I learned so much at ACFW this year, some personal, some writing. Mind if I share?
- Severing is God’s word for me this year. I don’t much like it, but there it is. Sometimes God calls you to leave things behind. France, and everything associated with it, comes to mind. During the song “Blessed Be Your Name” sung on the last day of the conference, I broke in half. That’s the song we sung at our first staff conference before we were even on the field. The crying was cathartic, to be sure, because I felt like God was bookending our time in France with that song, bringing some closure. There are seasons of life where you can’t go forward without letting go of the past completely. Ecclesiastes 3:5 says there is “a time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.” That carries over into my writing career as well. There are things to leave behind and not pick up, and there are things I need to take up and move forward with.
- Something God said to me: “I am not calling you to greatness, but to faithfulness.” That’s a good word, but hard one. As an author, I’ll admit I’d love to have greatness: great acclaim, wonderful sales numbers, awards aplenty. But that’s not the measure of my soul. God calls me to be faithful to the words He wants me to write.
- The Lord also asked me this: “Can you get to the place of maturity in your writing that you’ll write what I want you to write, even if no one gives you positive feedback? That you won’t need all that affirmation to do what I’ve asked you?” Hmmm. Well, that’s a hard one too, isn’t it? I sure do love affirmation. It does help me go forward. But I agree that it’s a mark of maturity to do the right (write!) thing even when the positive feedback wanes.
For those of you who attended the conference, what did you learn? And for those of you who didn’t, what specifically, has God been whispering to you this week? I’d love to know.