Ever had one of those moments where you wonder why in the world you thought you could do something? Fear, doubt, and discouragement fill your head with lies and you’re tempted to walk out the door and never look back?
A year ago, that’s how I felt about writing. I’d been blogging and submitting things and not seeing much happen. I was discouraged and wondered if all the time spent hunched over a keyboard was worth it.
My writing pal Susie and I decided to attend a writers conference in the fall. We both needed a boost, so I did a Google search to see if there were any conferences in our area. God uses Google to help us. I’m certain of it.
I typed into the search box “Writers conference Grand Rapids, Michigan”
The page loaded and near the top of the list I saw the Breathe Christian Writers Conference. I clicked on the link and recognized two of the conference’s organizers. Susie recognized one of the speakers. And purely on that, we registered.
I walked through the doors desperate for encouragement and to figure out if this was something I should keep pursuing.
The theme of last year’s conference was “You are a writer.” They even gave us nametags that said:
I felt like a hoax. Writer. As if.
As the conference started other attenders asked me the natural question, “So what do you write?” I’d reply, “Uh…” Brilliant answer for a wanna be wordsmith.
Finally I’d stammer, “I’m just starting out. I blog for a couple of places.” I never admitted that I was a writer, that I had dreams, that I felt “called” to write. I was starting to think the “call” had been a wrong number.
Everyone was so friendly and encouraging. I discovered I wasn’t alone. Even experienced authors with a list of publishing credits still experienced feelings of inadequacy and fear.
I kept hearing, “You are a writer. If you write, even just in a journal, you are a writer. Writing is a high and sacred calling. It’s worth the work. You can do this. God can do this through you.”
By the end of the weekend, I knew I had been in the right place. I had no idea how right the timing was until a few weeks later when the organization I had been blogging for, Circle of Friends, contacted me about writing a book.
Prior to attending Breathe, I’m not sure I could have said yes.
But thanks to the love and encouragement poured into me at Breathe, I said,“Yes, I’ll trust God to do that through me.”
I discovered I was a writer after all. And I knew this was God opening a door that I never could have kicked open on my own.
So, here I am a year later. I still deal with doubt and fear and discouragement. But I know I’m not alone.
By the time the conference starts this year, I should have the final edits for my book Isn’t it Time for a Coffee Break? Doing life together in an all-about-me kind of world, which will release January 1, 2013. I know without a doubt that God ordained my attendance at that conference to give me the skills and encouragement I needed to walk through this project in faith.
I thank God for using that Google search to help me find the Breathe Conference.
I’ll be attending the Breathe Christian Writers Conference again October 12-13, 2012. In fact, Susie and I are team teaching a blogging workshop. I can hardly wait! If you are interested in writing at all, I highly recommend this affordable conference. There’s still time to register! Check out the Breathe Conference website for more information! I’d love to see you there!
Christina Hilgert says
Amy….as I know you, we have been friends for many, many years. You were and are someone I look up to often to help find my way in things in my life now. I can not wait to read this book. I know that we may not talk anymore but following you is and encouragement in its self. I am so blessed to know someone as great as you! You are such a great insperation, don’t let anything get you down.
Christina, it’s so good to hear from you! Thank you for your encouragement; please send me a note anytime to catch up!!
Brenda Yoder says
Amelia, it was and is your encouragement at Speak Up that has allowed me to put “writer and speaker” on my email signature and have encouraged me to have the tools to work on a new website. You and Cindy Bultema were the encouraging take aways for me this summer. Thank you. I am honored to have someone of your integrity and sincerity to have as a role model in the field. You reach many.
You are a writer.
Brenda, I was just passing along what was poured into me! Such an honor to get to know you. And now you encourage me so much! Thank you!!
Andrew Rogers says
I love the “God uses Google” line. It’s a great part of your story. Sometimes when we think we’re just randomly searching for answers we’re actually doing exactly what he wants us to do. You need to put that into a book someday. 😉
Thanks Andrew! I have another God uses Google story that is pretty incredible. I’ll have to blog that one too. It would be a fun book – collect stories of how people have done random internet searches that changed their lives. Hmm…