She speaks, because he gave her a voice.
She writes, because he has equipped her and empowered her.
She struggles, because he has made her human.
She endures, because he is beside her.
I watch. I experience. I immerse myself in the depths. And then, only when the silt has settled to the bottom, and light shines through the clear water, I write. I write so that others can experience. So others can see what I see, what I was so privileged to glimpse. It is in the telling that I finally understand. Writing becomes knowing for me. Writing is how I connect to the God who loves me, who saved me, who has been so kind and gracious to me.
And today, when a friend sent me a link to a scholarship announcement for She Speaks, that same Spirit rose up inside of me. Tears brimmed, words of praise bubbled forth. You know how sometimes you just know? You know that you know that you know? I belong there. This is what I’ve been waiting for. I may not make it this year, and that's OK. As I read through the blogs of those who are applying, I’m humbled by the stories, the faith, the devotion. I can’t predict what will happen, but I just know that it matters. It’s important. It is time to take what I know, what I have done, what I have written, and move forward. For him, with him. Oh, always with him. Because then, and only then, will my words matter. Then, and only then, will I have experienced something worthy of the telling.
So, Lord, I write this to you, though I link to the contest. Have your way. If not me, then touch someone else with this miraculous opportunity. And rise up in every one of these women, rise up and SHINE FORTH in their words. Written, spoken, it doesn’t matter. All that matters is that the words are yours, not ours. And that when you show us what to do with them, we listen.
Though I hadn’t heard of the She Speaks conference before today, I’m so excited about it I can hardly speak. (Typing, however, is another story.) I’m familiar with Proverbs 31 Ministries and Lysa TerKeurst, though, and I’m confident that the conference will live up to the words of praise and enthusiasm I’ve been reading all day today. The conference offers three tracks — for speakers, for writers, and for women’s ministry leaders. There are numerous sessions, opportunities to meet with editors and publishers — and many other women placed on a path similar to mine, also seeking fulfillment of the dreams God has placed within them. I’ve attended several writing conferences, but never one focused on faith and how to communicate that. I don't presume to think I am worthy of this scholarship, but I have felt overwhelmed by the presence of God and the joy that bubbles up in me as I have learned and written about this, so I humbly throw in my hat... and prepare to cast my crown to the Lord in praise and adoration. Because he is worthy of all that, and more... no matter what.