Thursday, September 27, 2012

When you walk in

Ever have one of those fall on your face-awed by God moments? Okay, so you may not literally fall down but I am talking about those times when you can feel His breath stir you, when everything melts away and you find yourself in the river just soaking it all in.

It’s the main reason why I love to worship—to detach from the chaos of life and just rest. With two what-on-earth-did-that-mother-put-in-their-milk baby boys my life is, in many ways, the antithesis of anything resembling rest. For all you mothers I’d like to say there is relief for the constant battle of bedtime and naptime after the baby phase, but sadly, I see no light at the end of the tunnel. Y’all can pray for me. (Ahh, Texas got to me!)


Last week was one of those weeks with very little rest, though to be fair I can’t blame it on my wild toddlers. I was at the ACFW writer’s conference in Dallas. A wonderful time of year where like minded people come together to learn the craft of writing, encourage one another, and pitch to agents and editors who make us squirm while they silently peruse our precious pages with a furrowed brow. (I shall not name name’s.)

And it’s not just exhausting while you are there. Months of preparation have us fine tuning our manuscripts, pitches, and one-sheets for those few moments when we can share our story, our passion, praying someone might catch the vision and take a chance on our dream. We bury ourselves under this avalanche of expectations, desperate to make the most of each moment and emerge victorious. (That, or justify the cost and time away from our families.)

But in the midst of those awkward high-school flash-backs where you wonder if you are gonna find someone to sit with at lunch, and those minutes before your appointment with your dream agent where the clamor of energy is drowning out your tirelessly practiced pitch until your mind washes blank, God walks in.

Whenever my mom would pray for me growing up she had this way of making it more about God and less about me. Like it was in his hands, and he would prepare the way. It was a balm for my nerves when I would be preparing for an audition or some other over-eager quest I had to conquer. I could step outside myself, my careful agenda and my ever-increasing expectations, and just rest in the fact that God would show up.

At the conference I had this moment with my roommate where we were both a bit shaken and our nerves went haywire. (And no, my back was not on fire again.) Anxiety was battling with me and it really felt like it was winning. We stopped right there in the hallway of the hotel and prayed together. And in that moment, it wasn’t just the two of us with our fraying nerves.

Now, I’d like to say that prayer is a magical remedy for stress but that’s not what I am trying to convey. Lord knows even though I made it through all of my appointments without incident, I still managed to feel like an idiot and considered cramming my tortured foot into my mouth after it got off its leash. And let me tell you, I prayed a lot. Prayed a lot since that those few who witnessed my blunder might have merciful memories.

But just remember, whatever you are going through, whatever the situation, you can rest in your own helplessness knowing that God shows up. Always has, always will.

Writers, what was your favorite moment from the conference? And readers, do you remember a time where you knew without question that God showed up?

I loved seeing you all at ACFW! Can’t wait until next year!