Christa Vande Vegte
Query Letter in Hand and Ready to Take the Jump!
Updated: Mar 31
There was a time that I reached the top and dared to jump, which resulted in a disaster, but today I vow I will not let that fear of disaster drag me down again. Not this time, I know there will be times on my writing career journey where things are not going to go as planned, but I will not let fear win.
In the 1980s, I went to a grade school that included swimming lessons for part of the year. I dreaded that day of the week so much that I could not sleep the night before and prayed I would get sick before morning so I didn't have to go. This one particular morning, like all the others swimming days, I, unfortunately, did not wake up with the flu, so I had to go to school. I even thought about forgetting my swimsuit, but that would not work, for I knew they would have a nasty "spare" swimsuit to wear if I forgot mine. The pool instructors called it a spare, but I knew they were the used swimsuits accidentally left at the pool. Jack nasty! My swimming instructor had taught me to swim and equipped me with the know-how to take on the water and swim no matter how deep. But on this dreaded day, the instructor decided it would be a great day to jump off the 10-foot high diving board and into the dark, blue, icy abyss of the 12-foot deep pool area. What the heck? Are you kidding me? We have to plunge way down deep and swim our way up to the surface?
I shakily made my way up the ladder, then walked along the plank slowly like a pirate meeting his doom in the sea below. I got to the end, took a deep breath, and jumped on a flight of fear. I sunk deep into the water, hearing the bubbles around my ears. I started floundering my way to the surface, which seemed like an eternity. When I didn't think I would make it, I didn't.
Yep, that's what I said, didn't. My best friend was next to jump, and she jumped right on top of me, dragging me deeper into the 12-foot death pool. Even though I eventually made it to the surface unscathed, I NEVER jumped off that diving board again. Instead of feeling relieved that I made through on an unexpected event that dragged me down, unfortunately, fear looped its long creepy talons around me, and it was not going to let go.
Now, as I take that leap into the unknown of my writing career, I think of the song by Bethel Music, "No Longer Slaves," and I am no longer going to be a slave to fear, for I am a child of God. I have learned He has been with me through every obstacle and thing that have dragged me down.
Today, as I find myself at the top and ready to leap, I know and have learned that the Lord has been building me up and preparing me for this day for a long time. Everything I have learned through raising my children, through my marriage, and my last job has prepared me. Through raising my children, I have learned how to tell stories and what children love to hear and read. Through my marriage, I have learned to walk through ups and downs in life. There was a dark time in my marriage which my husband and I made it through and are now better than ever, which has inspired me to write a novel based on our story that I am currently working on between my other writings. Through my job, I have learned how to present myself professionally, come up with new ways to organize, and to not let others take advantage of me—knowing when to walk away from bad situations and the realization that I cannot please everyone.
As I am ready to send out query letters for my first finished manuscript, I feel fears of doubt creeping in, the enemy trying to derail me from my purpose in life, but I will not let fear win. The Lord has prepared me for this day, and I will not give up no matter what! He has given me the gift to write, He has built my self-esteem, He has equipped me with what I need. He is still holding my hand, but I need to put in my work too.
Like preparing our children to go out on their own, we prepare them, but they will need to learn how to step out and do things on their own to help in their successes. Of course, if they need a little help along the way, we will still be there to help, all they need to do is reach out their hand, and we will be ready to grasp on and encourage and support them. All they have to do is ask; they will not have to feel alone.
Ultimately, we have our heavenly Father, who will always and forever be here for us no matter what. He will never leave or forsake us. He is always here to help prepare us for the journey He has in store for us. But remember, we have to put in our part, too; we can't just sit off to the side and expect Him to carry us through life. He has made us and equipped us with extraordinary gifts and abilities and to not be afraid to use them.