** Post includes the March Bible Reading Challenge schedule in printable form.
This weekend I attended the Re:Write Conference, a conference designed to assist Christian fiction and non-fiction writers in their writing journeys. The conference truly lifted my heart and my pen as I enjoyed both the inspirational moments and practical lessons on the art of writing. I never enjoy leaving my husband and children at home to go away for a few days, regardless of the reason and honestly, I felt a bit apprehensive about leaving for this trip. But I knew I was supposed to go. So I prayed. That’s usually what I do when I feel uneasy.
Now I’m going to be really honest here and just spell out a few of the things I prayed for on this trip. You may think I’m crazy. You may think it’s silly. But this is what happens when God answers your prayers. Yes, even still today.
At one point when I arrived in Austin on Friday, I knew my phone was almost dead and I had planned to meet my friend, Jennie Allen, for lunch. When I got in the rental car, I didn’t have a confirmed time or place to meet up with her. With a dying phone, I had a brief thought that we probably wouldn’t get the chance to connect, but I prayed, literally, “Lord, show me.” And my phone rang; it was Jennie! We met together and Jennie encouraged my heart so much that I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate and love that girl for her words to me. God answers prayer. Not just the “God, my phone is dying and I really need you prayers” but the bigger prayers, like “Please give me a friend who understands.” He will do that for you!!
I received some bad news just after this wonderful conference ended and I sat in my room. The moment I had been anticipating the next day, that magical time of stepping off the plane and seeing my wonderful husband and babies,had been delayed. In fact, my flight not only had been canceled, it was rescheduled for the NEXT day, 8 hours later than the original schedule. That had never happened to me by a whole day. So I stayed on hold with the airline for 4 hours into the wee hours of the morning. No luck. There simply was nothing else available. I decided to head to church! No better place to get your perspective, right?
I sat in a restaurant parking lot after church and said, “Ok, Lord, what do I do now?” And I felt him whisper, “Go to the airport.” Now I knew I was taking the chance that nothing would change, but I turned in my rental car and went to the airline counter, where 135 people were ahead of me. And I waited. And waited. And waited. For over 4 hours. The end result was that the airline had nothing and I would have to stay overnight.
Here’s what happened while I was in line. And you won’t believe this!!!
I overheard a conversation between two women right behind me and I began listening to them. I know, you shouldn’t eavesdrop, but I couldn’t help myself. These ladies were speaking my language. Now I won’t go into every detail, though I’m very tempted, as it is quite miraculous. Long story, short, one of these dear women was simply visiting her friend at the airport. I knew by their conversation that these ladies were Christians. Not just Christians, but STRONG Christians. One of the things I overheard was:
I really wanted to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me more. So I prayed, “God, I want to hear your spirit more in my everyday life.” And God impressed on me: “Then feed my Spirit.”
This is not usual airport conversation, folks. Just in case you haven’t noticed. I turned and introduced myself to these two ladies and they graciously allowed me to join their conversation. And you know what God did? He used this dear woman to make herself available to me. She offered to take me to my hotel. She even bought food for me and brought it back to the hotel for me. Once she heard a little more of my testimony, she prayed for me. And I wanted to take a picture of her so I could post it to the blog, she was so humble of spirit, she really didn’t want to. She said, “Don’t look at me. Just look to God and see His provision.”
I felt like Elijah fed by the ravens, friends. I just had to share with you once again that God answers prayers.
6 years ago, when I first believed that the Holy Spirit was whispering to my heart to begin writing a Bible study and share it, I didn’t really know how to do any of those things. God and I had a lot of conversation, ok, arguments, because I just didn’t feel qualified nor did I see the logistics of how I could dare to think I’m capable of being an author. Since my meeting with my friend on Friday, I knew I was supposed to be asking God for boldness in my walk with him. So I had been asking. One of my requests was for God to really show me how little ol’ me had the right to be bold. And as I sat in the conference on Saturday night, I felt the Lord whispering to my heart:
“No matter what happens with the book- whether you sell 5 copies or 5 million copies, whether you bare your heart and you do not see any immediate results, whether you work your guts out and the numbers do not equate, hear this:
You are my miracle.
The fact that you are sitting right now in a room full of authors is a miracle. I took you on that journey. I showed you each step over the last six years. Has the journey been long? Yes. Did you want to give up on writing a book because it is so stinkin’ hard? Yes. Did you fear failure? Yes.
But I am the God of heavens. I am with you; I have always been with you and to follow the steps I have outlined for you, to get to this point where you are sitting? You are my miracle. Not just a miracle. I created you and you are mine. You have accepted my calling and have been obedient. You don’t have to know everything about the future. You simply need to continue to obey my Word and my Spirit.
All you need to do is take one more step.”
Can you believe it? Here’s the book cover for One More Step: Finding Strength When You Feel Like Giving Up!! This book has been a true labor of love for the last year and I just couldn’t do this without strength bigger than mine. The book releases October 20,2015, but I could hardly wait to share a little piece of it with you!! So many of you have been on this journey with me and I wish I could tell you that I’m a professional, but you know better! I wish I knew exactly what I was doing in this journey. But I don’t. I just rely on the Lord each step of the way and he provides the strength to keep going.
My encouragement for you is to do the same. He’ll show you, Friends. I know he will because he does it for me, little ol’ me. The girl who grew up in the state with the lowest literacy ranking has written a published book.
God loves to do things that make people stand and wonder!
If you’re reading along with us in the March Bible Reading challenge, I’ve added the schedule to Friday’s post! It’s a little printable you can take a pic and save it to your phone or print it out to share, whatever you’d like. In words similar to that of my new friend, “You want more Spirit? then feast on God’s Word.”
Have a marvelous Monday!