Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
Some of you know that it took five years and rejection slips from 42 editors before the first book I wrote was accepted for publication. Before that I struggled for several years to finish the manuscript. Self-doubts, and to be honest, God-doubts had me close to giving up many, many times.
The “deadly Ds” – disappointment, doubt, discouragement, even despair – were my frequent companions. What kept me keeping on?
- Promises such as Galatians 6:9: “Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up” (TLB).
- The very first words I ever felt the Lord speak to my heart: “Child, I never said it would be easy to follow Me, but I have promised always to be with you.”
- My husband who has never told me to go get a “real” job even during times when things were really rough financially.
- My pastor who paid my way to my first writers’ conference and held me accountable afterwards to use what I learned.
- Friends who year after year babysat my three children so I could go to the St. Davids Christian Writers Conference.
- The network of writing friends who encouraged me, and Gayle Roper and Anne Sirna who mentored me.
Yes, it took many long, discouraging years but that first book did get in print. The rest – eight other books, the Greater Philly and Colorado Christian Writers Conferences that I direct, the 70 conference faculties I’ve been honored to serve on, and my day-long writing seminars that I’ve given around the country over 50 times – are the fruit of abiding in Him and trusting Him to do what I could never do in my own strength.
The key really is trust, especially when the deadly Ds threaten to derail me. I’m learning that I am free to trust or to doubt, but when I do not trust, I grieve the Lord.
I want to encourage you not to give up and to make registering for a Christian Writers Conference a priority. Google these upcoming conferences: Write to Publish, Montrose, St. Davids. I’ve served on the faculty of all three and highly recommend them. Of course, I hope you’ll also prayerfully consider the conferences I direct.
It’s not too late to register for the May 11-14 Colorado Christian Writers Conference. The price increases tomorrow, May 7, but please do not let the cost stop you from coming. Remember, God can make a way when there seems to be no way. You can register with a $50 deposit and make monthly payments for the balance. And scholarship help is available. If making time to come in an already crammed schedule is the issue, then come just for a day. Walk-ins are welcome, and I’ll waive the additional $15 walk-in fee if you mention this email.
I urge you not to miss this once-a-year opportunity to
grow as a writer,
connect with agents and editors who can open doors,
make forever friendships with other writers,
and who changes lives.
Registration is also open for the August 3-6 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. The 16-page brochure will be off press today. If you’re on our mailing list, you should receive it by May 16. Can’t wait? It’s posted online. The first 75 to register receive an additional FREE 15-minute appointment with an editor, agent, or author – a total of FIVE appointments of your choice. And we have 59 on faculty for you to choose from. The earlier you register, the more likely you’ll get your top picks.
If the evil one (the “defeated one” as Yolanda Powell called him in a keynote she gave a few years ago) is bombarding you with the deadly Ds, trust the Lord. Realize that you are obviously a threat or he would leave you alone. So, again, trust the Lord!
Father, thank You that You know the plans You have for us and our writing – and that they are good plans. Help us to trust You when we face the deadly Ds. Thank You for all the incredible people You have brought into my life these past 20 years of directing the Colorado Christian Writers Conference and 33 years directing the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference. Thank You for all You have done and all You will do as I trust You.