Who goes to a writer’s conference and leaves in a new vehicle? That is exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago when I attended She Speaks Intensive.
Mitch and I were driving around one evening after my sessions and found this Toyota Sienna minivan. After going back to the hotel and doing some research, we decided to go back the following day during my break and took it for a test drive. I prayed that God would make it obvious to us if we were to purchase this van. So, when the salesman told us the amount ($2000 less than Mitch had thought), we knew this was the vehicle for us.
No, we didn’t need something new or different, but it breathed new life into our family transportation. The same thing happened for me with my writing.
I had attended She Speaks for the first time last July and absolutely loved it and was anxious for the She Speaks Intensive conference to begin. So anxious in fact, that I was at the registration table before they “officially” opened. Just like a kid at Christmas, I stepped over to the side and I emptied the contents on the packet. Out fell my nametag – Jamy Whitaker, Writer. Not writer track, but writer. I thought I might burst into flames when I put it on or was certain someone would question why I was wearing it.
Over the course of the conference, not only did I learn a tremendous amount in the sessions, but I also had small group time to implement what I had learned. I had the privilege to be in Suzanne Eller’s group with nine incredible women, who all had a unique story and a desire to share their message with others.
The first group session was a little intimidating for me. Everyone went to a “comfortable” place in the room to begin working on our felt need and promise. I froze. In front of me was a blank screen screaming, what are you doing here? You don’t belong. Around me the sound of keys typing was almost too much. I had done a little preparation at home, so I decided to at least copy and paste that onto my blank document so I had something to show for this time. However, the thought of letting anyone else read it opened a flood gate of fear and insecurity, Oh, I don’t want her to read this. What will she think? Will she ask me to leave? All these were clamoring for my attention. But, I knew God brought me to the conference for a reason and I needed Suzie’s opinion.
Suzanne graciously sat down and looked at what I had written. She willingly helped me hone and focus my writing as well as gave me the confidence I needed. I finally heard from a non-relative that I could write. Suzanne continued to push and challenge me over the three days together.
At She Speaks Intensive I traded in my old perception of my writing and gained a whole new perspective on my ministry. I am a writer! This is where God has called me and I have a passion to reach women right where they are and share what God has brought me through to bring them real hope and shine God’s love.