy, decoy tactics. Learn to pray and wait upon the Lord, listen to His still, small voice, and trust that He wants nothing but His best for you. No decoys, but the real thing!