I stood outside the car so crazy scared.
For years I had wanted to go to a writers conference. I’d researched them online, asked questions of others who had gone, always wanting and wishing I could do it. Last week I finally took a HUGE step of faith and showed up to Carol Kent’s SpeakUp Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
It didn’t make ANY sense to go, I didn’t feel at all equipped or prepared or even pretty enough to get on that plane. There was even a point about three days out that the pit in my stomach almost won the day and kept me home. But since the plane ticket was bought, I packed my bag and went.
As I stood at my car and looked at the doors across that parking lot, my mind raced back to a beach in Washington State. Two years ago, almost to the day, I had stood on a rocky shore in the Pacific Northwest and looked out at the waves and had a big girl conversation with God. My heart pounded just as much as those waves because I knew that I knew that I knew: I wanted to write a book.
I can feel it still, that knowing deep within that writing was what I desperately wanted to do.
But God, what if nobody cares or gives a rats about anything I have to say? What if my voice doesn’t matter, or I don’t measure up to everyone else who obviously is so very gifted and published and famous?
Maybe you’ve felt that way. Maybe you’ve wondered if you’re suppose to actually sit down and write that thing you’ve always wanted to write. Or start that blog. Or create that study.
Maybe you just need someone to come alongside you and say it, in that still small voice you know you’ve already heard…do it.
Why? Because of this:
1. Your voice matters. Your story is beautiful because it is God who is writing it in you. Nobody else has lived your life, had your burning bush experience, or seen God move like you have. Someone needs your message because they need hope right where they’re at.
2. You can do hard things. Maybe you just need to carve out an hour or two and research how to start a blog. Maybe you need to put all your Bible study ideas onto paper. Maybe you need to write that book proposal or read those submission requirements to that magazine. Sometimes hard ground can be holy ground when we take that small step of faith, trusting God with the results.
3. Obedience is such a beautiful thing. You know that God has wired you to write. You feel that sense of joy, as if God is actually smiling on you when you sit down to that blank screen. You feel an urgency to write when you read a profound truth from the Bible or hear a powerful message from a speaker. You know God is asking you to write. And there is something profound that happens when you obey Him.
I did finally make my way across that parking lot and into the conference center. I quickly grabbed a seat in the back and shoved all my stuff under my chair. As I sat there and took a deep breath, I looked out. What I saw were 200 amazing women, all with the same hearts, same ideas, same nervous stomachs, wondering if they were in the right place at all. I felt at home. And so grateful I had come.
In those next two days, God revealed something very significant to my heart. He reminded me that twelve years ago I had heard Carol Kent speak at Scottsdale Bible Church. That night her words pierced me as I was in the middle of my struggle with infertility, wondering if God was going to ever bring me a family. I stood afterwards in tears, knowing God was asking me to lay it all down before Him and trust Him with the results.
As I stood in that grand ballroom last week and listened to Carol speak again, it came full circle to my heart. Carol’s voice absolutely mattered to me in those days I was crying out to God. Because she stepped out in faith, believed she could do hard things, and obeyed God by telling her story, my life was forever impacted. And here I was, once again, in tears, knowing God was asking me to lay down these dreams of writing before Him, and trust Him with the results.
Sweet friend, your story matters. You have no idea who needs to hear your message, or what impact your words could have on their life. Maybe someone is struggling with all you’re struggling with and they are desperate for encouragement. Maybe you have a message of great hope and your words are what someone needs to find joy again.
Would you be willing to trust God with the results?
Take that next step. Google it. Ask a friend for help. Sign up for a writers conference and invest in yourself. Pray desperately about it. Stand on a shore and have a big girl conversation with the Lord.
We need your voice. You can do hard things. And your obedience before God is a beautiful thing.
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