It took me 6 months to remember this scriptural truth when God brought it to my mind this morning between worship services at church. Don’t know why I’m always amazed at how He has that spiritual punctuality thing down.
But first, a little history.
For months, probably years, I’ve written and archived short, devotional works. Late last summer I saw an opportunity to submit one in a contest. The prize? Tuition and travel to a large, well-established and respected writing conference known for its quality and focus on writers who include faith in their works.
My submission was received but not selected. The email I received with the news was encouraging nonetheless, so I didn’t give up total hope. I simply realized my desire to “step it up” by attending a national writing conference had been extinguised. Maybe next year, I thought.
I could have gone, but the $1,000 price tag was – shall we say – one that would have put me in debt.
“It’s an investment in my writing career,” I told myself, trying to justify the expenditure. But reality kicked in and my clearly demonstrated lack of freelance writing income was the watershed test. I could not swing it.
So what did I do? I just kept doing what God confirmed as my life work for now – teaching 6th, 7th and 8th graders that their writing matters and that complete sentences are a big boost toward that goal. I consoled myself thinking the time off such a new job wouldn’t have been a wise move either.
The months came and passed.
Yesterday, the high school for the performing arts in my city produced its 11th writers festival. My school – the middle school for the performing arts – had a financial stake in the event by sponsoring a nationally known slam poet, Patricia Smith. If our school had enough students attend, our department chair and I could attend for free.
And we did!
So there I was – at the conference being present as an example to my students.
And then, within a few short hours, the following happened:
- I reconnected with a dear friend, the one who told me in no uncertain terms during a tentative time in my life, “Cheryl, you ARE a writer.”
- I met the former chair of the creative writing department at my school who is also a ghost writer and mom. Ghost writing is a new interest, so meeting her helped me ponder its potential. Ghost writers are hired to pen work under someone else’s name.
- I met a children’s editor, which gave me tremendous hope for a close-to-being-finished seasonal, picture book text I’ve written.
- And of the sessions I attended, two will directly help my professional writing endeavors while another will impact my classroom teaching.
No, I didn’t attend the fall writers conference, but yesterday was almost like God brought one to me.
Like I mentioned before, His ways aren’t mine. I’m glad.
And all it cost me was 6½ hours on a Saturday.
Just wondering: How has God taken one of the desires of your heart and fulfilled it?
Links to speakers mentioned above:
Jocelyn Bartevicius: http://www.english.ucf.edu/graduate/staff.php?id=174
Nancy Bethea: www.rivercityrevisions.com
Patricia Smith: http://wordwoman.ws/