According to my countdown clock I will be leaving for Dallas and the ACFW Conference in 6 days. I've been excited - up until about 8 weeks ago. Then the nerves set in and I've bounced between serenity and terror ever since. I've had a myriad of thoughts:
- what will I wear?
- where will I sit at dinner?
- I don't know ANYONE!
- I'm not a very social person - what if I can't stand the crowds?
- what if I say something stupid?
- what if I forget my pitch?
- what if no one likes my book?
- what if someone likes my book?
- what if I fall off the risers when the choir is singing?
- what if I sing at the wrong time and everyone hears me?
- I think my business cards are cute; will everyone else think so?
- what if I make a fool of myself?
- I'm ready!
- I'll never be ready!
- this is really good.
- this stinks!
- WHAT WAS I THINKING WHEN I SIGNED UP FOR THIS??????
I'm a coward. Yep. I am.
I've been thinking about chasing dreams lately and it seems that I've watched more than a few video clips of shows like The X Factor and America's Got Talent, etc. I've seen people of all ages and backgrounds exhibit grace under pressure, rein in the fear, step out on stage and pour out their hearts in the most amazing voices! There was no guarantee that they would win or even hear anything positive and encouraging from the judges but they did it anyway. They believed in themselves enough and wanted that dream badly enough to accept the risk of rejection and say "I want to be a singer!"
That's in the secular world.
I'm going to a conference of Christian writers. More than anything else done to prepare for this conference people have been praying. They understand that the dream of writing is for many of us a fulfillment of a calling and a way to allow God to touch the world through us. Yes it is a time to learn, to listen, to share, to encourage and help others. More than anything else, however, it is a time to worship at the throne of the One who has called each of us and it's a time to lay down our own agenda's, be still, and know that He is God.
When I keep this focus the fear recedes and I can look forward with great anticipation to meeting God in new and amazing ways at this conference. I know part of my schedule - workshops, agent appointments, choir practices. It's the part I don't know yet that's so exciting.
I believe God has some divine appointments for me that may have nothing at all to do with writing, and everything to do with connecting and relationship - with others and with Him.
I'm praying for all of us who will attend. For our writing careers, what needs to happen will happen in God's perfect time. I pray that the entire weekend is simply one form of worship or another, and that more than anything else we see Jesus.
If people without Jesus can show courage in pursuing their dreams, how much more can we as children of the King live and walk with purpose, courage and promise?
Following the plan,