A Persistent Breed

2329631495_a0ee551ea3_z*This piece about perseverance, written originally for my February 2009 Life Notes newsletter, is still spot-on applicable in my life today. Last fall I had to pull up my persevering-writer bootstraps like never before when the contract for my book fell through. And today my agent and I are still plugging away and refusing to give up. May the post below inspire you to persevere in areas of your own life. Also, the new issue of Life Notes came out the first of the month, and it’s not too late to receive it. Sign-up is free and to the right!

We writers have to be a persistent breed. A good possibility of rejection lurks just around the corner with each submission sent out. And everyone knows, writer or not, rejection can be hard to handle.

For most people, rejection leads to retreat or at least a change of course. For writers, it better lead to regrouping and forward movement—or we will never see our work published. And believe me, those positive steps can be hard to take if we’ve reverted to a fetal position.

Yes, writers have to learn to quickly get past the dashed hopes a rejection letter delivers, take a deep breath, and start again. That’s where persistence comes in. That’s when we learn to persevere.

Can I let you in on a little secret? I’ve had plenty of practice. Since I started writing thirteen years ago, rejection has paid me regular visits. Truth be told, rejection has come calling more than acceptance.

So why haven’t I given up? I feel like it’s the work God has called me to do, and until he leads in another direction, I want to be faithful to the task. His Word offers continual encouragement with verses like Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

And that brings me to another reason for persevering. The sweetness of the harvest. What a privilege when my work is used and someone’s life is touched through words I’ve written.

Writers are not the only ones who are called upon to persevere, though. We are not the only ones to know the thrill of the harvest. I have to look no further than my own little family to see other examples of perseverance.

I’ve watched my husband go to work day after day, year after year, to provide for our family, even on days he would have preferred to do other things. I saw my oldest daughter hang in there and complete her graduate studies when she had to live far away from her family and fiancé. While waiting tables and faithfully watching internet job sites and Help Wanted ads, my youngest daughter waited over two years to land a job in her field of study and in the area where she wanted to live. And yes, I’ve had to persevere through other life challenges, too.

Does your job or your endeavors demand that you be a persistent breed? Will pressing on be the only way you will achieve your goals? Or maybe you’re faced with having to persevere through a health crisis, a difficult relationship, or a financial setback. Whatever your challenges, I encourage you to not give up. The harvest is sure. And it will certainly be sweet.

“‘But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.’” 2 Chronicles 15:7

*When have you had to persevere?

*Flickr photo by Tonymadrid Photography, Creative Commons License


  1. Thanks Cheryl, I needed to read this today!!

  2. Well – this entire year has been one of perseverance. Every day has been a choice to get up and do this hard obedience. I cannot remember a time when life has demanded so much of me. I pray for the seeds that have been sown, that they will grow into harvest down the road. Until then, I will water them with my tears and give the growing over to God. Only he can make them count for eternity.

    • Elaine, so glad you’ve been faithful during such a long and difficult season. I just know those seeds you planted will make a difference. And yes, give the growing over to God. You’re right — Only God… Hugs, friend!

  3. I’m so glad I read this! Your words bring loads of encouragement, Cheryl, to this gal on the path clothed with rejection. I’ll be praying concerning your book. (Girl! I went through the emotions w/you, reading about it.) Press on, my friend.

    • Kristi, so glad you dropped by and found encouragement here! Boy, we writers know the path of rejection all too well, don’t we? I appreciate your prayers so much and your encouragement to press on. Same to you, my friend!

  4. Great photo, Cheryl!

    Rejection is so routine for those of us who make things. It never feels good, it always makes us question. Every so often I ask God to verify for me that I am on the right path (for you that would be the “write path”) and He does. Then I wonder why I need the praise of humans. Then I remember that this is how I earn my living, and that work is good and money tells us it is valued.

    So, as long as you know God wants you to write, keep on a-writin’!! (And I’ll keep on a-paintin’.)

    • Jana, knowing that God wants me to write is the main thing that keeps me going, and I bet that’s true for you with your art work, too. You artists are also a persistent breed! (So glad you enjoyed the photo!)

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