Faith and Culture 2015- What I Learned
I really want to get back to the book writing, and I will, with a blog post on Thursday titled 5 More Ways that God shows his Unfailing Faithfulness, a continuation of this post from last week. I’ve been off topic lately, sharing some other writing I’ve had in my files. It was spring break for my kids and I went to a writing conference- so life has been busy.
What I want to share with you today is not a part of the outline for my book on trusting Jesus. It’s a story about the faithfulness of God and the way he showed his love to me this past weekend. It’s a story about what happened when I trusted that small still voice I heard in my spirit- so maybe it will find it’s way into my book after all.
Just an Idea that Scared Me
A few months ago, I was reading the “about” page on Emily Freeman’s blog, Chatting at the Sky, and I noticed that she was going to be speaking at a writing conference in Portland. That’s not far from where I am, and I thought it would be great to hear her speak, so I went to the Faith and Culture website and signed up to go.
I was scared but excited. I am extremely shy around people I don’t know, and I’m still at a point where it’s hard for me to even call myself a writer. There would be “real” writers at this conference, people I looked up to. But I knew this was something I needed to do, so I prayed for strength to overcome the fear I was feeling, and I went.
There was another part of this conference that terrified me even more. There would be publishing agents there to listen to book pitches. My book is not ready yet. I’m not sure what avenue I will choose when it’s time to think about publishing it. I knew it would be an opportunity wasted if I didn’t make an appointment with an agent, but I kept putting it off because I was scared. Finally, the day before the conference, I looked at the website and saw that all the agent slots were full. It wasn’t meant to be, I thought.
When I got to the conference, it was announced that there was one more appointment available. I thought about it, but still, put it off. The next day I attended a workshop about fear and perfectionism, that seemed to tailor made for me. I got the message. I walked over to the building where the agents were meeting with people and decided to ask if that one appointment was still available. It wasn’t. There were some mentor appointments available though, so I took one of those instead.
When I went back for my mentor appointment, I was waiting in the hallway, and people were talking. They were talking about a lady who was in the same workshop as me, who was also scared, but changed her mind, and who asked to have her name put on a waiting list in case there were any cancellations with the agents. She got one. Cool story.
Finally, much later, after I couldn’t quit thinking about it, I went and asked if I too, could be put on a waiting list. There was someone in front of me on the list, so it wasn’t likely that I would get one.
"Keep Going. I'm in Control. I love You"
But I did get an appointment. I got the call at lunch and my appointment was at four- with the president of a large publishing house. What?! I didn’t even have a pitch prepared. At lunch, I was nervous, but I happened to have sat down at a random table with a group of the most encouraging ladies possible. One of those ladies happened to be the one whose story I had overheard, the story that motivated me to try again for that appointment. Another lady at the table was Emily Freeman, who was pretty much the starting point for why I was at the conference in the first place. She was very sweet.
The weird happenstances continued all day. The appointment went well. I don’t think anything will come of it, but I received great advice and went away encouraged. After that, I went to the large group meeting. They sang Oceans- the song that inspired my book and of which my whole book is structured around. I got a little teary at that point. I was just feeling very loved by God, like he was trying to get a message to me. “Keep going, I’m in control, I love you” is what I heard.
Promise from God
Then WM Paul Young, author of The Shack (his NY Times bestseller was rejected 26 times) gets up to speak, and his talk is based around Proverbs 3:5-6. That’s the verse I chose back in January as the theme verse for my book. I kept thinking, this is weird, but Oceans is a popular song, and it’s widely quoted verse, it’s just coincidence, etc..
Whatever. God got my attention. The whole weekend was wonderful. When I drove away to go home, I was thinking about the whole series of events that had unfolded throughout the day, and then I looked at the sky, there was the brightest double rainbow, right in front of me. The sign of a promise- I don’t yet know what God’s specific plan is for me with my writing, but I do know that he’s got this thing. He’s in control and I am loved. So are you. We simply need to trust Him. And as Paul Young said, “just follow Him and stop trying to figure out His purpose!”