Ohio woman gets swallowed by whale while running the Riverwalk
That could easily have been the headline flooding your newsfeed. But God took a gentler approach with me when I needed a bit of guidance.
For the third year, I attended the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) conference. This time it was held in San Antonio directly on the Riverwalk. While I loved walking along the crooked paths, arched stone bridges, and eating salsa with a duck named Michael Bublé, I was really there to learn how to write, market, and sell.
But true to character, I let lifelong insecurities get the best of me. The tears, they were a-comin’! You see, contrary to what you see on Facebook (where my days consist of jabbering and cuddle-napping with my three dogs), I’m a people person. I put the “extra” in “extrovert.” However, I’m also incredibly independent and love to take on adventures by myself…as long as it is by choice.
What I do not like is when I’m standing alone in a crowded room—and it is not my choice. This, of course, is inevitable at a big event of any kind. I was not expecting it at a conference surrounded by people who have become dear friends to me.
To be clear, it isn’t friendship that I was lacking, but someone who’d walked my path before me who could lend advice and spur me on to greater courage. It was a Jonah moment for sure. Whiny, woeful, and full of self-concern. BUT GOD, right? God could’ve—perhaps should’ve—smacked me upside the head. Instead, he sent someone I deeply admire with a simple question: how can I encourage you?
Throughout that day, one author after another shared their journeys with me, spoke wisdom over me, and offered a seat at their table (both figuratively and literally!). I’m thankful for the path God has paved for me, the encouragers he’s given, and his plan to use soft words from friends to correct me instead of a bath in whale bile.
How can I encourage you? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your answer, and if you are willing, your mailing address. That way, I can send you tokens of encouragement from time to time!