by Mel Tavares

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 NIV

As writers, many of us have experienced the sting of rejection. I recall laboring over a particular manuscript and submitting it, only to experience disappointment, confusion, and frustration. I tried to understand why my strategically picked editors were not eager to make an offer on my two-year labor of love.

My plans to have the book traditionally published did not work out. As it turned out, the rejection proved to be a blessing. The unpublished, highly researched content became the core of my dissertation work a year later, which was published upon completion. Had the book been published, I would have needed a different research project, resulting in two added years in my doctoral work.

Have you ever experienced a time of redirection in your writing or speaking ministry? Is there a time you can recall God gently closing a door to an endeavor? These times can be painful and also confusing, leaving us with more questions than answers.

We must trust that God has our best in mind, and any door He closes is because He has something else in mind for us.

Sometimes God redirects us away from an opportunity that seems very good and aligns perfectly with our goals. Why would the Lord redirect us instead of moving us toward the goals we have prayerfully set?

You are loved with an everlasting love and your heavenly father wants to give you the very best. What is good may not necessarily God’s best plan for you. Remember, He showers us with exceedingly more than we could ever ask for or imagine (see Ephesians 3:20)!

Our omniscient God sees beyond what we can see. He sometimes redirects us, so that our timing is perfect. This was true of my situation. God called me to write and speak on transformative topics. But in the end, what felt like an extended delay actually catapulted me into an expanded ministry.

If we love God and trust that he is working all things together for our good and according to his purpose, we can also trust he will bring his plans to fruition. What initially seems like rejection should be positively viewed as God’s redirection. As Romans 8:28 says, we know that all things will work together for good. God’s redirection is his means of steering us into his plan and purpose for our lives.

What may seem a closed door should be received as movement into an even greater purpose for you and the words you have written.

Heavenly Father, thank you for calling us to write and speak. Thank you for redirecting us to the plans you have for us. We submit our works into your hands to be directed to reach the audience you’ve called us to serve. Help me to trust that this shift is your redirection and not a rejection. Amen.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Mel Tavares is an accomplished writer and speaker/teacher, both in ministry and in her career. She is passionate about encouraging and teaching writers. Her target market is women who are hurting and in need of Biblical hope. In addition to ghost writing and authoring her own books, Mel is a contributing author to several books, including the recently released DaySpring “Sweet Tea for the Soul: Comfort for Grieving Hearts.”  She writes for several online Christian communities, teaches classes online, conducts Facebook Live series, and is a podcast guest as opportunities arise. She is a wife, mom to seven, and grandma to ten.

Join the conversation: How has God redirected you to something better?


We’re a Bunch of Misfits

by Susan K. Stewart

For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 ESV

In the sea of children’s Christmas shows with the likes of Rudolph, Frosty, and the Grinch, the tale of Nestor, The Long-Eared Christmas Donkey never seems to make it to the must-see list of children’s Christmas movies.

The story is simple: Nestor is different—he has unusually long ears, even for a donkey. As an oddling, Nestor is teased and ultimately rejected. Even his owner throws him out of the stable, leaving him to die in a snowstorm. Eventually, through a series of miraculous events, Nester becomes the donkey that Mary rides on to Bethlehem.

The Bible is full of misfits: those who don’t quite belong. David, the boy who was too small for Saul’s army. Rahab was a prostitute. Deborah, a woman who chosen by God to be a judge. Zacchaeus, a short tax collector. Each of these oddballs had a purpose in God’s plan and was used by God in unique ways.

Is it their uniqueness that makes them better suited for God’s work? I think God uses the misfits, because they don’t fit in.

Here’s the thing: Each of us relates to being a misfit. I doubt there are many readers who are thinking, “That’s not me. I’m not the odd one out.” We all can relate to the long-eared donkey. We all can relate to rejection. We all think we aren’t of much value to God’s kingdom.

We all think we’re Nestor.

David became king. Rahab was an ancestor of Jesus. Deborah led an army to victory over an oppressor (unheard of in her culture). Zaccheaus, a reviled sinner, hosted a party for Jesus. Even children were seen as little value. When parents began bringing their children to Jesus, the disciples shooed them away. Jesus said, “Let the children come to me … for to such belong the kingdom of heaven” (Mark 10:14 ESV).

Let’s face it. In the culture that Jesus was born into, his birth was surrounded by rumor and tales of infidelity. Conceived out of wedlock, he, too, may have been considered a misfit. We do know that ultimately he was rejected by nearly all.

God uses the misfits, the ugly ducklings, to further his kingdom. Things like our standing in society, the size of our bank accounts, or the brand name of our clothes. He doesn’t care about extra-long ears, either. What he cares about is us. He has a purpose for us. It may not be to carry the mother of the Savior, but he wants to use us to build his kingdom.

We actually don’t know if Mary rode a donkey to Bethlehem, even though tradition says she did. We do know the first announcement of the birth went not to accepted society, but the outcasts—shepherds. God used these dirty, smelly men who lived in the fields to spread his message of joy and peace—the arrival of the Messiah (Luke 2:8-10).

As we celebrate the birth of our Savior, we should put aside our visions of a perfect holiday with a balanced Christmas tree and golden turkey for dinner. Look at the misfits around us—look at ourselves. Have a misfit holiday with Jesus at the center.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the misfits you bring to our lives. Thank you for teaching us you have a plan for us misfits to further your kingdom.

(Adapted from Donkey Devos: Listen When God Speaks copyright 2021)

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Susan K. Stewart didn’t expect to become a “donkey whisper.” One day God put her in a herd of donkeys, and it was love at first bray. Susan and her husband Bob live in Central Texas with their three dogs, three cats, numerous chickens, and inspiring donkeys. They have three children and six outstanding grandchildren. Susan’s book, Formatting e-Books for Writers, was originally released in March 2016 and received an AWSA Silver Scroll Merit Award (2016). Susan’s other books include Science in the Kitchen and Preschool: At What Cost?

Her devotional, Donkey Devos: Listen When God Speaks, was released in July 2021.She has been a guest writer for Upgrade with Dawn (Dawn Wilson), Homeschool with Heart, and Susan’s passion is to inspire readers with practical, real-world solutions and a few donkey stories.

Join the conversation: Do you feel like you are a misfit? How has God made you uniquely able to serve him?

Promises That Overpower Rejection

by Kristine Brown @KristineBrown43

“Number 17, number 9, number 4…,” the master called out, as the group of aspiring ballerinas stood there in our best black leotards and pink tights. Hearing my number would mean just one thing: I would be a snowflake in the Nutcracker ballet! I held my breath in anticipation, but my number wasn’t called.

The new snowflakes skipped out of the room where proud mommas waited. I lined up in the corner with the remaining ballerinas. The next group called would join the cast as party clowns. Not as glamorous as a snowflake, but still included. One by one we cartwheeled across the floor. The girls with the best cartwheels heard their numbers. Unfortunately, my cartwheel didn’t show much promise.

My last chance… the final few returned to the corner again. Our audition neared its end, but the director still needed to cast the final group – the mice! Not as fun as a party clown, but at least I would get to participate. He sang the directions in cadence, “Run out into the center and act like a mouse.”

 How does a mouse act, anyway? I thought.

Without a clue what to do, I followed the other mice candidates. I scurried, scratched my nose, and wiggled my tail with as much mice-like conviction as I could muster. It just wasn’t enough. With the final numbers still lingering in the air, my Nutcracker dreams died.

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

Rejection doesn’t end when we grow up. Those same feelings that caused such pain when we were young can affect us as women, too. Even when I feel like I’ve moved beyond the need for acceptance, one simple event can take me back to that memory – the day my number wasn’t called.

It could be an email stating my writing isn’t what they’re looking for, a call saying they’ve given the job to another applicant, or that thought wondering why I wasn’t invited to lunch with the other ladies.

Any of these scenes can send me back to those moments on the dance floor, holding my breath once again, feeling that heavy heart-drop when I’m not included. But when those feelings of rejection surface, we have four strong promises from the verse above to hold close.

God goes before me.

God will be with me.

God will never leave me.

God will not forsake me.

The truth is, we never have to feel abandoned when we have God. Rejection is a lie created to make us think we are less than who God says we are. Deuteronomy 31:8 speaks straight to that lie and offers hope. Let’s read these words right out loud today, and let God’s words give us the courage to stand firm against rejection. God goes before me. He will be with me. He will never leave me. He will not forsake me.

Proclaiming these promises restores our sense of identity as daughters of the King. So even if we aren’t destined to be a snowflake, a party clown, or a mouse, God’s plan is more fabulous than we can imagine. And His love for us will overpower rejection. Every. Single. Time.

Promises That Overpower Rejection – insight from @KristineBrown43 on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

kristine brownAbout the author: Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart, sharing insight with her readers in relatable  ways. Her life experiences serve as a backdrop for her lessons that highlight God’s powerful Word and redemptive grace. She is the founder of the non-profit organization, More Than Yourself, Inc. Read Kristine’s weekly devotions at or connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you ever question whether you measure up? Kristine’s book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan,  learn the solution to a battle all women face. Through practical Bible teaching, find contentment in your God-given uniqueness and take simple steps to claim victory over comparison. Learn how to say “I’m over it” and mean it!

Join the conversation: When is the last time you felt rejected?