And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free. John 8:32
Now I have to confess, usually I can only take so much TRUTH when it comes to my writing. And as exciting as writing conferences are, there tends to be—in my humble opinion—a surfeit of truth going on there.
Everyone you meet has an opinion, especially when it comes to your writing and how it should be fixed. Add to that the late nights, adrenalin rush of meetings, and a schedule jam packed with classes and you have a recipe for emotional disaster.
I found myself on that very roller the first ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference I attended in 2009. Luckily it wasn’t my first big conference, but it was by far the largest I’d ever attended.
But two days in, on a Saturday morning, after an unusually good night’s rest, worship was a wonderful time of hearing from God.
The worship team led us in several praise songs, but the one that resonated with me focused on the freedom we have in Christ. I found myself asking God how I could hang on to that freedom in a day I knew would be packed with unexpected highs and lows.
Frequently, in the past, I’ve found the conference and the week following, a time of bondage. I’ve felt trapped by expectations of others and the obvious shortcomings within myself.
As I prayed, asking if somehow this time could be different I felt my spirit vibrate with God’s answer. His answer was to remind me that He gave me this story—for this time. He didn’t choose anyone else, He chose me. And I felt that today He would confirm His trust in me.
After the worship time, I went straight to my 15 minute appointment with an editor. As I sat down, I felt slightly nervous, but nothing like I have in the past. The editor listened as I gave him a brief pitch, and then asked to see the first few pages of the manuscript. He read for a moment and asked if I’d like editorial feedback.
I felt myself swallow hard—here it came—more of that truth. But I replaced my fear with a picture of the word freedom and nodded. As he began marking up my pages and explaining sections that needed to be cut I felt an unearthly peace. Here it was—God’s confirmation.
The editor stopped talking and looked at me strangely. “You’re taking this awfully well.”
That was when I realized I had a huge grin on my face. I’m sure it must have briefly crossed his mind that I was some sort of a nutcase or maybe he was the butt of a joke and this wasn’t really my manuscript.
The truth was that his revisions filled me with joy. The parts he removed were those that I’d let others, against my better judgment, talk me into adding. When he was done, I was left with the story exactly the way God had given it to me.
That day I found the freedom that God’s truth brings—and even more importantly—the confidence to believe in God’s work in me and in my ability to carry it out.
Are you concerned about what’s He’s given you? Today I challenge you to ask for God’s confirmation where you feel lacking. His answer will surprise you—it certainly did me. I’d love to hear your story so . . .
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