I attended the 2011 American Christian Writer’s Conference in St. Louis, MO last week and experienced five full days of workshops, appointments with publishers, worship & keynote sessions, friends, and the faithfulness of Jesus. I will list the highlights in a sec, and there were s-e-v-e-r-a-l, but topping this trip was a Moses-style reminder that I serve a faithful God who has a perfect plan and is in complete control of our lives, our futures, and our heart’s desires.
I had a Moses epiphany. Not a splitting the Red Sea or a talking, burning bush, but a moment much like when Moses questioned the Lord about choosing a d-d-d-dork like him to be His spokesman. Moses knew his own weaknesses, his limitations. Now, this knowledge may have come from listening to the negative whisperings of an enemy trying to thwart the mighty work God wanted to do through Moses—makes sense, I guess—or it could have been simply his self-depreciating honesty. Or a combo of both (which can be a bit tricky to decipher, trust me). Did God choose Moses because of his velvety-smooth radio voice and Justin Bieber charisma? Or did God have a plan that included using a weak vessel in order to show His people His provision, power and glory?
(Still working on that one? Hint: they didn’t actually have radios in ancient Egypt.)
If I were as polished and articulate on the spot as I’d like to be, I might quickly forget how utterly wretched and lost we truly are on our own, how completely we depend on the Spirit of God at work in us to do anything. Not just do it right, but great. For Him. Not just when we can’t quite handle the situation without some help, but every moment. He’s the Vine, I am the branch. Apart from Him I can do nothing. So it’s probably a good thing I’m not super cool and charismatic under pressure, because the Lord came through faithfully and answered many prayers to give me confidence and clarity of thought when I needed it most. I was reminded again that when He plants a vision in our heart and soul, He provides the strength, the means, and the ability to carry it out. Brandilyn encouraged me to lay it all down and tell the Lord: I am Yours. This was a priceless lesson reaffirmed, worth the entire trip if I took NOTHING else away from the conference.
And yet I took home so much more.