Five Minute Friday scribblings, Trusting God

Steady: Staying Steady

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—STEADY. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. We write for five minutes on a given word. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out the Five Minute Friday website. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

STEADY

During the Twitter chat, Kate asked how we got through writing rejections. I have had a little experience with these, and it got me thinking. Here are my musings:

Life keeps moving forward, steadily and constantly. We live through joys, sorrows, regrets, love. We experience the highs of success, the crushing lows of failure or disappointments.

And sometimes, though those letdowns aren’t earth-shattering, they are heart-battering. When I submitted a story to a publishing professional, I received kind words that told me my story wasn’t ready yet. After I’d spent hours on it. I was beyond disappointed. For a few moments, I considered giving up.

I had to process the emotions, the disappointment the sense of rejection. The fears of never being good enough.

Ultimately, though, I had to bring it all before God. To pray for His perspective. I had to ask Him if this was the road He wanted me to be on.

This writing road, it ain’t easy. Anyone who says it is is lying.

 

But when God says yes to the hard road, He also gives us what we need to walk steady on it.

In my case, I spent a lot of time with Him, in prayer, and in His word. I cried, spent all that emotion. I sought counsel from friends who are further along this journey than I am.

And I gave myself time. Time to process, to evaluate, and to seek God for a plan for moving forward.

He didn’t give me permission to quit walking this journey. And, in time, I was able to see the validity of the professional’s comments and the encouragement offered in the letter.

God gave me a mentor and a new story. He gave me hope and many reminders that He’s with me.

When I cling to the truth, to the indicators that I’m where He wants me? That’s what helps me to walk steady, rather than to fall off the path into the brambles of discouragement and the quicksand of “not-enough-ness” lies.

And there’s five minutes.

What about you: How do you stay steady when life hands you disappointments or worse? How do you get back up after you’ve been knocked down and keep moving forward?

Click to Tweet: When things don’t turn out the way we thought they would

I’m linking up with Five Minute Friday—Steady. Come join the fun!

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52 thoughts on “Steady: Staying Steady”

  1. Great post, Jeanne, and I believe in your writing SO MUCH! One day you will change a multitude of hearts, leading them to Jesus.

    You’ve already changed mine. I am a better man for knowing you, from reading your words.

    How do I stay steady in the face of disappointments? It may sound like nihilism, but I use the Viet Nam rap, don’t mean nuthin’.

    What it really means is that there’s a part of me that the bad stuff can’t reach. I might get all tore up, physically or psychically, but the enemy won’t ever have my soul.

    And when knocked down, I figure I have a good angle to shoot whoever did that job right in his…uh, unmentionables. A low perspective can be a useful tactical advantage.

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    1. Andrew, I am beyond blessed by your encouragements over the years. You are a big reason I still write. Just so you know.

      I so appreciate your way of pressing on. Your words, your perspective. The way you stand firm in who you are as a person, as a son of God in the face of the so difficult physical situations you’re living. I so appreciate the way you continue to push back against the enemy of our souls. And your way of thinking . . . shooting back from a “pushed down” position . . . um, yep. Still fighting. 🙂

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  2. Beautiful. No matter what’s said by professionals your words are worthy of praise. May God open the door to your heart and for your words to some day, in His timing, be heard loud and clear!

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    1. Thank you, Bonnie. I know that I know God is working in me, preparing me for what He plans to do with my words. My biggest job is to stay yielded to Him and keep writing. 🙂 Thank you for your encouragement!

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    1. Annette, there are definitely those times when it takes sheer determination to keep getting up. I’m so glad God gives us what we need to keep getting back up in the hard seasons.

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  3. “But when God says yes to the hard road, He also gives us what we need to walk steady on it.” I especially liked this sentence in your post. It’s so very true. I don’t know how anyone makes it through his life without trusting in Him.

    Cathy #3 on FMF this week.

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  4. Thank you, Jeanne for sharing this story. I, too, have experienced a recent uphill with writing opportunities. Then last week on a leap, I joined Five Minute Friday. I am thankful for this beautiful community of God’s writers. May your Friday be blessed. God gave me a poem about steady 🙂

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    1. Julie, I’ve discovered that this writing journey has pushed me closer to Jesus than almost anything else. God has a way of teaching us and refining us as we write and put our words out there, doesn’t He? I agree. The FMF community is absolutely amazing. I’m so glad you’re a part of it!

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      1. Yes, writing has a way of drawing me to Him and for Him to reveal things to me that were previously hidden. Yes, I am SO thankful to be part of this community. Thank you so much Jeanne for the warm welcome 🙂

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      2. Julie, God definitely has a way of placing us in positions where we have to either choose Him or choose our own way. And the stake are often high. And you’re right. When we choose Him, God reveals things to us we never could have seen or known in a different way. I’m so glad you’ve joined FMF. 🙂

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  5. Rejection or critique? Sometimes we confuse the two. Disappointing as it may be, I have acknowledged flaws in my writing as a result of rejection letters. It was well worth sitting back and taking note of their comments.

    Getting back on our feet isn’t always easy, I’d be lying if I claimed to simply get up, brush myself off and move on. It can be hard to see God in what happened. It always comes down to the same thing for me… my perspective changes when I return the lordship over my life to God.
    I probably should have that tattooed on for forehead!

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    1. Yes, Gene. As I gained a little distance from the moment of reading the rejection letter, I was able to see some of the WHY’s for the No answer. I try to be teachable, especially when it comes to writing. I always have more to learn. I love what you shared about returning the lordship of my life to God. That’s key, isn’t it?

      I grinned when I read about the tattoo. 🙂 It reminded me of a question I had to ask our strong-willed youngest many times in his toddler years: “Who’s in charge?” He would answer, “I AM!” a number of times before he would acquiesce “control” to hubby or me. 🙂 I need to be reminded of Who is in control of my life on occasion too. 🙂

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    1. Lisanne, thank you for stopping by! Clinging to the truth is an essential piece in staying steady, isn’t it? I’m so glad He walks with us through each situation we face and that He leads us o the paths that are best for us.

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  6. Jeanne, I love this! Overcoming is a process, not an instant transformation. I appreciate your journey to acceptance and complete faith in God. That’s how it should be. We can’t step away from God and expect to receive the healing and support that we’re craving. Great write! ❤ From your #fmfparty friend, No. 23.

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    1. Shana, there is so much wisdom in your words. We need God’s love and help to overcome. You’re right—we can’t step away from God and expect to be genuinely healed. I so appreciate you stopping by!!

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    1. Yes, Summer. Dreams can be tricksy things, can’t they? When we know God is working with us, walking with us as we pursue dreams, we can walk in confidence that He’s got us. Even through the disappointments. 🙂 I so appreciate you stopping by, Somer!

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  7. Time. It takes time. I feel stunned, after leaving my job. Seventeen years spent with the library district. I can hardly comprehend what life will be like now. It was the right choice, but still. It’ll take time. Thank you for this reminder, my friend.

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    1. Marie seventeen years is a LONG time. Life will be different, but I am confident God has some amazing things in store for you. I look forward to watching your next chapter unfold, my friend!

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  8. Jeanne,
    You are not alone…I could probably wallpaper a room with my many “rejection” letters….God has sort of said to me, “Not now on the book…I have other plans for you right now.” These past 6-7 weeks have been a period of getting continually knocked down in my recovery (root canal, surgery, bad fall, shingles, infection, more waiting). If it weren’t for God’s strength keeping me steady, I would have not been able to keep getting back up. Great post. I’d like to steal/use one of your pathway pics since it goes well with my “Walking Well With God” title. May I use one in a post?? I’d give credit where credit is due….
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

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    1. Bev, one thing I’ve learned is that God’s timing is always best. And He never promises that His plans will be easy-peasy in their being fulfilled. We all face obstacles and disappointments, don’t we? I’m sorry you got the “Wait” answer on driving. It is so hard to be still and to rely on others to help us. I found that during my recovery from surgery on my ACL last year. I appreciate your example of persevering through the trials, my friend. You inspire me!

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  9. “But when God says yes to the hard road, He also gives us what we need to walk steady on it.” Somehow, we think that when we see our dream being fulfilled that it will be a smooth path. But, just like any part of life, God beckons us to depend on Him. And really, would we want it any other way?

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    1. Yes, Stephanie! One big lesson I’ve had to learn is that just because God gives us a dream, it doesn’t mean we’ll just be able to fulfill it obstacle-free. I’m learning that it’s in persevering through tackling the obstacles that God refines me, and I believe He prepares me (us) for when that dream is fulfilled in His way and time. Yes, God wants us always to depend on Him. And that is truly the best way, isn’t it?

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  10. Time…time is the healer and, like you mentioned, gain a new perspective and learn. There is a point we also need to put ourselves back into the place of possible of rejection too. That is my learning! And through that am learning that my identity in Christ is what leads me to be okay with the rejections. Still a WIP!

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    1. Lynn, yes! We do need to put ourselves back in a place of risk. Of possible rejection. We can’t let fear hold the upper hand. We learn to trust God even when the rejections come. And yes, when we know our identity in Christ, those rejections don’t hold nearly as much power over us, do they?

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  11. Thanks for this, Jeanne – it is an encouragement to all us struggling writers out here. I recently received one very encouraging rejection for my poetry from a journal I respect. The poetry editor really “got” my poems and indicated that it was a difficult decision not to take them. Although this was still a No, it felt like a Yes! It encouraged me and made me feel like I was on the right track. And speaking of track, I love the pictures in your post. That first picture calls to me and makes me want to continue following the path God has placed me on, even when the rejections keep coming. Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

    Jeannie (btw I’m #73 this week)

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    1. Jeannie, I completely understand how a rejection can be encouraging. And having the reassurance that we are on the right path is a huge lift to the spirits, isn’t it? Keep at it, lady. You are on your way. 🙂 I appreciate your sharing a bit of your story!

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  12. I think we have a lot in common ;). It ususally takes me quite a bit of time to get over the rejection–but then I’m able to analyze the advice and take the good and ignore the not so good.

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    1. Anita, I believe that is key in this writing journey. To be teachable, to feel the sting of the rejection, but then to “pull up our big girl pants” and look for the advice offered. I’m glad I get to walk this journey with you, friend.

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