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I didn’t want to go at first. I had already been to She Speaks the previous year and I wasn’t sure why I needed to go to another conference.
So I just deleted her email.
But she was persistent and did not let this deter her. God was using Cindy to show me that going to Speak Up was really something He wanted me to do.
I kept balking. What about the cost of the conference?
I ended up getting a $200 scholarship.
What about the cost of the flight?
My friend I hadn’t seen in years found out I was going and she gave me $500 without me asking for a penny.
Who will take care of my kids? They’re out of school in the summer!
My husband said it would be no problem to take a few days off of work.
I ran out of excuses, so I started praying: Why are you sending me here, Lord?
I didn’t get a direct answer at that moment. The answer came later as I was perusing the conference options.
“Meet with an editor” scrolled across my screen.
Meet with an editor? Then I’d have to have some sort of book proposal. What would I write about?
Here’s where God answered: Your husband’s porn addiction.
If that had come in an email, I would have deleted that, too. But God is not silenced so easily and after talking with my husband, we decided we’d write the book together.
We got to work in April and in June, I took our book proposal, my shiny one-sheet, and some business cards, got on a plane and headed north.
I have no regrets. I am ever grateful that God (and my friend, Cindy) did not listen to my excuses – excuses rooted in fear.
At the conference in June 2012, I met Miranda Gardner from Discovery House. I showed her all my papers, but she said, “Just tell me your story.” And so I did. She asked me to email her a completed proposal by September. I did. In November, Craig and I found out we got a contract. The entire book was due September 2013. It was published October 2014. This is what she looks like (because writing and publishing a book really does feel a bit like birthing a baby):
What I really want you to know, though, is this: I don’t think God’s number one goal for me in coming to this conference was to publish a book. I think God’s number one goal for me was bringing my marriage to entirely new place of freedom – from addiction – my addiction to control and Craig’s addiction to porn. Writing and speaking – getting our words from our heart into light – is a transformative process. When we hone those skills, when we practice those skills, when we get used to living and breathing in an authentic way, it is not only the lives of others who are touched.
It is our own.
Regardless of whether you get new speaking engagements or a book contract through this conference, you will leave changed because if God is prompting you to come, there is a reason far beyond the masses you will impact. That reason is you. God wants to do a transformative work in your life, perhaps open you up to opportunities you never imagined, and bring you to a place of healing you may have never thought possible.
If you have excuses, ask God to refute them. Ask Him to pave a way. Ask Him to do a radical transformation in you.
You won’t regret it.
Guess what! I am so excited to announce that I get to give away one $100 partial scholarship to the Speak Up Conference! (To learn more about the Speak Up Conference, go here or watch my little video below:
To enter to win the $100 partial scholarship use the rafflecopter widget below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And if you end up going, please let me know! I will be back on the leadership team and it is so fun every year to meet up with fellow SDG Sisters!