Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Over the past few years, one of my dearest friends shared her desire for any of her friends who love to write to join her at the She Speaks conference in North Carolina. The conference, a labor of sheer love executed by the women of Proverbs 31 Ministries is chock full of sessions on writing and speaking. Competant, "been-there-done-that" speakers and writers employ meaningful content on how we share our message with the right audience and how to take next steps with book deals, magazine articles and devotionals. Ladies, I saw Lysa terKuerst up close and personal! She spoke to ME! (well, she spoke to 650 of us :) and had the elevator doors NOT closed, I would have stammered how much I liked her SHOES! Far more importantly, I got to see first hand the authenticity with which these women serve the Lord they love.
With a grand adoration for writing (and reading), I am an obvious candidate for such a conference, but God kept making it quite clear that certain financial obligations took precedence over this conference. Each year my sadness increased and my writing dwindled as I lost hope for how God would have me use my passion for writing to further His kingdom.
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
~ Psalm 27:14
Part of the significance in this being "the year" lies in the appreciation I have because of the years I had to wait. Our youngest daughter, adopted from China dealt us a wait of two plus years to bring her home...perhaps the experience, if possible, was sweeter, because the Lord had us wait for His perfect timing. We had to trust He knew just the right moment, hour, day. Though wildly different situations, that same appreciation for the wait exists. It is okay when God has us...wait.
And so, this being "the year", I and four girlfriends loaded into a big ol' SUV and had ourselves a ball travelling eight hours to our destination. God provided safety and travelling mercies, rest and laughter and fellowship of the finest sort. He ensured our children were cared for in our absence. God even rescheduled our family vacation so that I could attend the conference without missing that special downtime with my husband and children...only God, only His time.
The conference whizzed by in a blur. A cacophony of worship, workshops, new ideas, prayer and friendship blended together for a picture perfect weekend. My dear, dear friend blessed me with one of the most special experiences of my life. Her encouragement to attend and her belief that I belonged there, were quite simply a wellspring of love. It was exciting to encourage one another as we learned about our "voices" and where God may use us most. I found myself on many occasions asking the question..."Just what IS my MESSAGE?"
I think God may have me on that waiting list again and I am learning that is really okay, because his timing could not be more impeccable.
As we departed to gain re-entry into our regular lives, our small travelling group discussed our "take-aways". I would have thought that my take-aways would be technical in nature, dealing with the mechanics of writing and the strategies I could use to better my craft. While, I gained a bunch of those and am still mulling them over, my biggest take-away was much more personal. Relationship. During the waiting time, God was growing our relationship. I saw how He desired I be committed to him differently than I was four years ago when I first heard about She Speaks.
Sometimes, serving Him is in the waiting. And sometimes we have to wait to see what he has in store...I can't wait to see what's next :)