Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Facing it myself...

Yesterday, I sent my fourth e-mail to my publisher – with no response. This has been going on for more than a month. I was beginning to feel a bit unsettled.

However, when I got home from work last night, there was a letter on the counter. It was from the publisher. I opened it with some trepidation. It was too thin to include my edits. But, perhaps it held some answers to why I hadn’t heard back from them.

The one page letter began by talking about the challenges facing publishers in these economically difficult times. It also noted that several key staff transitions at Bridge Logos have delayed production on all new authors’ works. My book was now being slatted for 2012-2013. But no guarantees. The letter closed by saying that if I wanted out of the contract (in order to explore other publishing options) I was free to do so.

UGH! My heart sank.

I didn’t want to start over. I just sat there for a few moments. Numb.

Everybody faces disappointing moments. So, I am sure you know the feeling. Your mind races with all kinds of conflicting thoughts. They come out of every part of your life experience. “This isn’t fair!” “Why me?” “But, God, I thought you led me to this place and these people?” “Whenever a door is closed, God opens a window…”

At first, all these thoughts carry equal weight. It is hard to decide where to land – and sometimes it isn’t even a decision at all. Sometimes the strength of the feelings decide for you. I guess that is why it feels so unsettling, because we feel a bit out of control.

Ironically, the working title of my manuscript is “unsettled” and the basic premise of the book is that our unsettledness is a signal that God wants to do a new work in our souls. I still believe that is true. But, I wonder what that means for me here and now. Most of the time when we talk about our seasons of unsettledness we talk about them after the fact...when we know what they mean. But today I am writing from the middle of one. I am not sure what it means. I am being reminded that when life shakes things up it is not fun.

Unsettledness is disconcerting – every time!

So, here I sit Lord, in the middle of what I feel. I need help sorting. I want to be open to what you may be trying to say to me in this. Yet, I have to confess, this feels pretty rotten. I don’t understand it. I wish it were different. I think this is unfair. But, I know I don’t have the full picture. I am working on believing there are things you are doing in the midst of this. You are not surprised by it. You can still do something in the midst of it. Would you help me to believe it and see it?


Sherry said...

Patience is such a challenge. Maybe the world will need to hear what this book has to say in the year 2012-2013. Something to think about. Looking forward to reading it then.

Anonymous said...

Wow, very powerful Piet, and it feels like I could have written it. Each time I think I'm coming to the end of this journey something else happens and changes my course. I'm trying to listen to Him and let Him guide me but man it's hard when you are living the day to day and trying to gifure it all out. Thanks for sharing


Bryan said...

Love you Piet. Love your vulnerability. Love your candor. Love your willingness to live life "out loud" with your community. Love being part of that community. Love your attitude. Love your perseverance. Love how many have been blessed by you. Love how I've been blessed by you. Hang in there bro... and keep on being you. I'm cheering for you!

Bryan Lee

LaurieJo said...

I'm really sorry it sucks, Piet. I know how hard you worked to get the deal you had, and I can't imagine how intimidating and dreadful it sounds to enter that all over again - with no guarantees! I'll be thinking about you, and I know that you and God will find something beautiful in this mess.

Pieter Van Waarde said...

Thanks (all) for your grace and kindness.

I am tempted to say that it isn't that big a deal and I will be fine...

But, that would be a lie. It is a big deal and it pretty much sucks today.

Yet your shared sincere condolences somehow help. I am sure that this will make more sense as time passes and God shows us what he has in mind. But, until then it is nice to know that there are loving people who care enough to walk the path with you – when it is not yet “fine.”


Sweazea Photography said...

Okay, where's the 'like' button on this thing?
haha...if God can change the course of a river, surely He can divert a chunk of life into the unexpected once in a while.
The very fact that I'm even talking about God after more than ten years of total separation is proof of that.
Hang in there and keep doing what you're doing. It's just a fork in the, river.

DVD said...

Writing is a vulnerable act, the feelings of rejection related to that writing can be intense. I'm sorry you're experiencing those feelings. It's possible it's not something God had in mind, eh? Maybe the firm is just making a poor decision, maybe God's as annoyed and disappointed as you are...

Godspeed in the pitiless world of publishing, Piet!

Laura said...

I've often heard that writing (and, let's not forget, getting published), is more an act of endurance than talent. Your tenacity is admirable and something that anyone whose ever fought (or dreamed of fighting) for something they believe in can look up to. Don't give up.

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