Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Proverbs 13:12

A friend and critique partner shared this verse with me recently when I received yet another glorious rejection. Heart sick. I think nearly every writer knows the feeling. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve experienced some kind of rejection. At best, the deferment of your dreams. At worst, the annihilation of all hope.

And it’s hard to get up the next day and keep trying. Logic says that getting a job at Wal-Mart is a safer bet.

I want to give up. Why should I keep trying to sell something no one wants buy? Isn’t it a waste of time to pour my effort into pages and pages of a story only a handful of people will ever read? What is the ever-lovin’ point?

This is when writing becomes worship, more specifically a sacrifice of praise. Because, you see, I still feel called to write. I don’t know why. It doesn’t make human sense. I mean, if I’m called to write, shouldn’t someone out there feel called to read what I write? Or am I merely a slave to my own inner drive? Like a hamster on a wheel, am I endlessly chasing my instinct and blind to the reality of my situation?

I don’t know. All I know is the call is still there. Even when I tell myself it’s time to be a grownup and do really meaningful things, like clean the bathroom. Even when I quit and surrender to the ever-present role of taxi-driving drone. Even when I tell myself, “Evangeline, this is your life. Be a good wife. Be a good mom. Be a good daughter. Clean the bathroom. Drive the car. Make the meals. That’s it.”

But that isn’t it. God desires more from me than duty. He desires my praise, my joy. And, because He designed my praise and joy to come in the form of written words, He desires me to write.

And, wouldn’t you know it, my particular form of worship happens to be the medicine for my sick heart. What starts out as a feeble attempt to follow my calling turns into life-giving communion with my God.

I’m not going to pretend it’s easy to keep crafting an offering that has no value in the human world. But it is my worship, and so I’ll keep at it.

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. Hebrews 13:15