If God is for us, who can be against us?…We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. ~Romans 8:31,37 (NIV)
I stared at the e-mail attachment from my editor. For a moment, I think actually heard the Jaws theme music playing in the background.
Line edits. Finally. The moment of truth, when I’d find out how good–or how bad–I really was. Would I open to find the manuscript I slaved over for a year marked up, torn apart, criticized? All the confidence I’d been espousing all week, the anxiety just to get them here and get them done, fell away. And in their place, doubt crept in.
Why did I think I could do this? Maybe my publisher made a mistake. I was crazy to think anyone would want to read what I have to say. Who do I think I am anyway?
Sound familiar? You can be walking around one minute thinking you’ve got a handle on your life, and the next it comes crashing down around you. The self-doubt. The uncertainty. The fear.
What I felt was nothing but pure, unadulterated fear.
Does that surprise you? You would think that after the whole publication process–getting a publisher, having someone actually pay money to publish my book, working with an entire team to get it out the door–that I would be supremely confident. I’m sure from the outside, that’s exactly how I look.
On the inside, though, I still wonder if it’s all just one big mistake. Even if the publisher believes in it, will my book sell? Will anyone want to read it? What if it’s a big fat flop? What if I’m no good at this?
Then I realize that’s the point. If I’m doing this on my own, I’m not capable. If I’m relying on my own strength, I won’t succeed. Fortunately, I’m not doing this on my own. God encouraged me to publish a story that was more personal, riskier, than anything I’d done before. There’s someone out there that needs this story. He paved the way to put this book out there, at this moment, and in this fashion.
On my own, I’m just some random aspiring writer who lives near a bunch of big mountains. In Christ, I am powerful. I am worthy. I am a child of the King. I am more than a conqueror. And if God is for me, who can be against me?
I did finally open the edited manuscript, by the way. It wasn’t as bad as I feared. Indeed, there were entire pages without comments, and those hundreds of comments (yes, hundreds) were insightful, if slightly embarrassing, and intended to make the story the best it could be.
Who do you think you are? How do you deal with those little voices that say you’re not worthy?