So it’s actually happening…
It was finalized months ago, back in March. It’s not as if I couldn’t have prepared, except I didn’t really know how to.
I’ve been dreaming of attending this conference for years.
And now I am finally able to go. It doesn’t seem real.
I think that’s why I’m so grossly unprepared. Why I’m getting more anxious as it nears. Why I’m beginning to ask myself question after question:
“Why didn’t I prepare more?”
“Will I stand out as completely lost?”
“Will everyone else be a professional at their craft, and then….me?”
“I didn’t know I should bring my book (it’s not finished – after 10 years). For goodness’ sake I have an appointment with a literary agent. That I only learned was a possibility last week. I’m so unprepared!”
“I can’t afford to stay at the hotel, so will I miss out on over half the fun, because I’m 19 minutes away?”
“Should I know more than I do about when to do what, where to go? I feel clueless. This was supposed to be nothing but amazing excitement…”
If you’re one of the three people reading this you’re probably laughing right about now at my dramatic neuroses and thinking “this girl needs to take a breath…” I do, though. * Breathe.*
Because the thing is, I am all those things and so much is swirling in my head – but I’m also so immensely thrilled. I am getting to participate in a writing/faith/creativity/blogging conference. I will get to meet some women who have supported me for years without actually seeing my face past a profile picture. I will get to hug people who have influenced me in not only my writing, but my faith.
I get to sit down with a literary agent and talk about my project. Seriously!
I get to be challenged in the passion He has instilled in me since I could hold a pencil and form coherent sentences.
I get to worship with women walking the same unkempt, winding path.
I get to gain tools and wisdom on how to actually believe in myself for once. In the vision I have for what I want to write.
I get to be challenged and stretched and encouraged and held.
I get to do something I’ve never done before, to grow in something I do always, but need to understand how to hone and direct and use what He gives me for His glory, His good, His mission.
For so long (a lifetime, if we’re keeping track), I’ve used this love internally – for my own growth. To learn more about who I am and His word and vision but it’s been a way of working it out for my own eyes and benefit. I don’t yet know how to create a hole in the wall and let others in too. To allow them to step inside this mess with me. To learn along with me – not because I have a single thing to offer or teach, but because He can use my way with words and my heart for Him to bring others closer. To extend the truth. To reveal more of Himself.
Up until this week I was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. Super excited at the idea of going, but not giving real thought to the details. I was lighthearted and thought I was ready and it would be as easy as packing a bag and sipping coffee thousands of miles in the air, on my way.
How silly. It will be so much more. But gloriously so.
I honestly don’t have expectations of what it will be like in detail or itinerary or even in result. I just have a little anxiousness, a lot of awe, and a heart of gratitude.
I will fight the urges to already discredit myself with thoughts of inferiority. I mean the “names” of the women who will be here…it’s big y’all! But I will repeat to myself that they are skin and bone and wrinkles and imperfection, just like me. I will remind myself they have a heart for Jesus and ache under the stress of this world and the constant opportunities to be a light for His use and to bask in His presence – wrinkles and mess and stress and all. And that I don’t need to be intimidated (not easy!) because I will be encouraged. I know it.
A smile forms on my face as I type and if I’m being honest, so does a tear.
But it’s goodness all around and it was my time – this year was my turn.
Pray for me, would you? I won’t dare downplay how much I’ll need it.
*And if you’re coming too, please (oh please) considering being brave and leave a comment below on how I and others can pray for you? We can begin this very night. I would be honored to lift you up. We all need it, don’t we?
This time next week, I’ll be elbow deep in laughter, coffee, introductions and probably chocolate. I’ll be more inspired than I’ve been in years too embarrassing to count. I’ll be split wide open, raw and ready to be refined.