Happy Thursday from Jeanette! Last month I was getting ready to head off to Mount Hermon, open to whatever God wanted to say or do. For the first time in fifteen+ years of attending this conference, I was not submitting or pitching anything. I’ll confess that I almost caved in a moment of fear and packed some old proposals just in case. What would I do with my time if I didn’t have editor appointments? What would I say when people asked about my writing? But I’m happy to say that I stuck with the plan to make this conference about what God and I both knew I needed—to be filled up. I’m so glad I obeyed!
I may not have made any connections with editors (other than one that I set up time with because I write for her on a regular basis and we’d been looking forward to finally meeting in person), gotten in-depth feedback on my manuscripts, or walked away with requests for proposals, but . . . I received much-needed spiritual refreshment.
I had precious time with friends, including a talk that started a healing process.
God lifted a fog that had been hovering in my brain for a year.
God calmed a fear regarding the future of my writing, and a struggle with creativity caused by the fog in my brain referred to above.
I attended workshops that I might have missed if I hadn’t let Him direct each choice.
I went home strengthened for a challenge that I didn’t know awaited me. But God knew.
In some ways it was more intense and emotional than any conference I have ever attended, because God was working on my heart more than my career. But it was intensity that I needed, and it was mixed with plenty of laughter, fun, hugs, moments when God allowed me to encourage others, unexpected gifts of just the right words, and sweet time with my Heavenly Father.
Sometimes God’s direction doesn’t make a lot of sense. What? Go to a writer’s conference and plan ahead of time NOT to pitch? Are you serious? But when we obey, we see Him do far more than we expected. And I truly believe that my writing will benefit greatly from doing this conference differently, because when we allow Him to search, heal, and refocus our hearts, everything in our lives changes for the better.