Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Turning the Page

“We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”

Proverbs 16:9 (NLT)

Not every story ends the way we want it to, but God is still good.

· 11 years ago, I began to dream about ending my teaching career to write and speak.
· 6 years ago, I quit teaching.
· 5 years ago, we moved to Denver and I began writing and speaking professionally.
· 3 ½ years ago, I landed a literary agent.

During the past 3 ½ years (with my agent) I submitted a nonfiction memoir that made it to 2 publishing boards (a cool accomplishment in the writing biz) but it was rejected by those 2 houses as well as 8 others. I wrote another nonfiction book on fear that went nowhere because I did not have credentials or platform. This past year, I finished my first full length novel.

A week ago Monday, I wrote a Joyvotion and a blog - a love letter from God. I planned on sending it out as I usually do on Wednesday and Thursday, but God said to me quite clearly, “Send it out now, today, for that one woman who needs it.”

I envisioned a woman who might be dreading Valentine’s Day be they alone or lonely in a marriage. I sent it out and promptly got 3 emails saying, “Thank you, but it’s not Wednesday.”


Then, I received an email from my agent telling me she couldn’t sell my novel and she’d decided to release me from our agent/writer relationship. Ouch. By the way, I respect her and have no hard feelings at all toward her.

But I did cry. In fact, I felt my heart break a little. My thoughts? Am I just not good enough, God? Should I just quit this? I have no idea what to do next.

I called my beloved. He comforted me and told me he believed in me. I mentioned I’d just sent out a Joyvotion. He said, “I know, I got it. But it’s not Wednesday.”

I smiled through my blubbering. “God told me to send it out this morning for that one woman who’d need it.”

John replied, “That was you, Robbie.”

I hung up and read the love letter again as if God wrote it just for me. And I sobbed like a little girl, as I crawled up into my Abba Daddy’s lap.

This weekend, I’m going to a cabin in the pines to hang out with God for 2 days. No phone, TV, or computer. Just me and Jesus. A wonderful date or a WAAWG (Weekend Almost Alone with God.) I can’t wait. Just like the love letter, He’ll speak to my heart and tell me what’s next.

I write this not to say poor me, but to encourage you that wherever you are in your story, God is good and He loves you. Period. Getting rejected by my agent felt horrible, like reading a sad ending full of tears and broken hearts.

But God will use it for great things. It might be a wonderful chapter ending that needed to be written just like it played out, so the next chapter can unfold exactly as God, the Author of all, wants.

If you have gotten bad news lately, take courage. He loves you with a fervent, unending love.

And your story, like mine, goes on.

Crawl into your Abba Daddy’s lap and He will help you turn the page.


Hilary said...

Oh my goodness - this is exactly what I needed to hear today. Thank you for writing. God is using your writing whether you sell a novel or not.

Much love!

Robbie Iobst said...

Thank you Hilary!! You are a sweet encourager and I needed to hear your comment. :0) God works that way, right? :0)

Donna Weaver said...

A message we all need to hear from time to time. Your attitude and openness is such an inspiration. The mention of your get-a-way is a wonderful reminder that no matter what we are going through, we need to seek Him first. Thank you for always being so transparent!

God's Peace, Donna

Robbie Iobst said...

Donna, you are a good friend! Thank you. And I love your signature - God's Peace. AMEN and peace be unto you, too. :0)

Cheryl Barker said...

Oh Robbie, my heart goes out to you. Am so sorry for the hurt you're experiencing. I love how you're trusting it to God, though. He DOES have your best interests at heart and has wonderful plans for you. Praying for you now!

Robbie Iobst said...

Cheryl, you are the KINDEST woman I've never met! :0) We have to fix that some day. Not the kind part.
:0) I REALLY thank you for your prayers. I need them. Bless you!