OK, so an opportunity has come my way. Well, maybe.
Ever since my cancer diagnosis, I have put fingertip to keyboard. And I am loving it. I love sharing my journey with you and my heart melts each and every time I receive an encouraging email to “keep ‘em coming!” (Thanks, Dad!)
Many of you have kindly told me I should be a writer. And after speaking at my bible study a few months back, many of you have kindly told me I should speak. Well, if I enter Proverbs 31 Ministries contest, I could win a scholarship to the She Speaks women’s conference in North Carolina this summer. As a writer, I could refine my skills and meet with publishers (when would that ever happen?). And as a speaker, I could learn about finding my voice in a ministry. The bottom line -- I would be spending three days in a hotel filled with women who share the same passion as me -- using their words to share Jesus with others.
But when I first read about this conference, my thoughts were flooded with so many reasons to not apply such as:
It’s too far, I hate to fly, it’s too humid, none of my friends would want to go with me, I hate to fly, I would get lost by myself in North Carolina, we shouldn’t spend the money and I hate to fly. And did I mention I hate to fly? Hate it.
And then I prayed, “Lord, you have given me this passion for sharing my story with others. And you have given me the ability to write and to speak. Please help me rise above my fears and step out a little more than I ever have before. I really don’t have peace with this decision, but I do have peace putting it in Your beautiful hands. In Jesus' name, Amen.”
So with that prayer, I am going to enter the contest. It may just turn out that I won’t win. And I’m good with that. And it may just turn out that I will win. Could you imagine? I think I would have a silly grin on my face the whole time I was there. A grin that said, “Lord, who knew I would be at a conference in North Carolina one year after having cancer and learning how to write a better blog?!” And my favorite answer: He knew.
So after clearing the trip with me and with God, I had to clear it with my family too. Summers are pretty important to them.
While driving to church last Sunday, I asked my kids if they would want to go to North Carolina this summer. To my shock, they both said yes. OK, my two kids can’t even agree on what to eat for dinner! Jake tells me he would love to go because he loves the Tarheels and, unbeknownst to me, has been wearing their baseball hat for the last month (see it in the photo above?). And Rachel is excited to go because “North Carolina is close to Virginia.” (Must have something to do with the Native American Indian report she’s working on). And thankfully, my husband Ed is always supportive of my creative dreams and is generally up for anything.
So with all that said, I am going to enter the contest. Given such deliberation, you would think I’m considering going back to school to become a neurosurgeon! But just entering the contest is a big deal for me (what if I win and actually have to go?!). But this is the beauty of it -- the old me would have labored over this decision and then passed it up. The new me has decided to take the labor and guess work out of it and give it directly to God.
Do you remember a few posts back I shared an excerpt from the book Jesus Calling? (One of my faves).
Do you think today’s message touched my heart?
“...When you are determined to get your own way, you blot Me out of your consciousness. Instead of single-mindedly pursuing some goal, talk with me about it. Let the light of My presence shine on this pursuit, so that you can see it from My perspective. If the goal fits into My plans for you, I will help you reach it. If it is contrary to My will for you, I will gradually change the desire of your heart. Seek Me first and foremost; then the rest of your life will fall into place, piece by piece.”
Who doesn't want a life that falls into place, piece by piece?
So wish me luck, and if anyone else out there would love to spend three days in North Carolina in July learning about blending their passion for writing and speaking and God, then click on the She Speaks button on the left. The contest is open to everyone and closes on March 11th. Two winners will be notified on Monday, March 14th.
So now I ask you. Is there anything you’ve been wanting to try (maybe this summer) but haven’t? Are you a little scared of something, but know you would love to conquer it? Why don’t you take the guess work out of it, and give it to God. As the book above reminds us, “If the goal fits into My plans for you, I will help you reach it.”
All you can do is ask. And then obey.