Dreaming in the Dry Season

Our second book got turned down.

I’ve written the opening paragraph to this post several times trying to ease into that sentence, but each explanation only waters down what we felt from that rejection, so I just decided to lead with it.

Last August, Trish and I were so excited because we’d spent much of the summer pouring our hearts into a new book proposal: No More Halos: Because Being Real is More Important than Being Perfect.

We shot an intro video to share with publishers. Our agent was pumped. We were expectant.

Beyond Ordinary is the story of our marriage; this new book is our life message. This isn’t a marriage book. We were going to help people find healing and freedom through honesty and authenticity.

Our agent submitted the thirty page proposal to all the major publishing houses and gave them a deadline when all offers were due back. We circled that date on the calendar. The hard work was done; now God would come through with a strong offer from a great publisher. It was just a matter of time.

The day came in October to review the offers and our agent listed each publisher that had looked at the proposal, and said all of them like it. Great news! The majority of them took it to their Pub Board (which is the final step before an offer). Getting to that stage with multiple publishers…even more amazing.

All of them declined.

This wasn’t one rejection; this was a rejection by multiple publishers.

Tears streamed down Trisha’s face as we heard the news. My ears got really hot and I felt like I did in 8th grade when I didn’t see my name on the final roster for the basketball team.

We didn’t have a contingency plan for not getting the book deal. Where do we go from here?

October, November and December of 2014 was a dry season. God had closed a door.

If this wasn’t the direction we were supposed to go, what was?

It’s only after a door is closed that our hearts are open to God’s preferred future.

The dream for Hope City Church has lived in our hearts for a few years. We’ve talked about planting a church. We’ve discussed moving back to Indianapolis several times. We hadn’t given ourselves permission to dream beyond this next book.

It took going through a dry season last year to have the courage to pursue it.

Maybe you’re in a dry season right now. You are disappointed or discouraged or just don’t have much direction.

Embrace the dry season.

Here are 3 benefits to the dry season:

  1. Life is quieter.

Most of the time, it’s not that God doesn’t speak to us, we are too busy to hear his voice. A dry season can provide quiet that we desperately need to connect with God’s vision for our life.

  1. Direction is clarified.

In the middle of our dry season, I felt God speak to my heart, “Don’t ask me for direction then resent me for closed doors.” The dead end you face today may give way to a brand new path tomorrow.

  1. You grow.

When you walk with God through a dry season, you will have a greater purpose on the other side. God uses the dry seasons of our life to mold our hearts, shape our souls and grow our character to pursue the dreams he has for us.

A new season is coming. Hang on to HOPE.

5 Responses to Dreaming in the Dry Season

  1. Kathy Bard

    Trisha and Justin I hope and pray that God will use you in a mighty way in this next chapter in your lives. Thank you for your honesty and being so genuine and real. God Bless!

  2. Justin! Trisha! Gah! God is all kinds of good!!! He works things out better than we could have anticipated. When what we think is best doesn’t come through, know that God has better!!!! Prating for y’all and God’s leading. Trust Him. He is good and faithful.

    I wrote a post that comes out next week on Incourage. It lines up with this one! God is in this for sure!!!!

    I LOVE y’all friends!!!!!

  3. Lost

    This was encouraging to read. Last year was a huge dry season, multiple surgeries in less then a year and on the last day of 2014 my wife confesses to an affair. We have been in counselling trying to figure out our to make it work. We’ve made ground and then ground is lost. This week I have found myself very lost. I try and try to seek God for direction and ask for direction and hope. I think I believe that God has a great plan for me and my wife and at the same time I’m having a hard time seeing it. Some days are like hell and some are not so bad, people tell me to trust God and focus on him and that working through it and going on this journey will be worth it in the end. I just have a hard time seeing it and feeling it. Thank you for being so open with your journey and what you two have learned it has helped. Praying for your new journey.

  4. Chris Monahan

    I call mine a season of loss (so many people have been taken/left my life), but I do see parallels. I struggle right now because even in the quiet, I don’t seem to hear God’s voice … or to even feel He is here with me in my mess. I hope you are right about direction and growth. … Here’s to Hope City. The people of Indy will no doubt be blessed by your presence. Cheers.

  5. I cannot even put into words how much I love this. Just…yes.

    The book sounds awesome too. Maybe at some point things will work out for it. Or you could self-publish?! 🙂