This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday: write for five minutes on a one-word prompt. The prompt today is “include.”
Yesterday was my birthday, and I received a wonderful birthday gift- an email telling me that a piece I had submitted is going to be included in a book!
It was such an encouragement.
Writing the piece had been a real battle. I shared a bit about that here. It was far too easy to listen to the voice that told me it was pointless, I wasn’t good enough, and there was no way I would ever be included. I had to hold to the truth and learn to push through the doubt.
In the end I was pleased with what I produced. I knew it was my best work and I doubted if, at this stage, I could have done any better. I also knew that I would be up against far more experienced people. I had no idea what the outcome would be, but I knew the only way I had a chance of being included was to actually submit the piece.
I’m so glad that I took the risk and that, this time, it turned out well.
I am also very conscious that there will be several people who received emails this week telling them that their pieces will not be included in the book. I have been there before, and I know how hard it is when others are excited about their success and you want to be happy for them, but you also wrestle with the pain of wondering if your turn will ever come.
In fact (without giving too much away) the piece that will feature in the book talks about an experience of feeling excluded, standing outside watching others take part, while being unable to participate.
However it also points to the truth that we are all included in God’s plan, that he uses unlikely people, that he has a place for those who feel overlooked and disregarded by others, and that each of us is valued and included by him.
So, however you feel today- whether you’re feeling valued and included, or left out and on the edge, know that you matter to God, and you are always included by him!
The book is a Christmas anthology. I don’t know many of the details right now but I think it will be out sometime in November. I’ll keep you posted!