Heart hammering, I edged my way through throngs of busy women sporting identical teal tote bags. Which was more terrifying? Being a first-time attendee, knowing no one, or being a green-as-grass writer at a writers conference? As panic set in, I settled for a three-way tie.
We all arrived filled with hope. Many literally toted hope in the rustling pages of book proposals for prospective publishers. Others hoped to make life-long friendships. Like me, some hoped to feel qualified enough to be there and to find a place amongst so many accomplished women. And yes, we all hoped to find a friendly meal partner!
Last weekend, hope was palpable in the air like the thick North Carolina humidity blanketing the conference center. The She Speaks Conference had begun!
Riding waves of emotion, I asked myself…
What am I doing here?
How did this science girl end up at a writers conference?
I suppose only God can answer those questions. But I do know that the road there has been weary, full of almosts, broken dreams, and crushed hope. Yet that same road has forged my imperfect story that I was there to learn how to share.
I soon learned that my tattered story also had companions to spare.
In an attempt to quell my raging nerves and seek peace in some sort of connection with at least a sliver of the 800 perfectly coiffed and accomplished women surrounding me, I started asking questions.
Do you have any publisher or agent appointments?
What is the subject of your book proposal?
Little did I know that these questions would build a beautiful vulnerability bridge between us.
Each She Speaks sister seemed to have a story like mine. Stories that dethroned the mythical lives I’d assigned them minutes earlier.
• An adorable young mom shared the devastating loss of her husband.
• Another bubbly sister recounted how her young son passed unexpectedly.
• Beautiful single moms shared the pain of divorce.
• An accomplished writer revealed her struggle with the shame of being a teen mom.
• Some sweet moms shared struggles with their faith and their journeys back to God.
• A spunky mama and I even bonded over toilet training our teens with special needs.
But even as heavy as these conversations became, they all returned to God’s grace, the gateway to hope (2 Thessalonians 2:16). Each story underlined God’s power to transform our troubles into a door of hope (Hosea 2:15). These simple truths became our unspoken anthem. They reverberated throughout the conference center with as much power as the mammoth amps bathing us in Elevation’s praise music.
So, my She Speaks sisters, may God’s grace dwell within you as you fulfill your calling. Run your race with grace as the Holy Spirit fills you with His power. “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV 1984).
I’ll see you before your door of hope when we meet again!
Learn more about the ladies of She Speaks! Visit this link now to be connected with their blogs, all on one page! Be sure to swing back frequently, as more blogs will be added through August 31st!
1. How have hope and God’s grace intertwined in your life?
2. How has God blessed you with vulnerability bridges?
Dive Deeper: Why Hope? Grace! By John Piper
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FOR BLOGGERS: Welcome to the Mom-ventures Monthly Link Up!
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