But there it was.
I tore open the envelope and read the words "We are pleased to inform you that your devotion has been chosen to appear in the September/October 2010 issue of Devozine." Maybe as much as a year ago, I'd submitted a story to Devozine, a magazine for Christian teens. And here, many months later, I was getting word that my words would be in print.
After the initial excitement wore off, I realized that I didn't even remember what I'd submitted. I vaguely recall writing something about a mishap that my best friend Kelly and I had shared during our senior year, but I can't be sure. I even went into my documents file to look up what I'd sent...and then I said, "Ohhhhhhhh!" as I remembered what I'd done with it:
I had DELETED it!
A month or two ago, I was going through my computer files, deleting old or unnecessary files. I saw the document entitled "Devozine Submission" and thought, "Nothing's going to come of that" as I pressed the delete button.
So much time had passed that the possibility of getting published was no longer even on my radar--to the point that I felt no hesitation in deleting my copy of what was sent. I have been writing and submitting off and on for years, and I have several rejection letters taped up in a closet (all with the positive feedback highlighted on each so that I wouldn't be totally discouraged). It's never "happened" for me. And so I pressed delete.
Mary Beth Whalen tells of her own "Scribbled-On Dreams." She was jotting down ideas for a book in a spiral-bound notebook, but when the idea got shelved for a few years, she even let her young son scribble in the notebook. Five years later, the book was published, but she kept that scribbled-on notebook as a reminder that simply because WE have given up on our dreams, God may still intend for them to be realized.
So I'll wait until that September/October issue comes out to see what on earth I wrote! And in the meantime, I'll give thanks that my delete button can't thwart the plans of God. :)