Jessica Christine Musgrove

Author. Singer. Actress.
My King is a dragon-slayer.

Lord of the Sabbath

Dear Readers,

A couple of weeks ago, I began the difficult journey of trying to get my book published as a first-time author. I want to go the traditional route and find a literary agent, which means writing query letters and proposals that summarize my book in a paragraph and again in 1-2 pages, allowing for a little expansion…’Little’ being the key word. Let me tell you, that is SUUUUUUUPER tough.

But I forced myself to sit up straight on Sunday afternoon and get to work. I found a literary agency I was curious about, spent three hours agonizing over a query letter that only shared two paragraphs about my book, and did the scary thing… I pressed ‘Send’. Within a few hours, right before I was about to go to bed, my phone dinged with an email.

Side Note: Whenever you send a query letter, you must also submit the word count of your book. The word count for Evergreen and the Silver Tree, my YA Christian fantasy, is 140,000 words.

Back to my email. I opened the response from the literary agency. According to them, my book is too long. In doing a bit more research, I’ve discovered it’s difficult for a first-time author to find a literary agent and publishing company with a novel over 120,000 words (and typically, they want the book to be even less than that). My book, being 140,000 words is a little over 500 pages in true book format.

So…what was my response to the email I received? The truth is, I tend to be sensitive. Which in the right circumstances can be a strength, but in this case, it wasn’t. My immediate response was anxiety. I questioned everything about my book, everything about the way I write. In haste, I was about ready to pull out my laptop and stay up all night chopping away at scenes, characters, places–all the things that put the life behind this story.

The Lord stopped me. I am SO grateful for His kindness. My worried mind was not in a position to revise at all. The next day, my quiet time was a passage in Matthew that showed me I need to think about my writing, my work, and everything I do from God’s perspective.

During Jesus’ time on earth before the cross, He spent many hours conversing and eating dinner with tax collectors and sinners; on many occasions, He spoke to the Gentiles; scripture records He even healed on the Sabbath. None of this went over well with the Pharisees, who were all about sticking to religious tradition. Jesus turned their religious traditions over on its side, threatening their own authority by revealing that He has ultimate authority. And He does! He’s the Son of God, fully God and fully man!

Listen to what Jesus says to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:7-8

“But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire compassion, and not a sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

In other words, Jesus is greater than the Sabbath. The Creator is greater than the created.


God is sovereign and perfect and holy, all the things we are not. The Pharisees didn’t want to be told that…That meant they were sinners, too. But Jesus didn’t shy away from reminding them of their fallenness several times.

Here’s my takeaway:

God, as the Creator, spoke creation into being. In reading Genesis 1 and in the forming of creation, God speaks His creation into being, and it is good. It is good, it is good, it is good. Everything God created at the beginning was good. Nothing needed revising or tailoring or subtractions or chopping. Nothing was just so-so. God’s creation, straight away, was good.

I, as a creator/artist, write a first draft of a novel, and it’s a mess! It’s chaos! It needs revising again and again. It needs refining and chopping and additions and re-wording. I am NOT the Creator. I am NOT perfect. I am a sinner who has been rescued by grace found in Christ alone.

But… The Lord has given me the joy of creating a fantasy novel that glorifies Him. I have the privilege of having an entire realm inside my head, an entire story saved to my documents. I have written my first-draft. It was messy, so I revised and revised and revised again. Several eyes have read the story and given me constructive feedback. I’ve edited and learned so much in the process, in the struggle. And now, in moving toward getting published, there is more struggle. More to learn.

This struggle, this journey, reminds me I am not and never will be the Creator. Therefore, this struggle is good, because it points me to Christ. It tells me I must cling to Him, depend on Him, hope and trust solely in Him. That’s the only way to jump the hurdles. That’s the only way to climb the mountain.

I’m continually praying the Lord will help me get this book into the right hands. The journey won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

If you’re reading this, and you’re a struggling artist, I hope you will be encouraged. Keep climbing. Keep learning. Keep trusting. Keep praying.

Keep going.






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