Today the inevitable happened. I was made aware of my first (to my knowledge) negative feedback on Forgetting the Fairy Tale. I knew it was coming. I knew before I was finished with writing it that this day would come. I prayed that God would guide my words and hoped to avoid what I knew was bound to happen, but alas, it happened.
When my friend read the words to me, my first reaction was, “That’s it? That’s the worst she could say? That’s not that bad.”
Then the words started to sink in. I must confess—after an hour of trying to let it go, I was strongly tempted to post the following on my Facebook wall:
Would any of you that have read my book and thought it was wonderful kindly make your way to xyz.com and tell this girl that she’s an idiot? Thanks.
(I know, I know. No super-Christian award for me.)
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit called an intervention and hasn’t stopped talking since. And He’s made some very good points. I decided that instead of starting an “I hate haters” fan page I would share what He has reminded me of today. Perhaps someone reading this will benefit from my struggle with the flesh and get that super-Christian award that is now up for grabs.
- Someone outside of my circle of family and friends has read my book. This is awesome news.
- It’s been said that you aren’t a real author until someone disagrees with you, so woohoo for that confirmation!
- At least until the point in the book where I offended this girl, she was exposed to God’s Word and He has promised that His Word will never return void.
- If my source of joy, satisfaction, or self-worth comes from what others say about me, I am destined to live a miserable and stress-filled life. My identity is not what I do or how people perceive me. My identity comes from the sacrificial gift of Jesus that has made me a child of the Almighty, All-Loving, All-Wise God who understands me completely and loves me anyway.
- I am not perfect. My words are not perfect. I need to be open to correction. I need to be willing to hear it—not argue with it—but hear it and do my best to glean from it whatever truth is there so that I can become a better person, and in this case, a better writer.
- My heart is a liar that tells me I am much more awesome than I am. If all I ever do is surround myself with people that love me and shower compliments on me, I will be consumed with pride and I won’t grow. I need friends who are willing to say hard things that I don’t want to hear. I need people to write bad reviews to remind me that I can always improve my communication skills. I need the book signings where no one shows up. These things are thermometers for my heart. They tell me if I am truly living for the glory of God or if I’m trying to steal His glory for myself.
So to you, reviewer-who-shall-remain-nameless…thank you. Thank you for taking time out of your life to read my book and for sharing your thoughts. Thank you for reminding me of who I really am and for pointing out the pride I was allowing to reign in my heart. I am indebted to you. Truly.