Gary Thomas

120 is a number I’ll always hate. That’s how many consecutive rejection letters I received during an 8 year battle to get published. Magazines, publishers, agents—nobody wanted anything I wrote for nearly an entire decade. But I couldn’t put all of my heart into anything else. Frankly, I’m not a particularly skilled person and couldn’t imagine getting paid for anything else. It even turned creepy. Three early advocates of my writing—a professor, a writer, a publisher—all died after expressing their belief in my eventual success. I thought I had three thresholds through which God could push me to success, but each one closed with the weight of a literal (not just figurative) coffin. After six years of arguing with God, I distinctly sensed Him telling me “two more years.” “I can’t possibly wait that long, after already working for six,” I lamented. But, almost to the day, two years later a major magazine published an article and a publisher offered me my first book contract. Today, by God’s grace, there are well over a million books in over 15 different languages with my name on the cover. But oh, how much it hurt to get there!

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