In the words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.”
J.K. Rowling had just gotten a divorce, was on government aid, and could barely afford to feed her baby in 1994, just three years before the first Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, was published. When she was shopping it out, she was so poor she couldn’t afford a computer or even the cost of photocopying the 90,000-word novel, so she manually typed out each version to send to publishers. It was rejected dozens of times until finally Bloomsbury, a small London publisher, gave it a second chance after the CEO’s eight-year-old daughter fell in love with it.
It would have been easy for Rowling to just give up, get a job, and take care of her child, but she persevered.
It happens to all of us. God gives us a dream. He calls us to accomplish something for His Kingdom, something that will honor and glorify His name, something that will edify His children. We get excited and start off running.
Soon the enemy comes at us. “Who do you think you are? You can’t do that. You don’t have the skill, the education, or the finances.” Remember the enemy has but one goal, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…” (John 10:10a) He wants to rob you of your God-given dream. He wants to destroy your confidence.
Friends, what I want to tell you today is this, don’t let him. If God has placed within your heart and soul a message that He wants you to share, don’t let anyone or anything stop you. It may not happen overnight. In fact, it usually doesn’t, but if you persevere it will come to pass.
Here are just a few examples:
- The great mystery writer, Agatha Christie, waited four years before her first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, was published in 1920.
- Beatrix Potter self-published her classic, The Tales of Peter Rabbit.
- Children’s author, Dr. Seuss, had over 58 of his stories rejected.
- Alex Haley, author of Roots, wrote every day for eight years before finding success in his attempts.
When I came to Albuquerque in 2006, John Thurman came to my office and introduced himself. He said, “I’m writing a book.” John’s book, Getting a Grip on Depression, was released eight years later in 2014. Sometimes life gets in the way.
I met Aaron Zook in 2009 at the writer’s conference in Abiquiu. Aaron had a plan to write suspense and mystery stories for young adults. After much prayer and research, Aaron decided to use a self-publisher. Aaron is now awaiting the release of his fourth in a 12-book series and has a contract with Bold Vision Books.
When Kenn Edwards attended his first writer’s conference, he had but a glimmer of an idea. Was it even worthy pursuing? With a lot of encouragement from others, Kenn hired a writing coach to help him follow the dream God had given him. At one point during this writing project, Kenn quit. However, God gave Kenn new insight and got him back on track. Kenn’s book, My Footprint for God, was released in 2016.
Sally Walls came all the way from Alberta Canada to attend the writer’s conference in 2010. She was still in the midst of grieving the death of her teen age son. But even then, Sally knew she would write about this journey someday. Sally was getting ready, waiting on God’s timing. Sally’s memoir, Nightfall to Daybreak, was just released.
These are but a few stories of individuals that have taken the dream God gave them and stuck with it. They are living examples that perseverance pays off.