Have you ever wondered where you will be in 5 years?
Maybe you have a dream of writing a book, starting a business, or getting a new job. Maybe there’s a story burning in your heart, and you know you need to start sharing it….but you don’t know how.
That was me, five years ago. I’d felt a deep calling to be a writer and a speaker since I was in middle school. Before I knew it, I was in my early 30’s and the desire to reach women with the Truth of God’s love was a deep ache in my bones. I had to let it out. But I had no idea where to begin.
I asked a few friends for advice, and in early 2011, one of them recommended I attend the Speak Up Conference
hosted by author Carol Kent. My friend had attended before, and it turns out the conference is held in my own backyard in Grand Rapids, MI.
When I showed up, I didn’t know a single person attending. By the time I left, I had a multitude of friends. I’ve been back every year since. Here’s what I wrote after that first conference:
I left encouraged that God can use me, even if my story isn’t dramatic and even if I only have an audience of one. He has a purpose for me, and I have a reason to Speak Up, because of the things He has done for me. I have this “creative stirring” as Carol describes it. And even though I don’t know what exactly God is stirring me to do, I’m willing to grow and be ready to walk through any doors He may choose to open for me.
You may not know exactly what God is stirring you to do. Honestly, that’s probably a good thing. If I had known all the doors God would open for me in four years, I would have panicked. Instead, He gently prepared me for each one in time. The most important thing is to be faithful one step at a time.
I just finished an incredible season of ministry this spring. After every retreat and banquet, I drove home saying, “I can’t believe I get to do this. I can’t believe God has allowed me to serve Him this way!” My first step to where I am today was attending the Speak Up Conference.
Finding your passion and living it out is one of God’s greatest gifts.
What step do you need to take today to get to where you want to be in 5 years?
If writing and speaking is something you’ve been thinking about doing, there’s no better time to start your journey than now!
Carol Kent is graciously offering a $100 scholarship to this year’s conference to one reader. The conference will be held July 23-25 at the Prince Conference Center on the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI.
What does attending Speak Up give you?
- Dozens of workshops to choose from.
- Opportunities to meet one-on-one with industry professionals.
- Peer encouragement groups to offer feedback on your writing and speaking projects.
- Bonus pre-conference workshops to choose from (My friend Brenda Yoder and I are leading one on social media!).
- Opportunities to connect with other writers and speakers who will become friends for life.
- Spiritual refreshment.
- Direction for the next step in your writing and speaking calling.
Don’t miss the opportunity to win this scholarship! To enter, leave a comment on this post letting me know why you’d like to attend Speak Up. For additional entries, follow me on Twitter or Facebook and share this post on your social media pages. Just let me know in the comments which things you have done! I will draw one winner next Monday, May 11.
**For more opportunities to win, check out Cindy Bultema’s blog and the Speak Up Blog Hop happening this week! Other Speak Up alumni and speakers from across the blogosphere will be offering scholarship giveaways this week!
I hope to see you at the Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids, MI this July!
Melanie Pickett says
I’d love to attend this conference! In fact, last year someone recommended I attend. I feel that God can use me to speak up and encourage others. I was an abused wife, simply put. There was a tragic and traumatic end to that 15-year marriage with a brutal attack on me before he took his life. My heart wants others to know they’re not alone, that they didn’t “ask for” their situation. Abuse is a great isolater and deceiver and I want to shatter that and bring light. I’d love to learn how and gain direction in reaching others!
Oh Melanie, you are so correct. I’m sure more women than we realize face abuse and feel so isolated. I know you have a story to tell that will help many women, and help those who’ve never been in those situations know how best to love and stand by friends who are. Thank you for sharing. You would love this conference.