Sunday, February 6, 2011

Guest Blogger Eileen Rife on "A Work in Progress"

This week I welcome author Eileen Rife who shares a very insightful blog on her journey to publication which is a wonderful story in and of itself. Enjoy!

A Work in Progress

I wanted it so badly I could taste it. I had studied the guidelines, examined the reader profile, and scanned back issues. I was ready. Setting fingers to keyboard, I delved into writing an article for a well-known Christian magazine—my first major break into the market. The editor had accepted my query, and now I meticulously crafted each word to fulfill promises made. After several edits, I clicked the send button, releasing my precious fledgling into cyberspace. I took a deep breath and uttered a prayer: “Please, Lord, let this article make it into print; but not my will, Thine be done.”

Waiting on God

I knew it could be weeks before I received a reply. As much as I wanted this publishing credit, I made a deliberate choice to place the outcome in the Lord’s hands. Two months later, while typing another article, I noticed the little read flag on my mailbox waving at me from the corner of the computer monitor. After clicking on the tiny icon, a message popped up from the editor I had been anxious to hear from. Suddenly, my fingers froze on the mouse, afraid to move and confirm my worse fear: rejection! “Oh, God, help me accept Your will for this article, whatever it might be,” I prayed.

Glued to the screen, I sat in shock as I read his assessment. While the article had several good thoughts, it was not what he had expected from the query and was too much like what the magazine had recently covered.

Caving in to frustration and anger, I closed the lid of my laptop and pouted my way to the hot tub where I joined my husband for a soak. Hesitating to admit another literary defeat, I stuffed my agitation and asked how his day had gone. After a few routine exchanges, I was ready to spill my guts. Feeling better, I grabbed a towel and walked back into the house.

The laptop sat on the desk, mocking me, as if to jeer, “Ah, you thought you could serve God and make some income doing what you love best? Who do you think you’re kidding? Why don’t you give up?”

Repulsed, I turned to walk away, but another voice intercepted. Eileen, you could email the editor again, admit your mistakes, and request a second chance. He did say you had some good thoughts. Why not give it a try?

Humbling My Heart

Flipping open the lid to the laptop, I clicked the reply button. As I stared at the blank screen, I prayed for guidance to form my words. Satisfied with my effort, I sent the message and went about my business, never expecting to hear from that editor again.

I had almost forgotten about the whole thing when one day I received a reply—one of those too-good-to-be-true messages. The editor told me that after reading my email, he had a stronger sense that my article might be something he could use after all. He admitted that in the six years he had worked for that magazine, he had never reread an article once he had rejected it.

Feeling genuinely humbled and grateful to God, I typed a response, thanking him for his reconsideration of my work. Two months later while eating lunch, I received a phone call from that editor stating that the article approval committee had accepted my piece and a contract would be in the mail. I nearly choked on my sandwich. God had allowed me to get a cherished story out to the public, supplying some additional income. But He also had provided much more than that: a lesson in humility and trust and the knowledge that, like my writing, I am a work in progress.

Author note: That was seven years ago. A year after the article was accepted, it appeared in the November/December, 2004 issue of Discipleship Journal under the title, “Releasing Rachel: When God Calls Your Child into Fulltime Missions.” It couldn’t have been better timing, since the article’s release coincided with my oldest daughter Rachel’s departure for India. A few months later, the Lord formed a story in my heart based on Rachel’s love story, and Journey to Judah, Book one in the Born for India trilogy was born.

Journey to Judah

Could love await her, even in India?

Maggie Osteder’s given up hope of finding a man who shares her love for India. So while her friends plan dream weddings, she follows her heart, fulfilling a ten-year dream of becoming a career missionary. “Don’t lose heart. Stay focused on serving, and God will take care of the rest,” her mother always tells her. Yet upon arrival in Chennai, a fellow missionary makes a comment that strikes to Maggie’s heart—that her ministry will be more effective if she’s married. And her newfound friend says she has the perfect match: the new doctor, Gavin Munsfield. But Maggie isn’t so sure she’s ready to open her heart . . . especially to a man who seems to be struggling with his own issues.

One woman. One God. One passion.

In an exotic culture of 7.5 million people and 30 million gods, one woman’s resolve to make the journey results in an amazing story of the Lord’s protection and provision.

Eileen's website

To enter for a book drawing, please leave a comment with a take away "nugget" you gleaned from her post, along with your e-mail address.

1 comment:

Carmen7351 said...

What a powerful storyline! Count me in for the giveaway!

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