As I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed I see all these lovely women I admire packing up there bags and heading to one of the best writing conferences in the nation. SHE SPEAKS. Just a year ago I was there, nervous and practically peeing my pants in excitement. I had two meetings scheduled with acquisitions editors from different publishing houses, and I was ready to present my book idea. I felt pretty prepared.
They opened the first session with a stunning worship song, What a Beautiful Name It Is. I don’t know if I have ever felt the Holy Spirit’s presence like I did among that group of women. It was beyond powerful. The rest of the conference and all of the teachings did not disappoint. So much so, I wish I could go again this year and EVERY year. As I watch my friends heading out, my heart is happy for them, but it’s also sad. I feel like I’ve missed the cut. I feel like I’m missing my chance.
A few months back I set a goal to try and re-tweak my proposal and then send it out to various literary agents. I picked a deadline. July 12th. My birthday. I told myself that THIS was when everything had to be done. It was a few weeks before She Speaks would begin and I knew agents would be receiving tons of proposals from other women. I thought if I got ahead of the rush, I wouldn’t get lost in the crowd. Sounded like a pretty idea… But life had other plans.
Writing in the summer, with littles running around, is never an easy task. So there was that reality. But then our family got sick, starting with my husband. I was taking care of everything in the home solo for the first few days, and then I felt feverish. I tried to force myself health (AKA: denial), but that just landed me in bed. A small virus my body could usually kick to the curb ended up turning into pneumonia. For two weeks I fought this sucker off, and it left me utterly exhausted. Sure I was drained, but I was more so MAD! Who gets pneumonia in the summer?! Why did it have to happen now? The fight with this infection lasted right past my birthday. Right past my self-assigned deadline. I felt defeated. I felt like life (and maybe the enemy) had won. It was settled. I would never get my proposal out.
Yes, Dear Reader. I was being dramatic. I tend to do so on occasion. But for some reason my heart had felt this huge sense of hurry. I thought THIS was my time – this was when I was supposed to do the hard work and send my words out into the publishing world. And since She Speaks is officially here, all my insecurities and fears are emerging from their hiding place.
Am I missing my opportunity?
Will someone else write my book?
What if all the agents are taken?
Have I missed my chance?
God does this thing with me. He cuts through the noise circling around in my head and answers my questions with a few tender words.
There’s no pressure in my Kingdom.
To rephrase it… there’s no hurry in heaven. No need to perform. No rush towards achievement or manmade goals. The only sense of urgency I have seen in God’s Word deals with reconciling people to God and then reconciling to each other. There’s a relational urgency because God wants what is best for us, but otherwise He tells us not to hurry. Could you imagine how this type of living would change things? How it would change us?
I would say the opposite of pressure is peace. And Jesus is our ultimate peace-bringer. He makes our burdens easy and our souls light. He is also the life-giver. He wants us to experience His goodness based on the faithfulness of His character, not our circumstances. He wants us to know Him more abundantly. He wants freedom. Being weighed down by the pressures of this world (or from ourselves) can feel a whole lot like chains. But trusting in His love is always the key. For me, God’s provision may not look like immediate healing from illness, but He does promise to heal my heart. He will hold my disappointments and alleviate my fears. He will transform my mind and help me be still. He will remind me of what He’s done and who He really is.
Because this is what I know… God finishes what He starts. He brings dreams into fruition and orchestrates His purpose. He promises to go forth and then makes a way. He parts seas, levels mountains and brings down holy fire. Nothing is impossible with Him. Nothing can stop His movement. Whether it’s sickness or finances or other hardships, God is going to get His way. He is going to come through for us. He is going to prove Himself true.
We can’t run out of chances with God. No situation is above His redemption. If things didn’t work out, it’s because He has something bigger. It’s already lined up. He’s orchestrating it now. And even though we can’t see it, we can rest assured it will happen exactly when it should. If God is in it, nothing can stand against it.
Isaiah 26:12 puts it perfectly…
“Lord, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us.”
Friends, He’s the accomplishing One. Let’s trade the heavy pressure for His well established peace.
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