Big Buts

My esteem for myself is firmly fixed.  It is neither overly inflated nor excessively shriveled.  I am getting opportunities to work on things I believe in and love.  Most importantly, my family is still in the fantastical Unicorn Years (that brief period of time where no one is in diapers and hormones haven’t detonated yet).

Life is sweet.

No bragging…I really am just seizing on to this good day.   Because my firstborn goes to junior high in a few months and that Unicorn will vanish like a myth.

With all of this good stuff going on, I was completely blindsided this week by the fact that I suck eggs and everything is difficult and pointless.

(Hang on…you’re going to be really encouraged by this one)

One seed of doubt momentarily choked the air out of my faith and clouded my vision.

So…I started the week out with rejection.  Not pretend rejection I feel when someone didn’t see me wave at them at Sonic…actual rejection from a literary agency where I sent my book.  It really is all fine and good and expected…but it still pinched.

I rallied and gave a little pep talk to a wonderful group of writers I meet with online about how this was not the sum of me and how it was so awesome because I wasn’t wallowing for 48 hours after rejection like I normally would.  Yay, right?  I meant it at the time but not ten minutes after I sent that message.


The fact is my work was rejected.

Later that day I have a conversation with my husband about something we felt solid about when we made the decision a few years back and he said these words, ‘Maybe we made a mistake when…’


The fact is that maybe we made a mistake.

One seed of doubt.

That I kept watering all day to ensure a healthy start:

If my work was rejected, it must be bad. If we made a mistake, then we must have made more.  But I heard God clearly, so why is this playing out?  I must not have heard God.  And if I thought I heard Him, but I really didn’t…then I must have never heard from Him. Why am I going to Africa?  I don’t even know why I write.  And my calves are too muscly. 

Yeah.  Full-on tailspin.

That little seed of doubt, so well-watered and even fertilized and coddled, turned into a thick, healthy beanstalk all the way to the sky.  It had me questioning my purpose, vision and motives.

A tailspin.  It happens suddenly, doesn’t it?  We may not even realize it’s happening.  But just as quickly it can be over, too.

I started hacking at the root of doubt with choosing to believe truth over my circumstances.  The facts were the buts in my situation…rejection and possible mistakes.  The truth is that I did, in fact, hear God very clearly, and I let my immediate problems drown out His voice.

Sometimes we let our big buts get in our own way, don’t we?

Doubt breeds indecision and its offspring is stagnation.  We pull out the root of doubt that strangles dreams and good purpose by speaking truth and claiming promises…and we march forward.


‘Facts will kill you.  Truth shall set you free.’ ~Christine Caine

Let's stay connected...

If you'll trust me with your email address, I'll send some happy to your inbox.

Spam is as icky as Spanx. We won't do that to you! Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit


  1. Ashly | 28th Feb 14

    From a tiny seed to a beanstalk that grows to the sky…this is a sometimes daily “job” for my worrying mind. Thank you for sharing Melissa, I needed this encouragement today.

    • | 28th Feb 14

      Ashly, thank YOU for your encouragement. It’s almost like we are all in this together, huh? I’m just the crazy one to put it in black and white (hee hee). And I get it…I have to hack at my beanstalk in some form ERRY DAY. Thank you, sister.

  2. Lori Lehrmann | 28th Feb 14

    Cut the but sister!!!! I love you. I love your words. I love your heart. Not just throwing that out there…I truly mean it. A sister friend I have (one that I enjoy shouting her name out across the hallways at conferences) told me these wise words a few weeks ago when I was allowing seeds of doubt to take root “If you think it’s God & He’s whispered it on your heart then it’s your thing.” I have clung to those words these last few weeks. I have them written down in my journal. So, there you have it. 😉

    • | 28th Feb 14

      LORAY! I was JUST in the car and listening to Oceans and thinking of YOU! In all our conversations, real and virtual, you have seeded my faith and held me up more times than I can count on ten fingers. I am so thankful for our ‘random’ encounter all the time. I really am. So funny to think we flew to North Carolina to find a sister that lived in the same state. I love you, my fellow But Cutter and sisterfriend.

  3. Holly McBerty | 28th Feb 14

    I felt like we were sitting at Luigi’s talking while reading this! I could see you sitting across the table and me hanging on to your every word. I needed this, friend! Never doubt your purpose. Maybe you had to go through these things so that you could share your wisdom and encourage the rest of us! Sorry about your rejection – obviously that literary agency wasn’t good enough! Better things are coming for you – I just know it! Love you!

    • | 28th Feb 14

      Holly. Luigi’s. Now I am crying. No…I am smiling. I sure miss that (for now) and you. Time and distance don’t count for us, do they? Thank you for your constant, steady, faithful friendship. I love you to the moon.

  4. Jill Tucker | 28th Feb 14

    So, so sorry you had a rough day (week?) and that your work was rejected. That stings. You are on the right track. Don’t let go of that! Love, moi

  5. Melanie | 1st Mar 14

    I had a similar week! Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. Julie Minton | 19th Mar 14

    I love you!

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *