Monday morning after the ACFW conference and I feel like my head is going to explode! Considering I'd been dreading this conference all summer long, I am in utter awe of how God used these past few days to speak to my discouraged heart in ways I never imagined possible. There's way too much to tell in a single post, so I'll be spreading it out over several days.
There is, however, one experience that stands out. One crazy dream . . . vision . . . whatever you want to call it . . . that I'm certain was sent directly from the Lord to straighten me out once and for all on the basic question, God, do You want me to be a writer or not?
Now I am right up there with the biggest skeptics when anyone uses terms like, God told me such-and-such, or, God laid this on my heart. But He's gradually turning me into a believer in such phenomena. I believe God spoke to me clearly and specifically, not with words but with an incredible image that I hope I never forget. Here goes:
It was after the first full conference day, sometime in the wee hours of Friday night or Saturday morning, while I tossed and turned with a zillion thoughts clamoring for brain space. And as I'd prayed so often of late, I'd been telling God that if He really didn't want me to write, if there was something else He had planned for me, then He'd better amputate this dream from me once and for all and show me what He wanted to put in its place.
So there I was. Not really asleep, not fully awake, but this picture began to fill my mind. I saw my own body, with this sort of high-tech vacuum thingy (sorry, no accurate term for what I'm trying to describe) attached to the top of my head. And it was slowly dissolving my bones from the toes on up and sucking them out of my body. (Grossed out yet?)
But okay. Imagine your body without your skeleton. Without the very framework that makes you who you are, capable of life, capable of action. I knew in this vision that God was showing me what my life would be like if He took writing away from me. I knew He was showing me that He'd created me to be a writer. That writing is as basic to me and as essential as the skeleton that gives my body form and function.
And I knew above all else that if God took writing away from me, it would be by my choice, not His. I'm doing what He wants me to do. What He created me to do. Which is really all that matters. I write. He uses it as He wills. The "letting go" part--what we hear so many times about surrendering our wills to the Lord's--means learning to be exactly who God created us to be and then fully trusting Him with the results.
There's so much more I want to share, and I will. I just praise God from the bottom of my heart for getting me to the ACFW conference despite the demons skewering me with discouragement, doubt, and (forgive me, friends!) envy of those whose success has come much more quickly.
I know now why I write. It's because that's the person God created me to be. Blessed be His name!