In the last couple of weeks I have had two rejections.
The first was last week. We had the first viewing of our house. Fortunately the cleaner was around to help get the place tidy. There was a flurry of activity as items were thrown into cupboards and they probably won’t be found again until we eventually move for good.
(I now have two of those very large shopping bags full of paperwork and assorted detritus found and scooped off from the kitchen worktops that I really must sort out and file away properly.)
We made the house look spick and span leaving only a few areas with that “lived in” look.
At precisely 2pm as expected the prospective buyers arrived, an encouraging sign. The viewing itself seemed to go alright. I pointed out all the wonderful features of the house and enthused about how happy we had been there explaining the circumstances behind the sale. I’ve been watching “Location, Location, Location” on the telly, I can talk about the potential my house had to offer as well as Phil and Kirsty could!
They seemed genuinely interested, delighting in the period features and even enquired about the possibility of a second viewing. However the feedback I later received from the estate agents was less than complimentary.
I had been getting my hopes up; looking with more urgency at the houses for sale in the area I wanted to be. I was even looking seriously at the descriptions and room sizes, assessing whether my furniture would fit in.
Now all hopes were dashed and my mood once again slumped.
It had all been so different the week before when I had received a very different rejection.
I would very much like to publish my blog. I’d like to think my words could help others in a similar situation as well as offer an insight into the grieving process.
To that end I applied to an organisation for a writing award, both financial and offering help networking with agents and publishers.
I’d even planned my outfit for the award ceremony and imagined talking to potential agents. I am such a daydreamer.
Anyway it wasn’t meant to be but the rejection letter was far from the standard terse rebuff of “thanks but no thanks”! I was commended on “tackling such a difficult subject matter”, not of my choosing I can assure you but something I have felt called to write since Andrew died. I was also told my writing was “accessible”, always good to know you are not writing complete gobble-de-gook!
They advised me to “keep working on this manuscript with a view to resubmitting in the future”.
It didn’t feel like I’d got a rejection letter in my hand but one that affirmed this is what I should be doing. I will carry on, there is more to write, not that I have any idea where this is going or where or when it will end.
Writing helps; it clears my head and focuses my thoughts. At the end of the day it may never actually make it into print. Just like the artwork I produced for our church art exhibition that I wrote about earlier in the week, sitting here typing is cathartic and maybe that is enough?
But you are reading this, some of you have stuck faithfully with me from the beginning and I value your support and encouragement. I pray you have got something from my words that I have helped you in some way. Perhaps this is something you will come back sometime in the future to in your own time of grief. It’s a sad fact of life that we all experience it one way or another. I will still be here – well unless computers and blogs are superseded and obsolete.
But I wasn’t finished with my thoughts of rejection. God once more had the final word to add.
It happened when I was looking round our church art exhibition. The title was “Living Stones” but it had completely slipped my mind as to where the phrase came from.
As I wandered round looking at the wonderful creations I came across a pencil drawing of a brick wall and growing from between the bricks was a beautiful rose with two hearts at the centre. It was drawn by a young teenager in the church.
There as the mortar holding the bricks together were the words I needed to read.
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4-6
Rejection is never easy even when people let you down gently with their constructive comments. There is a sting of pain when the words are negative. But Jesus knew all about rejection and suffered far worse and yet he was raised much higher.
That’s the encouragement I need to keep on writing, to keep dreaming that I have a future and this stage of my life is only temporary.
God has chosen me and holds me in the palm of his hand; he has set my feet on the solid rock of Jesus. Hopefully there I will grow like a beautiful flower.