Monday, March 18, 2013

My Name in Print

Seeing our name in print can be exciting - evidence of a dream come true or recognition received. And even if you're not a writer can you recall your days as a child...smiling when someone pointed out your name in the paper and grinning when Grandma handed you a clipping of the honor roll.

Earlier this month I had the privilege of seeing my name in print; an article of mine appeared in the P31 Woman magazine. I was grateful for the opportunity...an opportunity to be published with wonderful writers and women of God, but also an opportunity God is using to teach me yet another lesson.

P31 Woman Magazine - March 2013
I don't know what I really expected myself to think when I saw my name in print and honestly I believe God has been preparing me for the lesson He knew He'd be teaching. You see the article that was published was originally a blog post, which I then shared with a writing critique group and eventually submitted for possible publication.

This process instantly came back to mind when I first received the news of publication. God used it to remind me that He is in control...like a wise friend says, "I write, He takes care of the results." This is not at all about what I can or cannot do, but instead all about Him, the doors He opens and the plans He has.

And friend, the plans He has truly are wonderful...I don't say that because my name appeared in a magazine; you see a few days after this came in my mail, I received another letter. Only this time it was words of rejection...the publisher I shared a book proposal with was not interested in what I had to offer - my name would not be printed on a book.

I'll admit...those words stung; I had to remind myself - rejection from man is not rejection from God. And in it all God spoke to me and offered encouragement I needed to hear. My name in print is not what He needs from me and striving to achieve is not His plan for me...He wants me to walk in obedience and His desire is for me to know Him more and make Him known.

Sometimes this will all look like I want, but typically it will happen in ways I least expect. Regardless of how it all unfolds, God has added one more point to His lesson about my name in print...it really doesn't change things. I was grateful for the kind words a few readers shared with me, but daily life is still the same. This reminds me of hearing Lysa TerKeurst respond to someone saying she was a big deal, "Yeah, tell that to my kids!" The things we do, goals we meet and recognition we receive don't define who we are...God does and a published article doesn't make Him love me more. (And a failed book proposal doesn't make Him love me less!)

As I bring this to a close I can't help but think there is a reason seeing our name in print is important. Our world today tends to make this into a self-centered, look at me thing, but the reason I'm thinking of has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with Christ. Revelation 20:15 says, "Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire." Friend, it doesn't matter whether I'm ever published again...my name is printed in the book of life - that is a BIG deal and truly it changes things for eternity!

Today I'm doing what Luke 10:20b commands, "rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” And I pray that you will take a minute and rejoice in that as well! If these words leave you with questions or you're not sure how to get your name printed in the only book that matters leave me a comment or send me an email - jillberan@yahoo.com

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