WRITE: Florida Christian Writer’s Conference–Celebrate the Awe
How do you describe that moment at the top of the roller coaster before it plunges down the first hill? A friend of mine uses the word awe, which he defines as “great joy and excitement mixed with tremendous fear.”
Borrowing his definition, then, I can say I’m in awe of my role as chaplain for the 2013 Florida Christian Writers Conference. A chaplain ministers God’s truth. A chaplain gives care, comfort, and encouragement. And although I’ve done all of those things in various ministry opportunities (including writers’ conferences) through the years, I’ve never had this particular title at a conference. And sometimes, I allow the fear portion of my awe too much freedom.
What if the prayer letters I send prove ineffective? What if I say the wrong thing when I address the conference or speak to an individual? What if I miss out on opportunities because I’m too busy teaching workshops or meeting with those interested in writing for Sisterhood Magazine (some of my other responsibilities at the FCWC).
Did you notice anything about those questions? They all center on me. And that’s the focus God’s shifting as I pray toward the conference. Those who are self-focused minister only to one person. So I’m asking God to help me turn my what-ifs into prayers that He’ll move through me both now and during the conference. After all, I can only live in awe if I step aside and watch Him work.
I may not have a perfect understanding of my chaplain role, but He does. I may not know what to say or when to say it, but He promises wisdom to those who ask. And I’ll trust Him for the timing of appointments, planned and otherwise.
God loves to use my weakness as a vehicle for His strength (2 Corinthians 12:9). Because I remember my days a confused first-time conference attendee, I can offer words of calm assurance. Because I long for God to use my writing to make a difference, I can pray for others who have the same hope and desire. And because I continue to slip, stumble, and start over again in my own writing journey, I can encourage others at all stages of theirs.
I hope to see you at the Florida Christian Writer’s Conference (for more of my thoughts about why you should attend, go here). Come find me. I’ll be the one watching for His great work—and celebrating the awe.