He Spoke at She Speaks
Updated: Feb 11, 2019
the surface, I went to the She Speaks conference seeking to learn more about writing, to make connections with others in the writing world and to see what a couple of publishers thought about my book idea. I spent a year saving my money, praying and waiting expectantly for registration to open so that I could choose just the right workshops to further this calling God has placed on my heart. The learning process started long before the conference itself with lessons on book proposals, One Sheets, business cards and elevator pitches. Conference calls and Facebook groups allowed the networking to begin early and I had the most fun learning from other attendees as we each prepared for similar, yet different goals. Though I often doubted my ability and worth to be among the ranks of some of the ladies I was meeting online, I knew I must be following the right path as the enemy slung one attack after the other at me. His attacks came in the form of a health scare, guilt, computer problems, and lies about my self-worth and ability. Satan often hits harder when we are pursuing Jesus and doing Kingdom work. I went to She Speaks to learn about writing, publishing and platform. I went to She Speaks to network and make connections. I definitely did those things. The workshops were amazing and full of information about all of the things I had come to learn. My notebook filled up as I recorded as much information as possible. The Main Session messages were incredibly inspirational and as we worshipped every morning and every night I felt the Holy Spirit beautifully moving within me and all over the room. The networking was more than I ever expected. Everyone was genuinely interested in one another and their projects. We arrived as strangers but left as a sisterhood, forever connected by this calling and the passion we each have to share Jesus with others through writing or speaking or both. In the time since the conference, I have recognized a change in myself. Despite all of the wonderful practical lessons that I learned to further my writing, the bigger impact I received from my time in North Carolina can’t be found in my plethora of notes. First, I realize that writing is not my only calling. My other ministries include my family, my church, my day job, divine appointments and missions. Some of these I haven’t always recognized as a ministry, but I learned that wherever God has placed me and the people He has placed in my life are my ministry. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” Notice that says whatever you do, not what you do in church, or what you do on the mission field, but whatever you do. I think I had gotten it in my mind that writing was my calling and I was struggling to have enough time for it and it was causing me a lot of stress. Ironically, the Lord opened my eyes at a writing conference that writing is not the only ministry He has given me and that has granted me tremendous freedom! Second, I’m content with where I am in my writing journey and I can celebrate where everyone else is without feeling threatened or insignificant. Before the conference, I would feel panicked every time I saw someone else posting a blog or getting published for the first time because I was afraid I wasn’t writing enough or I wasn’t far enough along with my book. I can’t pinpoint what changed me at She Speaks, I just know that since I have been home I don’t feel the same way. I know now that everyone must start somewhere and I am truly thrilled to see my sisters succeed. Maybe it was a message shared on the Facebook group, maybe it was our inspirational trip to Billy Graham Library before the conference, maybe it was the comradery I experienced, maybe it was prayer or maybe it was a mixture of all of this and much more that the Holy Spirit used to move me. I will never know but I am grateful just the same. The day after I got home from the conference, I reviewed all of my workshop and main session notes, made myself a to do list and then I gave myself permission to rest for the remainder of the month. Since my time at She Speaks, I feel better equipped and more at ease to carry on with not only my writing but also the other ministries God has entrusted to me. I pray I will remember the lessons I learned in this season and remain obedient to the Lord in all that I do. God bless!