You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. … How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! (Psalm 139:13-14, 17-18, NLT)
Yesterday was a superb day for me.
First of all, I have the pleasure of being a stay-at-home Mom with my two girls. Whether we are in good or ill sorts, each day is a blessing (truly). I am (sometimes overly) aware that these moments in their precious lives we will never get back. I left church for several reasons, one of them was to make sure I am able to soak in these years with them.
About 10:00 yesterday morning I received an email for which I had been waiting. The response came perfectly within the promised time span, but my restless heart had convinced my mind that months, even years had passed.
I applied for membership in Redbud Writers Guild several weeks ago. I would hear back from the membership committee in 10-14 days. Tick, toc…tick, toc… Does that mean 10-14 actual days or 10-14 business days?! Makes a difference, you know. Tick, toc…tick, toc…
It’s almost hilarious that I was so nervous. Prior to attending the Festival of Faith and Writing in April of this year, I had never heard of Redbud Writers Guild. (Heck, prior to January 2012 I had never heard of the Festival of Faith and Writing.) Oh, what a newbie I continue to be! I started writing regularly and working earnestly to develop my platform (without knowing what a platform was or even what I was doing) only just this past fall. How is it that I came to be so intensely concerned about being accepted into Redbud in such a short period of time?
(Tangent: My eyes have quickly been opened to the chaos and overstimulation of the literary world! Publishing has changed immensely since the birth and boom of the blogosphere and social networking. A writer must balance promoting herself and her work and that which she loves, the writing itself. It’s wobbly; and when one does her best, deepest work when alone with her computer she can feel isolated quickly. Enter Redbud Writers Guild — it is a community of stellar female Christian writers supporting one another first, and a feather in members’ caps second.)
“Welcome, Ladies!” the email read. My application, along with those of four other female writers, had been accepted. Elation, relief, joy, happiness and pure adrenaline flooded my body simultaneously.
Whew! I am a Redbud!
Wait a minute. Relief? What is that emotion doing here? Who invited it to this jubilant occasion?
Relief only shows up (at least for me) when there is doubt about intrinsic value. When I feel relieved I believe that some outside source has confirmed that indeed I am worthy to inhabit the space in which I stand. Oh good, relief says to me. You really are talented (beautiful, a good mother, generous…fill in the description based on the lack of esteem subject du jour), this person (organization) says so. I was beginning to wonder for a while there again. I hate to think about where we’d be if something otherwise would have been said or done.
Go away, relief! This is a time for rejoicing! More than that, actually — this is a life for rejoicing (cf. Phil 4:4-7)!
As thrilled and humbled as I am to be a new Redbud, God reminded me via my emotional trip how my value is determined. In becoming a Redbud, I am neither a better nor a worse person today than I was yesterday. Additionally, I am neither a better nor a worse writer today than I was yesterday. Sure, I would have been bummed if I would not have been accepted. But, such a message would not have been descriptive of me; for rejection does not a bad person make. On the other side of the coin the same holds true for my welcome.
Your value, whispered God lovingly in my ear, your most precious value emanates from your origin. You are my child. I have made you in my image and filled you with gifts from my Spirit. Of course you are invaluable…you are mine.
The same holds true for every person alive.