Sunday, August 02, 2009

Tips for Triumphant Living -- Show Up

After spending four days at the Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference, I trekked down I-5 to my home in Southern Oregon. I haven’t missed a conference since 1992. Lonnie Hull DuPont closed the conference with a stirring personal story and I set out for home with my heart full.

I love to teach and have a special affection for OCW. Members of Oregon Christian Writers were my first and long-time mentors. In the days preceding the conference, however, fear taunted me. I had committed to teaching the Advanced Critique Class, and students who had worked hard depended on me to show up. I wondered if I’d make it through.

I’ve battled physical disability and chronic pain since an auto accident in 1991 and this year I’ve had several painful flairs. I fought a voice in my head that told me I couldn’t do it, not this time. God reminded me I wouldn’t be alone. He would be there. And so I went.

The first morning, I joined five students around a table and realized that each of them had most likely faced their own fears or doubts. I can only guess at the battles they waged. Knowing the enemy wants to stop quality writing by Christian authors I expect getting there wasn’t easy. I felt a surge of pride for them—they’d made it.

With each session I was more and more impressed, not just by their quality of writing (which was excellent) but by their character. Marion was steady and thoughtful. Dan expectant, yet capable. Barbara, quiet and studied. Joel, mentally sharp and bold. And Marlene brave and determined.

I am privileged to be part of their writing journey. They are serious writers who took a risk and showed up. We learned from one another, and the time we spent together will stay with me. I pray I was a help to them—I know they were to me. I believe because of our time together we’ll become better writers. However, we were required to face our fears and insecurities, battle our demons and show up.

Life waits—don't forget to show up.

Grace and peace to you from God.


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