I walked down the hallway with the presenter as I asked a few questions about domain changes. Because she was approachable, I felt the courage inside to ask another question:
“When can you call yourself a writer?”
She stopped, looked at me with eyes that knew the fear I held inside, and said, “You are a writer.”
This was a defining moment for me at the Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids last summer. I came knowing I would learn how to consolidate the two blogs I had been writing for three years. I came yearning to learn more about social media the impact of technology around me. I came yearning to learn from dynamic Christian leaders and to be challenged in communicating grace and hope to others.
I came wondering when was the moment a person became a “writer.”
And here, a gentle spirit read my thoughts. She, too, was writer, and knew my fears.
In the moment she told me I was a writer, I felt peace in my soul.
I didn’t need to publish a book, or pay someone an endorsement fee to say, “Brenda is a writer.”
I needed another professional in the area of writing and speaking to validate what my heart does when my fingers hit the keyboard or when I have the opportunity to share what is inside my soul.
For me, Speak Up has given me life-defining moments such as this one.
I first attended Speak Up in 2008. When I finished reading Carol Kent’s book When I Lay My Isaac Down, I read about this ministry in the back of the book. I had spoken and taught Bible Studies before, and was interested in learning more from someone I respected. The conference of 2008 equipped me with good friends and gave me food for thought about something I wasn’t sure what to with.
Between 2008 and 2012 when I returned to Speak Up, I began writing in ministry to women and those whose image of life’s expectations were shattered. I’d begun speaking and had my first article published in a devotional magazine. I was ready to learn more, to be connected with others in ministry, and to be challenged.
After attending Speak Up last summer, I came away with life-long friendships. Several, to be honest. I’ve developed a network of prayer partners with whom we pray for each other in the places God has called us to minister.
I also learned I can be comfortable in saying I’m a writer even though I don’t have a book published.
Speak Up is for any Christian leader who yearns for refreshment, professional development, connections with others and a place to receive confidence and encouragement in the areas God has called you. It may be speaking, writing, or leadership.
Whatever brings you to Speak Up, you’ll find encouragement, strength, and great blessing.
Check out information on this year’s Speak Up – I’m linking with a friend and one of the presenters, Cindy Bultema, for more information about Speak Up. Check it out!
I’m wondering, what has God called you to do? How are you developing the skills and passions you have for His glory?
I get chills and tears when I read this. God is so good. He gives us just what we need to keep taking steps forward for Him. So excited to see the journey He has you on. Much l
Move love to you, supergirl. I am thankful for the lifelong friend I have made in you, and so excited to see what He is doing in you. Keep walking and being authentic.
I was typing on my phone and bumped something. That was supposed to end “Much love to you!” Ah the joys of typing with your thumbs!
I am so, so thankful to have met you last summer and the friendship we have built. Keep writing. Keep serving. Keep being the beautiful you that you are!
Thank you. I figured that’s what you meant! I have the strength to do each of these things because of friendships with women like you. Same right back at you!
As I am a low tech geek, I have no idea if my comment went through, so… writers write. It doesn’t matter if it’s a book or report or blog…writers write. A comparison is photography; if one takes pictures, one is a photographer. Skills may be polished, publication may occur but these things don’t make one a photographer. The simple matter of taking photos makes one a photographer just as writing makes one a writer.
God’s blessings on you, yours and the work of your hands and heart.
Thank you, the same to you!
Writers write, doesn’t matter if it’s a book or a devotional or a report. Writers write. A comparison is saying one isn’t a photographer unless one has photographed weddings or worked for Natl. Geo. Not true. Writers write and photographers take pictures; listen to His whisper and not his shout.
That’s what I have come to learn through the last year. Thanks for the prompting to listen to His whisper, not his shout.
God has called me to be a voice of hope around the world. My mission is to rescue, restore, and rebuild hope buried in the rubble of emotional pain. Speak Up will equip me, connect me and sent me to a new level. Fastening my seatbelt and …..
Lori, I am very excited for you! Is this your first time attending Speak Up?