You know that feeling right?
That feeling like you're forgetting something? The proposal? The cell phone charger?
Your boarding pass. That was pretty much me the entire time I was traveling. Thankfully this niggling feeling of forgetfulness was never fulfilled. ;-)
Aside from the fact that there was no bookstore and I felt lost without the normal hangout place to go, ACFW Indy, proved to be the year that God was waiting for me to show up. The one year I actually did not glean mega-information from the classes, was the one year that God was beckoning to meet Him in the prayer room. In the halls. In the worship sessions.
Can one really allow themselves to spend so much money to further their relationship with God instead of the level of their craft?
Yes. For me, it was definitely worth it. I couldn't do it anywhere else on my own and God knew that. God knew I needed to be surrounded by friends that knew my heart's desire only better than I know it myself.
Yes, Brandilyn Collin's sentence rhythm class was am-a-zing.
The pitches (surprisingly) went really well and I'll be heading into the rounds of submitting soon.
I got to squeeze so many friends who have been amazing to me online and reconnect to those friends that only grow more precious as the years go by.
In the next couple weeks I will be gleaning from my notes to share with you here, but for today I just wanted to share something God taught me while at ACFW this year:
We often don't know why He has brought us to the place He has. We often can't fathom why our grounds are allowed to be shaken and our faith in what we are sure we should be doing (ie: writing a novel) is tested.
But God is GOOD through it all.
GOD IS GOOD.
From the people you chat with at the registration desk who don't even hesitate to let you know you are right where you are supposed to be.
To the people who send encouraging Facebook messages and tweets saying they want to meet you. All these people show Jesus and my place where I am right now. Doesn't mean that will change slightly or the goals will shift to a different direction, but one thing I do know: God has a reason for it all.
The valleys allow you a better appreciate for the mountaintop vantage. The struggles, the depression against the spirit as though it will never lift and this writing thing isn't really for you, all to point to a God who is mightier than it all.
It's all FEAR.
And FEAR is to be defeated. Identified as what is. Fear masquerades as so much: insecurities, worry, self-doubt. Rebuke it. Battle against it in the name of Jesus.
Allow His children to speak truth over you. Pray for you.
Lesson learned this year: SPEAK what is on your heart.
We so often hide this doubt for fear when aired for our close friends to see we will be judged for it or they won't understand.
But fear is not meant to be kept in the darkness for Satan to continue breeding these emotions that will only kill any and all desire for what God has laid on your heart. Be honest. Trust in the faithfulness of your closest friends. I was given some of the best moments of the entire conference when I was honest about where I was and what I was struggling with.
Stop being willing to say "fine". Answer with the truth and allow your friends, the people God has place in your life, to do their divine purpose: form a blockade against the evil one and rebuke your fear in the name of Jesus.
Never doubt the place God has you. He has you there for a reason, even if you aren't sure what that reason is in the beginning.
Share your best conference memories...I would love to hear about them!