Thursday, December 5, 2013

God's Path or Mine? by Nola Passmore


 
 
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").

16 comments:

  1. So good that you can see the blessings God DID give you at the conference, Nola, even though it was frustrating for you at the time. Sometimes it's the contact we make with just one person at such events that is the important thing, I've found--either for their sake or ours.

    One unexpected way God met me in my writing journey has been through the opportunities to speak that have come as a result of my books. When I began writing, while I loved doing it, I was also sad that, in leaving our church's ministry team, I was saying goodbye to my regular speaking opportunities there, which I loved. Back then, I had only a vague idea as to what book promotion would involve. But when those speaking engagements began to come after my first novel was published, I began to realise that God was restoring something I loved to me, albeit in a different 'shape' from anything I had ever envisaged. And I have no doubt God will do something wonderful like that for you too, Nola, in this new venture you have undertaken!

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    1. Thanks for that encouragement Jo. Yes, it's certainly a big learning curve at the moment, but I'm looking forward to seeing what God will do. That's great about your speaking ministry. You're so right that it's the contact with just one person that might be the important thing. If I'd gone to all the sessions I'd wanted to, I would have gotten a lot of input myself, but wouldn't have been able to help anyone else. It's a good reminder that our writing's not all about us but is a ministry, and that blesses us too. May God continue to bless your written and spoken words greatly Jo. You've been a great encouragement to many.

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  2. Nola,

    Isn't it wonderful when God does that? Incredible how many positive affirmations you received. I wouldn't have been rapped with 1.

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    1. Thanks Ian. Yes, it is great when that happens. I probably ended up getting a lot more out of the conference than if I'd just attended the sessions. God is good :) Bless you.

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  3. Loved hearing these snippets from the Caleb conference for those of us who couldn't go.

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    1. Hi Dale - It was a great conference. The next one will most likely be in Melbourne. Hope you can make it. Blessings.

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  4. I second what Dale says. Would have been lovely to have been there. I'm sorry you had to lie down for awhile, but the rest of it sounds like a great experience.

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    1. Hi Paula - We really missed you, but hope you can make it to the Melbourne one next year. A bit closer for you. I'd had a really busy/stressful time leading up to the conference and sort of went splat when I arrived - but God perked me up and there were lots of blessings. Actually, even having a bed to lie down on was a blessing! Take care.

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  5. Great thoughts in this blog, Nola. Agreed, it can be so easy to feel diddled when our plans don't turn out just as we expected, but I love the way God can use those moments to remind us that it's not just about us - and in the process bless us more than we could have imagined. Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. Thanks Adele - I think that was the key. I was thinking about what I wanted to get out of it rather than how God might want to use me. And in helping out, I ended up being blessed. Love that word 'diddled'. Must use it in a sentence soon ;)

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  6. That's awesome Nola how God turned your expectations upside down and accomplished many wonderful things during the Caleb conference in and through you. How wonderful! And how encouraging too. I have to say that God is very good at doing that in my life - always turning things upside down - or rather right side up! He makes my path very different to what I envisage - be it my writing journey or in life as a whole. Thanks for sharing - great post!

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  7. Thanks Anusha. I guess if He turns us upside down, it gives us a new perspective! LOL It's always great to see how your experiences weave their way into your writing Anusha. God has used you to bless many people. Take care :)

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  8. Thanks for your post Nola - it's a great reminder that God's plans are always better than ours :)

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  9. Thanks Jenny. That's certainly true. If I wrote down all the times that has happened, it would be a very long list. I find I often need the reminder though. Take care.

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  10. I enjoyed this, Nola. It's interesting the way that God sometimes draws us back from all the activity for awhile in order to do something in our lives that we weren't expecting.

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  11. Thanks Debbie. I hadn't thought of it that way, but you're right. Sometimes takes something like that for Him to get our attention. It certainly worked :)

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