“Rejection does not define who we are unless we let it.” (Rene Gutteridge)
Rene Gutteridge is one of the major influencers in my writing life. From a critique at one of my first writers’ conferences to her teaching at conferences to her own novels and her blogs and articles on the craft, I have learned so much about the craft and being a professional writer from her.
Shortly before I read the above quote from her, I had received two rejections of within a few days from each other. One was from one of my dream agents. It was a project I had worked long and hard on.
It hurt. A lot. When I examined what was behind the hurt, I discovered I had personalized both rejections—I’m not good enough.
Finding Rene’s blog (Click here) was the slap upside the head I needed. I didn’t like it. I wanted to reject her advice with a “but you don’t understand.” Which was a lie of the devil. She’s experienced rejection just like I have, just like every writer whoever took the risk to submit.
Rejection is part of life. We don’t get the promotion we wanted. People expected more than we delivered whether it’s a school or work assignment or a gift to a spouse or parent. Maybe one of our kids enters a life style of drugs; rejecting the values we taught them.
Whatever it is, we always have the opportunity to personalize the rejection.
I’m not good enough could be our motto.
If we let it.
For a few days, I let these rejections define who I was.
Fortunately, I am blessed with a loving wife and supportive writing friends. And a God who loves me and has a plan for me.
I’m not defined by rejection unless I let it.
It’s my choice. “I can live in fear of rejection or in fear of regret.” (Pastor Steven Furtick, Elevation Church).
My wife and my friends wouldn’t let me dwell in the rejection. God wouldn’t let me sink into the depression that the devil wanted to cast over me.
Rejection can do two things, if I let it. It can stop me to the point where I give up. Or it can teach me to examine my self and my work to learn and grow from it. This can only happen when I turn to God, when I pray and listen.
He still has a plan for me. A good plan for my future (Jeremiah 29:11).
It’s my choice.
I choose to follow him.
How do you handle rejection?