I wrote The Promise in 2011 and I did everything right. I stirred interest up before the book was even finished. I contacted agents and publishers. I looked for recommendations. If there was a checklist of things to do to ensure a successful launch, I had checked every box. Nothing happened.
By 2012, I was frustrated and angry. I had put all I had into the book. I thought I had been answering God’s calling. Why didn’t He do something?
Then came the opportunity to submit a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul, a story I knew in my heart would be chosen. Everything became clear to me. God had a plan. He had been lining everything up for me, but I couldn’t see it.
Being part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul opened doors that would have remained close to me otherwise. It put a spotlight on me that highlighted the story and The Promise. Media wanted to talk to me, bookstores invited me to book signings, people started to pay attention.I had a publicity campaign that never would have been possible for me in the initial launch of The Promise. I have met people because of Chicken Soup that are now champions of The Promise.
It makes me wonder what God is working on right now to make His timing perfect for me. They say that it takes five years for a bamboo shoot to break through the ground, that even though it is growing, nobody can see it. Is that what unanswered prayers are like? There is a lot of activity, none of which we can see.
If Sarah had moved when she wanted to, she would never have found her divine purpose of serving others. Being alone, her only choice was to reach out. She would never have met Sam and been able to share her experience of talking with God, as well as having her faith strengthened by that seemingly unanswered prayer. If I had released The Promise when I wanted to, I would have missed out on so many opportunities.
I am beginning to look at prayers that are not answered as a “not now” or “I have something better” than a “no.” I am trusting that good things come to those who wait because God promised that. And, He has proven it.
If you are waiting on something that is in your heart, whether it is big or small, life-changing or superficial, know that it will come in the best form possible at the best time possible. How do I know? Because God said so.