Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes its built on catastrophe.
When I think about personal life adventures, it seems like there were always people and tutorials to prepare me, offer a heads up of what to expect. The journey of Behind the Halo to publication also included mentors and resources. Too often I didn’t see them as the gifts they were.
I wasn’t a complete novice; I’d self-published before. But in the years since my first book, Life with Bobby and Bonnie, self-publishing had changed a lot. I also mistakenly thought I’d learned a lot more than I had. In reality, it’s probably my arrogance that laid a foundation for frustration during the publication process of Behind the Halo.
I know all about your pretentious poses,
your self-important comings and goings, and, yes, the tantrums you throw against me. Because of all your wild raging against me, your unbridled arrogance that I keep hearing of, I’ll put my hook in your nose and my bit in your mouth. I’ll show you who’s boss. I’ll turn you around and take you back to where you came from.
Isiah 37-39 MSG
Have you ever been in that ugly place, Dear Reader? Ouch, and look what God’s Word has to say about a lousy attitude!
I described myself as a Christian. I wrote a book claiming the Lord had called me to do it in order to share His gospel in a new way. And I was working with a Christian publisher. Sadly, my attitude wasn’t always exactly Christ-like. Every misunderstanding (on my part), every hurdle to jump through, every delay was met with grace from my publishing team despite the lack of grace on my part.
Recently I took a couple of assessments intended to see if I am a candidate for church leadership. Few surprises there. Years in education working as a leader in formal and informal settings had already established a mindset of being in charge, unfortunately in an environment where grace was frequently a luxury.
But, guess what, Dear Reader? I wasn’t in charge, in control, or evidently in the know with publishing. A poor attitude and lack of autonomy fueled my frustation.
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
James 4: 10 MEV
It was a tough pill to swallow as I realized I didn’t actually know as much as I’d thought. At the same time, I wasn’t articulating my questions or expectations effectively. All that combined with my other “issues” stoked my frustration all the more.
Dear Reader, have you ever been so close to an important project that you could barely see straight? How did you move forward? I’d really like to know, because I’d like to avoid repeating this scenario.
Praise God He is patient and generous with us! The more I stepped back and acknowledged my own lack, the greater the space for God’s grace became. I thought one of my biggest lessons had been learning to collaborate…wrong!
Until I know I can show grace whether I feel gracious or not, whether it’s being shown to me or not, I’m likely to be frustrated. And collaborating with others becomes impossible. Oh wait! Isn’t that exactly why Jesus came, Dear Reader, to bridge the gap between him and us, and those around us, saving us from lives of frustration and being disconnected from others?
God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more so that there will not only be enough for your own needs but plenty left over to give joyfully to others.
2 Corinthians 9: 8 TLB