Last weekend, I attended the Proverbs 31 SheSpeaks conference. If my attendance had been brought about by sheer fancy, than I would continue this entry by divulging all the oohs and aahs that took place. However, I wasn't there by accident, and therefore was on the lookout for my King.
To explain, I must digress. I am a fiction writer. I love to take words and link them together in such a way that the reader is transported into a another world where their imagination is set free. However, fiction was not only my love, it was also my sanctuary.
In February 2008, I received an email from Proverbs 31 announcing the upcoming SheSpeaks conference. As soon as I read it, I knew God wanted me to attend.
When I registered for the conference, I learned that publishers would be onsite for pitch meetings. And, God directed me to sign up for this as well.
In a flurry of excitement, I dusted off my completed, unpublished novel, and started fleshing out ideas for its proposal. God again knocked on my door. This time he asked me to lay my fiction down.
What? Lay my fiction down? It's what I do. It's all I know. My King was silent. He waited for my submission. It wasn't immediate, but I relented. I laid my fiction at the foot of the cross, and waited for his direction. It wasn't long before God breathed life into me, birthing a different dream.
"My Princess. I have called you to write but I can not use a gift that you have perverted through the wounds of your past. You are hiding and I want to set you free."
God showed me that just as he asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac upon the altar, sometimes he asks us to sacrifice our desires. When we do, he is able to remold and resurrect those dreams in such a way that fulfills our destiny in him and furthers the Kingdom of God.
My dream was resurrected. This time in the form of non-fiction. For three months, I worked tirelessy on my book proposal. Only this time it wasn't my story, it was his. I went to the conference not knowing what to expect. For two days, I absorbed information from classes, made it through my pitch meetings without throwing up, and cried during praise and worship. All the while, wondering if I had heard God correctly, and needing reassurance from my King.
At the end of Saturday when my emotions were spent, and my mind nearing overload, I discovered a prayer room. Up until this point I had been unaware that the P31 staff had set up a prayer room, complete with an altar, pillows, chairs, and lots of tissues. The room had tables lining the walls, and on the tables were printed pages, each listing a different name of God. The staff had also printed out each attendees name, prayed, and strategically placed them on the tables.
A woman I'd befriended earlier that evening found my name. It was laying on the paper which boldly pronounced "Jehovah-Jireh the Lord will Provide". Underneath this heading was a scripture verse that said, "just as God provided a ram to replace Isaac on the altar for Abraham, so will God provide all your needs." (paraphrased, Gen 22)
This past weekend was an experience I will treasure forever, and one I intend to repeat. I can't explain the specific reasons why God called me to attend the conference. I can't explain the road he has put me on or how, when and where it will end up. But I can trust my King. God called me to Concord, and in his faithfulness he met me there. I can't wait to see where he calls me next.
Thank you Proverbs31. The conference was incredible.