God’s ways are mysterious, and often that’s a great thing. I entered my science fiction novel, Welcome, Earthborn Brother, in the Rattler Writing Contest for one reason: I wanted to make it to the final round. I knew that round would be judged by Steve Laube, the new editor of Enclave Press (formerly Marcher Lord Press), a well established publisher of Christian speculative fiction.
I figured that if I could get Steve’s feedback, I’d know whether or not my story had any chance of being published by Enclave. Since they receive so many submissions, it typically takes a year or more to hear back from them. By entering the contest, I hoped to shave several months off of that response time.
When I didn’t make it to the final round, I assumed that was the end of the story. However, God had a happy surprise in store for me, one that I could never have predicted.
One of the preliminary judges from the contest liked my story well enough to recommend that I contact her. She said that if I rewrote my first chapter incorporating her suggestions for improvement, she’d be happy to look at it again.
This judge turns out to be the editor of a small press that publishes Christian speculative fiction. After seeing my revised first chapter, she asked me to submit the full manuscript. God had a good plan for my entering the contest that I could not have conceived of before He brought it about.
This whole experience has reminded me that God sees all ends. Even when I think I know what to pray for, He sometimes has a great surprise in store for me.
Lord, when things don’t turn out the way I’ve been praying they will, help me recognize that it’s because your answer is, “No, I have something better.”