welcome friends.....thanks for popping in my world....
I'd love to know you've stopped by, so please note that the comment section is now found at the title of each post.

Friend or Foe?

So this is a "gotta question for you" kinda post:

OK, so as I have mentioned.....got some shtufff going on. Nothing this crazy lady has not gotten through or cannot handle. Remember, I've got God by my side so that settles any question of who has the advantage in these dilemmas, ya know?

I have a question that I am hoping I can generate some input and opinions on and I am relying on my friends to possibly help. (that would be you....yes, *you* who is reading this right now)

So when things present themselves in life.......such as hurdles, setbacks, roadblocks........what ever you want to call them.....how do you know if it is the Enemy trying to discourage you from pressing forward (not giving up, keeping the faith, etc).....or if it is God Himself sending down His message to direct you in a different direction?

I believe that God has His hand on everything. Whether it is His direct doing or "allowing" things to happen to help shape us, bring us closer to Him.......learn and grow.

So how do you know?
Let me try to get an example....

OK.....let's just say you have a project that you are working on. Hmmm, okay, a book. Let's also say that this book is something that you feel God has placed in your heart. He graced you with the creativity and idea and then blessed you with the talent to write it. You just know there is a message you want to send out to "the world" with this book. This is a lesson that you have learned, felt passionate about and you poured it into this book. So you write this book and start the process of trying to get it published.

You do realize that you have never been exposed to the writing industry and do not have the resources such as an agent or publisher........nor, do you have a clue on where to start. You know that even with the help and expertise of an agent.....the chances of it getting any interest is very low. Kinda like the garage bands' dream of "making it big".

But you believe in this book and start to try to shop it on your own anyway.

You do get some incidences where it gets into the hands of some key people.......but it doesn't go any further. You get a standard response such as, this is a great idea, but we just are not in that market right now. (or whatever publishers would say when politely declining)

This goes on for years....you spend alot of time, money and energy promoting this book, but it never gets any further than the "sorry, we are not-interested at this time" pile. This challenging journey does tend to consume you at times and brings pain/disappointment along the way as you can imagine.

So my question is.......when do you get to the point where you just let it go? You have always trusted God and prayed that He would see this through if it was His will. You almost feel like you are "giving up" on what was placed in your heart to pursue. You cannot help but feel that the Enemy has been sitting in the sidelines laughing at your futile attempts and reminding you that this was never what God wanted you to do. What do you do when the "message" around you tells you it is time to give it up......but you still hold onto that faith, even if it is the size of a mustard seed....because you believe that God can do anything, anytime, anyway.

I often think about this:

Then he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'

'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.' " Luke 13:6-9

So when do you know the timeline? When is it time to cut it (the efforts) down?

I guess I hate to perceive that any roadblocks are from the Enemy.....because I hate to give him credit in anything.
...but he is real. And his job is to discourage, kick us when we are down....make us doubt God and His ability in bringing our dreams and goals to fruition.

So I would appreciate any words of wisdom.......advice......thoughts/opinions on this. And of course......I believe in the power of prayer to reveal it all too.....so if you can send some of those, that would be awesome too.

Hope this finds you all smiling and well.......it's a new week!


(**I am editing this post to add that this is just painting a picture/scenario.....it is not the "shtuff" I am going through. I have gotten a few comments and emails with great references/help in promoting a book. I actually am saving them all because I do indeed have my children's book on the back burner and this info will be very helpful for me! Thank you so much!!! So the truth is, I just used the trials of getting a book published as an example, as the burden on my heart and the roadblocks I am facing right now is just a little too complicated to explain at this time.)


Karen said...

Hi, Michelle.

I had two thoughts as I was reading your post:

1) JK Rowling. I don't know the exact number, but her first Harry Potter novel was rejected by somewhere around 20 publishers before it was finally picked up by someone who could see how great it was. And there are many, many novels sitting on the bookshelves of Barnes and Noble today with authors that had similar experiences.

2) It's hard to know for sure if you are getting form rejection letters instead of anything with any sort of feedback. But I would suggest handing the project over to a person or two that you trust, but that you also know will be really honest. It could just need some editing and it could be that you're too close to the project to see what it really needs. Perhaps polishing it up a bit more will help it stand out.

I'd also recommend checking out a few agent blogs, like Nathan Bransford and Janet Reid. They have really helpful tips on queries, etc.

Just some suggestions! Hope that helps!

Mary said...

I would probably say "hey God...I am getting a little disappointed with this effort I'm giving and having no results. I think you can see I've done my best so far. I am putting this aside now...and if you want me to do anything more with this issue, and when the time is right...please smack me over the head with a sign.".

~*Michelle*~ said...

Oh Mary.......I just love you so much, mama. You make me laugh!


4under3 said...

What good questions! When and how do you know if an end of the road is God's way of saying, "Not this way." Or, is it satan discouraging us? I don't know.

But, I do believe that God gives us the desires of our hearts. Whatever you are going through right now, I'll pray that there will be a King at the end confirming your "good and faithfulness." I'll pray that is the way your story goes.

You know, like Joseph. [Gah.] He had it hard, didn't he! And he didn't even do anything but be a favorite of his father's. But in the end, what a journey he took to get to a fabulous place.

You're so sweet, dear Michelle! My prayers are with you.


amanda said...

i think tiff said what i think. god will give us the desires of our hearts. all in his timing. i believe god can not right now, and then later on turn it into a yes. i'll be praying my friend. and because i'm lazy and don't feel like posting two comments. I LOVE THE JEANS!! i may have to go to gap myself. please don't tell anyone that after FOUR months...i'm still wearing maternity jeans. and you only have the onset of a muffin top...my friend i've never NOT had a muffin top since having amelya...who will be FOUR YEARS old next week...argh.


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