Saturday, September 22, 2012

ACFW and a Pearl

Have enjoyed the opening sessions here at the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference in Dallas. Brandilyn Collins emcees, and we also enjoyed hearing from Colleen Coble last night.
One of the big draws at this year’s conference, of course, are Michael Hyatt’s keynote addresses. Former CEO of Thomas Nelson, Hyatt writes the top leadership blog in the world.

When I come to a conference like this, I can never imagine what God might do—what kind of divine appointments he might orchestrate.

Sometimes I pray for God to move in a situation, but I don’t even know what to ask. So, I just thank the Lord that when he moves, I’ll know it.

Last night, I sat down for dinner at a table where I only knew one person. Often, I sit at a table where I don’t know anyone, because I try to give God the opportunity to do something new. As it usually goes, each one of the writers at the table tells where he or she is from and what they write. Then our conversation goes from there.

An attractive woman sat across from me, and we struck up a conversation. I didn’t recognize her name probably because I don’t read her genre, but realized at some point that she seemed to be a veteran to the conference. When I told her what I write, she seemed genuinely interested and told me about a publisher who might be looking for what I write. And then she shared a bit of her writing journey which encouraged me immensely.

Today, I ran into her again, and we chatted a few minutes. Tonight, I changed the workshop I originally planned to take, when I saw my dinner friend’s name on the panel list for another workshop. As she told even more of her story, I realized she was a New York Times Best Selling author.

I approached her after the workshop and said, “Every conference it seems God does something special, and you are that something special this time.”

She jotted on a notepad, tore the sheet off, and handed it to me. “Here,” she said, “this is my personal email. Please write me. I’ll write you back. I feel a special connection to you.”

I took the paper from her hands and hugged her. Fighting the tears, I returned to my room this evening. I didn’t know where to put the little slip of paper with her email address, because I have so many papers floating around. And then I spotted a fabric jewelry roll I use to keep necklaces and bracelets straight. I unzipped a pocket and saw a strand of freshwater pearls inside.

Perfect, I thought, as I placed the note in the pocket, and zipped it shut.

I thank God he did move, because I know my new friend is God’s pearl to me.
"A friend loves at all times,  and a brother is born for a time of adversity" (Proverbs 17:17).

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