When I went to the Caleb Christian Writers conference in October, I was expecting to gain lots of valuable teaching and insights I could use in my writing. The program was chock full of interesting seminars and workshops on everything from writing a series and publishing to social networking and social justice. I couldn’t wait to soak it all in. However, I didn’t manage to attend even half of the sessions I’d earmarked because I was also involved in some of the other conference activities - giving a talk, chairing a session, running three book-doctor spots, and pitching a book proposal to two different publishers. I also wasn’t feeling the best one afternoon and had to go to a friend’s room to lie down rather than attending another couple of talks.
I was feeling a bit sorry for myself because I was missing out on a lot of the things I wanted to do, but then God showed me what had actually been accomplished in those two days.
- My poetry talk encouraged one of the attendees to start submitting her own poetry.
- The book-doctor sessions helped others and also built my confidence in critiquing manuscripts.
- Pitching a book proposal gave me valuable insights into the publisher’s perspective.
- A group prayer session led to a breakthrough in a personal issue.
- A discussion with a new contact led to some part-time work.
- Another delegate confirmed a writing project God had laid on my heart.
- I caught up with many wonderful friends and made some new ones.
The conference was indeed a blessing.
This experience reminded me of Proverbs 16:9 – “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” I didn’t receive what I was expecting from the conference in terms of input, but God gave me exactly what I needed and I was also able to help some others along the way.
Do you have a story about God meeting you in unexpected ways in your writing journey? I’d love to hear about it.
Nola Passmore is a freelance writer who has had more than 90 short pieces published in various magazines, journals, and anthologies (including true stories, devotions, poetry and short fiction). She has a passion for writing about what God has done in her life and encouraging others to do the same. (Some call it "nagging", but she calls it "encouragement").