I am a coward. Those who know me would say otherwise, but truth be told, I am greatly lacking in the courage department. It doesn’t matter how many people call me brave, courageous, or lionhearted. When it comes down to it, I’m the equivalent of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. Before every speaking engagement, every new work is published, every conference is attended, I find myself standing with my shoulders hung, tail between my legs, wishing for a courageous soul.
If I’m honest, it’s why I didn’t want to attend this year’s writing conference. I’m ashamed to admit it, but God had to basically force me to go. This year’s conference was my third time attending in five years. The first time I went to see if I had any business attempting to write. After being told I had talent, I went home with a new direction and sense of purpose, and Broken but Priceless Ministries was born. Two years later I returned to figure out what needed to be done in order to publish a book, and again went home with new ideas and a passion to start a magazine for people living with a chronic illness. Every time I’ve attended the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference I’ve seen God do a mighty work, but still, I found myself unwilling to attend this year’s conference. I was lacking motivation in writing. The year, thus far, has been hard for me physically. God has been healing me through experimental treatments, but they have been anything but fun. Between being extremely sick and doing everything in my power to further my writing career, I didn’t see what God could accomplish by me once again attending a writers’ conference. And I was wrong!
From the very beginning, God did more than I ever imagined possible. Many people in attendance knew who I was because of my writing, speaking engagements, the magazine, and the ministry. Not only that, I was given a table along with the staff in the appointment room so people could interview to be a writer for the magazine. (Side note: we now have new contributors, new columns we’re going to add, and a cookbook writer who will take over “The Corner Bistro.”) The crazy thing is none of this was why I went to the conference. I went to FINALLY begin the book publishing process, which is an incredibly long and tedious process. It’s the reason why so many people choose to self-publish. The publishing world is like a fortress, and it’s extremely difficult to even make it through the gates surrounding the wall. Yet God threw open the gates and did things I couldn’t have dreamed. I now have three different publishing houses who want to publish my first book, as well as several agents who are interested in representing me. There’s still a lot that needs to be done, and I desperately need your prayers as I start on this journey, yet I can’t wait to see what God does next.
God overwhelmed me at a conference with all He did, and I didn’t even want to attend. I’m so thankful God pushed me to go, and I don’t say this because of all He did. He taught me something new every day, lessons that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Just a few of the things He showed me are:
1) God is bigger than the air we breathe. Dream big!
2) It doesn’t matter what you’re capable of nearly as much as it matters that you have a willing spirit to do the things God has called you to do.
3) God isn’t limited by our limitations.
4) Show up! God won’t work in your life if you’re unwilling.
5) If you’re scared, ask God to infuse you with His courage and strength. These are the types of prayers He loves to answer.
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” ~ Acts 4:13
© June 3, 2015