Exhausted but full; These are the words that best describe the way I feel after attending the 2013 Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids, MI. Designed to meet the needs of both speakers and writers this conference has become a significant milestone in my writing life.
I’ve written before about the way in which God called me to be a writer. After trying for years to reconcile my desire to be a mom with my desire to write, I was about to give up on my writing dream, when God stepped in and showed me that it’s okay to pursue both my love for being a mom and my love for writing.
While this moment, in and of itself, changed my life, I have yet to share the rest of the story.
In the weeks that followed, I knew that God wanted me to start writing, but I didn’t know how to incorporate this passion into my already hectic life. I needed help and prodding to get moving.
The help came in the form of my friend, Amelia; the prodding came in the form of my husband.
Amelia, who was on last year’s Speak Up conference staff, knew I had recently developed a newfound interest in writing. When a last minute scholarship for the conference became available, Amelia gave me a call.
“Hey, Jen,” she said. “I know you’ve been doing some writing, and the conference leaders are looking for someone to fill a last minute scholarship. I thought you might be interested.”
Interested? Yes, please!
As I considered Amelia’s amazing news, my mind began to reel. What about my girls? My family? I can’t leave them, I thought.
Enter the prodding from my husband, Chris. To this day, Chris contends that any success I gain in the realm of writing will forever be traced back to him and the swift kick in the you-know-where he gave me when I hesitated to accept the scholarship.
“You’re going,” he said, and that was that.
I went to the conference and while I was overwhelmed from beginning to end, I left with a heart and a dream that was renewed, affirmed and ready to take wing. I came home and got to work, and now, one year later, I am still committed to my dream and my calling to be a writer.
After years of beating around the writing bush, this milestone is huge for me.
A few weeks ago I received a summons for jury duty. While most people cringe at the thought of this civic chore, I experienced a special blessing while filling out the forms.
While going through a questionnaire of my general information I came across a box that asked me my occupation. For the first time in my life, I wrote: stay-at-home mom and Writer. And Writer! As silly as it may seem, I found such joy in writing these words and knowing them to be true. There in black ink, my two loves side by side, as real as real can be: Mom and Writer.
All of this is to show how a timid and reluctant mom with a big, but buried, dream can transform into a determined, focused and passionate lover of words. A Writer.
I owe everything to God, to Amelia, to Chris and to everyone involved in the Speak Up Conference.
When I made the decision to go to last year’s conference, I was scared to death, but God was faithful to me in providing the opportunity, He was faithful to me throughout every moment of this life changing event, and as I continue my writing journey, I know He is faithful still.
This is how our God works. Even when we’re scared, reluctant, or have a hard time understanding what He’s up to, our God is a God of big dreams; God-sized dreams beyond anything we can think or imagine, and He loves to affirm, to romance, to take our breath away with the glory of the unexpected. With the glory of His faithfulness.
So what’s tugging at your heart these days? What thrills your soul and scares you at the same time? What have you been called to do?
Whatever it is, run to it! Don’t delay. Do it with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength. And watch. Watch with awestruck wonder at the ways He loves, the ways He affirms, the ways He provides. The ways He proves again and again that great is Thy faithfulness.
For more stories and blog hop links visit: www.cindybultema.com
For more info on Speak Up 2014 visit: www.speakupconference.com