When God Says “No”

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As I’ve written about before, spreading the word about my book has been so much harder than I had anticipated. When I was writing Real Recovery: What Eating Disorder Recovery Actually Looks Like, I didn’t realize that it would be so challenging to make things happen—find speaking engagements, appear on podcasts, write for blogs and magazines, etc. Sometimes it feels like no matter how hard I try to promote this book, I simply can’t succeed in the way that I want to.

Every “no” (and every lack of response) that I’ve faced has been a challenge. I can’t even remember how many places I’ve contacted that have ignored my inquiries or have told me that they’re not interested. All that I can think about is the deep frustration that I’ve felt over the past year because of it.  

My pride says, “Grace, your book could encourage so many young women as they recover from their eating disorders.” My pride says, “There is so much potential for your book; you would be famous if people knew about it.” My pride says, “Your book could be a bestseller if only people would let you promote it.” But as I focus on my book and my platform and my lack of success, I quickly drown in discouragement. Perhaps I need to focus less on my efforts and focus more on God’s will.

It’s Not About How Hard We Try

Then David and his men, about six hundred, arose and departed from Keilah, and they went wherever they could go. When it was told Saul that David had escaped from Keilah, he gave up the pursuit. David stayed in the wilderness in the strongholds, and remained in the hill country in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand. (1 Samuel 23:13-14 NASB1995, emphasis mine)

I was struck when I read this passage a few weeks ago. I had to wrestle with the idea that there’s nothing that I can do to make anything happen for my book. I can reach out to a million people and places, beg with great desperation for promotional opportunities, and spend every waking moment trying to develop marketing strategies.

But God is the only One who can make anything happen for Real Recovery.  

It’s About the Will of God

Saul literally sought David every day; he tried his very best to kill David. But he couldn’t make it happen. God had to be the one to deliver David over to Saul, but that wasn’t part of His plan for David.

It’s the same way with our efforts, friends. We can devote all our time and energy to something and still not succeed—if success in that area isn’t God’s plan for us.

I don’t know what God has in store for Real Recovery. Maybe a speaking engagement every month, a podcast appearance every week, and a blogging or article-writing invitation every day will fall into my lap. Or maybe they won’t. Either way, I can—actually, we can—trust the sovereignty of God to lead us to exactly where we need to be.

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