|jadyn noelle photography|
I've heard of Lysa Terkeurst, but never wanting to follow a trend if I can help it, the popular book Made to Crave has never been read by me, but has been by thousands of others. After hearing Lysa speak at the first meeting, I thought, "WHY have I never listened to her?! Or read her books?! She's amazing!"
So much for avoiding trends. There is a reason she is popular right now, she is full of incredible wisdom, yet so humble, normal and funny- so relatable.
This conference has inspired and challenged me in so many ways. Women from all over the world came to be a part. I met a friend Helen Taylor who came all the way from New Zealand, with her newly published book in hand, Walking the Bridge, which I cannot wait to read. She shares her story of how God turned her life around after she almost took her life.
I met women who blog and write and mom like me, and many who have the hope of writing a book. I heard stories that I desperately hope get published, because I want to read their full story, not just the teaser I got to hear in a workshop. There was a woman who survived cancer and became a widow in the same year, and after all she had been through, she found herself having to forgive her husband's murderer. There were those who told of abuse they survived, but each one had an incredible story of how God reached down and brought them out of the depths of despair, into a beautiful new life. So many women had countless incredible stories to tell. It showed me that God really is at work reaching out to the worst, most hopeless and impossible situations, and bringing restoration as only He can.
Redemption was definitely a theme of the week. And restoration.
I also observed how insecure every woman was. Many of us put ourselves on the line, by either speaking or submitting writing in front of a group of peers to be critiqued. Many had meetings with publishers, to pitch an idea for a book.
Everyone was insecure. Wondering about themselves. Not sure of themselves. Scared.
I realized everyone is the same. We all have to work through it. Even Lysa Terkeurst said she gets so scared to talk she wants to throw up. Wow. And she's the head of the whole shebang.
So we push past the queasiness. We push past the insecurity, and just do it.
And we survive.
I'm so glad for the new things I tried this week. For the commentary, the publisher meetings, the critiques...all of it taught me something.
I decided to call myself a writer. I haven't done that before, not really. Obviously I write, but it seemed so presumptuous to call myself a writer. I realized that even though I skipped that more difficult writing class in high school and chose the easy route, because I couldn't imagine ever wanting to write, I will most likely be writing in some form the rest of my life. I keep writing things, so I must actually be a writer, right? It was just a mental shift, calling it out and owning it.
So, I call myself a writer.