April McGowan

Anticipation Part 2

Well, as ordered by my husband, I made it to the Oregon Christian Writers’ summer conference. Because of my troubled health, I had no idea at all how I would go about getting there, or walk around, or last through the day—but God is good and He supplied my need.

I didn’t last out full days, but I didn’t expect to. I went with the hope that I could attend a couple classes, maybe meet with some professionals in publishing, and gain some encouragement and fellowship. All those things happened, and more. This, in part, is a lesson I’m learning. You’ve probably heard the old adage that is somehow supposed to reduce stress:  Just let go. Or Let go and let God. Catchy bumper sticker counseling.

I have preconceived ideas about my life and how it will work all stored in my head. So far, I can tick a few things off the expectations list. I married a man who loves the Lord (check). I have two children (check). I always wanted a boy and a girl. They were to be named Lucas and Ashley (twins) and we would live in a white Victorian (cue fluttering rose petals). Achem. I DO have a girl and a boy, but those are not their names and I’m still waiting on the Victorian. I would learn to play the drums (in process, check). I would have a dog (I have two cats, one of which acts like a dog…check?). I would swim with dolphins (eh…not yet). I would be a novelist (working, working, working on that one).

I have to admit, that no where on my list are the words chronically ill.

Honestly, though, platitudes have never done a whole lot for me. Perhaps what that philosophical nugget should say is:  Let go of your expectations and hang on to God.

Usually, I’m nervous, tense, what have you, when I go to meet with the professionals who have looked over my mini-proposal and hold my fate in their hands (drama). But, do you know what? When you are as fatigued as I am, you have no energy at all left to be tense. Was I worried? No. Did I relax and have a nice time? Yep. Note to self: remember this lesson!

There’s an often quoted verse in Jeremiah where God is speaking to the people of Israel. A lot of people take comfort in that God has plans for them. But, I think sometimes they forget the verse is about what God is hoping and planning for them, not what they are planning for themselves.

I’ve been invited to submit full proposals to a couple places. That feels nice and hopeful (although, I’ve been here before, so I’m not getting giddy!). We’ll see what happens.

Jeremiah 29 11:14 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. (Read it in context here).

1 Comment

  1. Billie Jo Robbins
    Aug 21, 2011

    So glad you were able to go and enjoy yourself! Chronic illness sure puts things into perspective…and makes you prioritize..will be praying for God’s will on your proposals:)

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