I first heard about the "She Speaks" Conference the other day when Linda over at 2nd Cup of Coffee mentioned it. "What an opportunity," I thought. "I should see about going." And in the hurry and scurry of life, I tabled the thought. Tonight, surfing through blogs, I found this contest posted by Lysa at Proverbs 31 Ministry. I decided to post an entry!
From as early as I can remember, I have always wanted to write a book. I was never sure how to proceed. In the meantime, I have filled spiral binders and journals with thoughts, ideas and even stories, but have never really been serious about it. It was always one of those "someday" ideas.
In December 2005, I donated half of my liver to a friend and decided to blog the experience. That would be the start of my book, I thought. I came through the surgery, but my friend died February 22, 2006 from complications. I was far too sad to write anything that would be uplifting to others. No book for me, I thought.
On one occasion I talked about it with a friend who served many years as an editor with a Christian Publishing Company. "You need to go to a Christian writers' conference," she advised me.
But life happens. Six months after liver surgery, I went to the doctor to have a mole removed and woke up three weeks later with a mastectomy. First came the surgeries followed by an agonizing six months of chemotherapy. During this epoch from liver donation to mastectomy to chemotherapy, a metamorphosis has occurred in me, a paradigm shift, a growth of faith unequaled in my life. Don't get me wrong, I don't walk on water. Occasionally I manage to get wet or dabble a toe here and there.
I'm like my younger granddaughter. As a toddler, she was an adventurer. She energetically explored her world sometimes encountering difficulties. At that point she always screamed, loudly. A piercing sound that brought any adult within earshot running to rescue her. At times we'd be met with a cherubic smile while she pointed to her little black patent Mary Jane hanging from her foot by an ankle strap. Other times, she had to be plucked from a high shelf of the bookcase or extracted from beneath the couch cushions. One day I came running to find her squatting on a lamp table with her head under the shade of the lamp. She seemed to know when she had reached an impasse with her explorations and knew it was time to scream.
And then one day, things changed. Instead of the scream, I heard a very loud, "I 'tuck!" There she was in the living room wedged tightly behind the sofa. As usual, she smiled as soon as her rescuer appeared. I pulled her out and gave her a big hug. From that day, Mikaela's bloodcurdling scream was no longer necessary. With more and more finesse, she learned to express her needs, call for help, and establish understanding.
During those long weeks and months of illness and recovery, something in my being changed. The old independent me didn't like having to be waited on, to be assisted to do so many ordinary things, but I learned to appreciate the hand of God in those small moments, those daily trials. My faith is different in character, in depth. God and I have a different relationship.
Oh, sometimes I still find myself pleading with God to rescue me from some place my stubborn nature has led me, but it doesn't have that desperate screaming quality. Along with my growing granddaughter, I can express my needs, call for help, and establish understanding with my rescuer, my Savior.
As for writing a book, She Speaks Conference 2008 would be a good place for me to be able to obtain direction to build a writing portfolio, understand what publishers are looking for, how to write a proposal, and how to impact readers. For me, this seems like the next step. The scholarship would be a wonderful blessing and enable me to get there!
Thank you, Proverbs 31 Ministries, for this opportunity.