If you are a subscriber to P31 Woman Magazine–a publication of P31 Ministries, check out my June 2012 article, on p.6, entitled “Beauty Hinges on Hope”. (Or click here to order your copy.)
It’s a great story about how God waited until I was done trying to control my husband (I warned you that I struggle with this!) and was quietly surrendered to Him before He revealed a solution to my problem which required absolutely no verbal manipulation.
But since you’ll have to read the article for that story, allow me to tell you a story behind my article in P31 Magazine:
There’s some pretty stiff competition in freelance writing. Editors wade through thousands of submissions, and often don’t have time to even provide the reason your piece wasn’t a good fit for their needs. So, when an Editor does give you a chance to make yourself useful, you–the freelance writer–are pretty much willing to file her toenails or pick the bugs off her windshield in order to obtain the opportunity to be published.
When I heard back from P31 Magazine, the Editor only asked me to change one thing. She didn’t like a small example I had used, and asked me to swap it out for a new one.
“Are you kidding? That’s it??” I thought. “I can do that with one hand tied behind my back.” I clicked ‘send’, then found my writing spreadsheet and changed the status of this particular article to a brightly highlighted ‘Accepted for Publication’. Success!
But a couple of months later, I got a note from the Editor. She mentioned that there were two funny things about my updated manuscript. One–it hadn’t been updated. I hadn’t made the change she requested. (Imagine my horror!) Two–she hadn’t realized that she was mistaken. (Imagine my surprise! Is there such a thing as a mistaken editor??) She had reevaluated and decided that my illustration should stay. She even said ‘the Lord moves in mysterious ways.’
Well this is one mystery that I could clear up. I hadn’t clicked ‘save’ before I clicked ‘send’. I felt so foolish!! But I also felt so drawn to this editor. Her gracious and humble words to me were very Proverbs 31-ish. Very Jesus-ish.
I thought about my manuscript blunder–and my other big mistakes like it. (There have been many.) I realized that when I’ve been mistaken, I have a unique opportunity to draw people to myself, and to my Lord with gracious, humble responses.
I still consider a ‘mistaken editor’ to be an oxymoron. I’d still be willing to clean out the crud underneath her refrigerator. But I’m also more willing to be gracious and humble–especially when I’m mistaken.