I went to a writers' conference today, and instead of coming home inspired, I spiraled into a downdraft of my own creation. I wondered if this was where God wanted me. Had I stepped out in front of Him again?
What brought this on? I went to the conference thinking I had a dynamite new children's book to pitch. I came out wondering why I wasted a whole day this way.
Am I saying the conference stunk? Absolutely NOT. It was me with the au d' skunk. My pitch not only didn't fly, it didn't even crawl. No, I didn't read (or speak) it to an agent or editor, I listened to several others who were so much better than what I attempted that I didn't even try.
I left the conference early. Spent the first 50 miles toward home telling God how sorry my efforts were, asking if I misread Him when I thought I should proceed with this writing stuff. Maybe I should just support other authors and forget about trying to write stuff. Especially stuff as odoriforous as this.
In other words, I threw a huge pity party. By the time I reached the turnoff to home, I'd reached some conclusions. (1) First and foremost, I'd rather promote God than me. I'd rather He got the glory. (2) I wanted to be certain God led the way before stepping into any promo thing for "my" books (they should be HIS books). (3) I want the books themselves to glorify Him--right now I'm not certain they do. And if they don't, they need to be revised or tossed (gulp).
But then, God had the neatest surprise waiting for me on FaceBook when I logged on about an hour ago. Mike Clark, a chaplain from Callahan, Florida, often posts bits and pieces of wisdom that feel like they come straight from the mouth of God. This post from him showed up right at the top of my FB page:
"Follow God even the difficult days. Don't give into that voice telling you to quit. It's here in adversity we grow to desire God. God isn't occupied with a universal distraction somewhere far away. He's still leading You, even through the valley of despair and regret. Don't give up on God, for He surely has not given up on You. If He can handle the forces of hell, He can handle whatever circumstance is crushing your confidence."