I’m sitting here, at my desk, typing these words with tears in my eyes. There’s always been a part of me that’s wanted to be a writer. I’ve been keeping a journal since I can remember and writing short stories since way back. I’ve written everything from letters to boyfriends, fiction projects with friends, devotionals for women, and, obviously, blog posts. I love to write.
But every increasingly, particularly since the summer of 2010, I’ve felt called to move more into ministry as a career. Writing, speaking, and all that goes with that. It’s a very impractical calling. It comes with a significant pay cut if I ever acted on it. And while I felt that calling strongly last year, I’ve struggled more with it this year because of the reality of what it would look like. How radically our lives would change. As the reality set in, I felt myself taking steps back. Doubting what could actually happen.
I felt a radical shift in my mentality today though. Last spring, I saw that Lysa Terkeurst/Proverbs 31 was putting on a conference called She Speaks for aspiring Christian writers and authors in North Carolina. It looked so interesting but it fell on Bray’s big surprise 40th birthday party weekend so I didn’t look any further. Well, yesterday registration opened for the 11th Annual She Speaks conference this July. I started reading about the break out sessions and the leaders and I wanted to go SO badly. But it is expensive. It is far away. It entails me spending a weekend away from the kids. So I thought it wasn’t really practical for me. I talked to my dear friend who’s a Christian writer and asked if she would consider going, and she would, and we both decided to at least talk to our husbands about it.
I printed out all the materials, price shopped hotels in the area, and took it home. After the kids were down (loosely, they were behind the baby gate in the room is about all), I went into Bray’s office and made my pitch for consideration. I told him I didn’t want an answer now but just to think about it and let me know given the budget implications. Well, he just said right away, “GO!” I said, “but it’s expensive.” But he just came back with, “GO!” When I priced flights this morning and saw how pricey it would be to fly to North Carolina I emailed him the update and asked if he wanted to reconsider. All he said in response was, “BOOK IT!”
So I mapped out all the courses I wanted to take, researched the speakers and topics of the ones that conflicted (some of these break out sessions have five choices, and I’d like to go to THREE of them!), and went on-line to register. I can not describe to you the overwhelming emotion I felt as I started clicking my selections: Writer Track, I would like to meet with a publisher, place me in a Writer’s Peer Evaluation Group, and then the break out choices like From Blog to Book Deal, Reaching Today’s Busy Woman, Writing Out of Your Passion, Expanding Your Ministry…….. I think I cried with every single click. It felt like I was actually DOING something to follow my calling. Like God had just opened this amazing door to actually pursue this writing thing and Bray had pushed me through it. His still small voice saying to my spirit, if this is what I have in store for you, I will make it happen. Trust Me.
It is terrifying. Just the thought. But it’s also the most exciting thing I could imagine. And I can still ONLY imagine it. Last week, at Beth Moore’s final bible study session, she said, “You are safe, even in the middle of a war, when you are in the center of God’s will.” She said that some of us are trying so hard to stay safe, that we could be sitting on our couch eating a ham sandwich and choke and die. If we’d stop trying to keep ourselves safe in our own strength, even when that means running from God, and just follow the path He has for us, then we will be safe in the center of His hands. In the center of His plan. In the center of His will.
I’m not at the center right now, but I feel like at least I just made a u-turn and stopped running from it.