Sunday, November 5, 2017

When Writing Rejection Redirects Us Toward Gratitude

by Danetta Keller @DanettaKellar

He led them in a right way. Psalm 107:7, NIV

I was still a newbie, attending my second writers conference. This year I was more prepared. I came wielding the one-sheet for a book I’d had on my heart for the past four years. I had even launched it on friends and family, homemade. I was ready to present my baby to editors and publishers to see if she had a chance.

At the last minute, I had also thrown together a one-sheet for an idea that had been growing. I considered it secondary, a shot in the dark. It was controversial and highly personal. I am going to be sitting with so many talented and helpful people, it would be foolish not to at least seek their advice about this. So it had made it into my briefcase.

I signed up for as many slots as allowed.

Arriving to my first meeting, I sat down and began my presentation. My darling, the book idea I’d nurtured and groomed, was now on the table. I waited for the golden buzzer, but it never rang. The editor reminded me that the topic was a common one. In fact, it had been written about for many years in hundreds of different ways.

Rejection confronted me like a dead end. I tried to think clearly about what to do next. This was not at all what I expected.

Sheepishly I pulled out the other idea. The one I had felt God press me about, challenge me past my comfort zone. One day I had actually heard him ask me if I was willing to obey him with it. Naturally I’d said yes, distracted by my other idea, the one I was obsessed with and sure would be a big hit.

I neglected to realize that to obey him would force me into that God-space where my ability ends and I must fall on his mercy and grace. Franklin Graham calls this kind of undertaking making “God room”. A task impossible for you to do without God.

The editor’s eyes lit up. He grabbed the one-sheet and placed it parallel with my original, the one containing the common idea.

“This,” he exclaimed, jamming his finger firmly in the middle of the paper, “this is different. This no one is talking about. I can think of three publishers right now who would love to have a look at this idea.”

I felt my perfectionistic world, the carefully planned and controlled blueprint I’d laid out for my writing, spin upside down. I was thrown into mental vertigo as I tried to process the simultaneous rejection and acceptance I had just experienced in a mere fifteen minutes.

I can’t remember exactly what I said to the kind and honest editor, but I hope I was polite and thankful as our meeting ended.

I returned to my room, threw on my running clothes, and ran straight up the mountain that towered behind our conference center. I run-prayed, my soul groaning to God with every pounding step. By the time I returned to my room, I had yielded my plans to His, although I had no idea how this new book would come to fruition.

In the time since that pivotal day, I have learned that God’s plans are so much better than my own, even when I am so sure mine are right. I am still on the uphill faith-climb of seeing that book idea become a real book. But I do not doubt I am on the path meant for me.

God’s guidance sometimes comes through rejection that looks like a dead end. Thank God for the dead ends he erects on the paths I have constructed in my own imperfect wisdom.

On God’s paths, there are no dead ends. He will always, faithfully, lead us in a right way.

For that, I am thankful this Thanksgiving season.

How has rejection redirected you toward gratitude? Join the conversation!


Danetta Kellar is a writer, blogger, and speaker. Her interesting life has taken her around the globe, where she has had the privilege to witness firsthand the transformation of women from all walks of life and culture as they exchange lies for the Truth found in Christ. 

Her writing flows out of this rich experience and her own continual search for treasures in life’s darkness. Connect with Danetta online through her blog, Riches Out of Darkness, and on Facebook, or Twitter. 


  1. Ms. Danetta; thank you so very much for sharing your heart with us. I've been on a similar journey of late; and I sit here praising God for His kindness to show me I am not alone in the journey, He and others (you) are taking the same journey along with me. Praise God for His faithfulness and grace, and Thank You for reminding us of the struggle we all face in our lives to align with the Father's plans for our life in service to Him.

    1. Jim, I am also glad we are not on this journey alone. It is so good to know others are alongside us. I pray that the Lord opens doors for you in your writing that fill you with worship seeing His faithfulness. Blessings! Danetta

  2. Thank you. As I am writing my first Christian fiction novel, I am ready to learn each step of the way. :-)

    1. Melissa I hope that you feel the Lord's pleasure as you write your novel. Thank you for reading. Blessings, Danetta

  3. Thanks for the inspirational post, Danetta!

    1. I'm thankful it encouraged you Ingmar. At the time I had no thought that it could possibly encourage anyone, least of all me. But God works through our most uncomfortable moments to shape us into what He knows we can become, doesn't He? Blessings, Danetta