If, fifteen months ago my fairy godmother would have appeared in a swirl of glitter and twinkle lights and announced to me that this March I would find myself in Bluefield, West Virginia in the company of a beautiful group of writers and creators at Hopewords Conference, I could not have been more incredulous, amazed, or shocked. To be honest, I would have also been somewhat unbelieving and quite doubtful. I’d never heard of Bluefield or of Hopewords.
I’m a simple farmwife from Kansas. We live a quiet life and work with our hands. It’s not been that long since I’ve been brave enough to embrace my identity as a writer and storyteller. I’m not all that brave about anything. I don’t seek thrills or adventure. New experiences are daunting. Travel on my own isn’t my forte. I like my space and my quiet. I need to introvert. A cup of coffee, my gold-dotted blanket, and a good movie are a wonderful adventure for me. I love home. I’m seriously awkward. Most of my life I’ve felt like the missing puzzle piece that can not find a place of belonging.
All these details to say, I have so many reasons to disqualify myself, discount my ability.
Perhaps you do too?
Where do you find you discredit yourself? What parts of you do you brush aside? How would you reply to your fairy godmother?
Sometimes our Jesus has a way wherein He works wonder from wondering, reveals hidden loveliness in least expected places, and pushes the puzzle piece perfectly into place.
As I listened to the brave words of Esau McCaulley and the beautiful words of Ann Voskamp and the utmost of inspiration from Katherine Patterson, as S.D. Smith combined wit and profound wisdom, Dr. Miroslav Volf dove to the depths, and Lewis Brogden challenged us in the message we carry, as I sat among an auditorium of people with pens, people who care about a message of hope, a pen stewarded well, words offered with observation rather than outrage, words about what we are for rather than what we stand against, words for development rather than destruction, I felt a swirl of glitter and twinkle lights.
I feel a place of belonging.
Gathered around a campfire in the twilight evening, the sunset blazing glorious behind the Blue Ridge Mountains, I find life-giving conversation with three of my creative friends who I met fifteen months ago inside an internship and one of my creative friends from my own hometown community.
We Rendevouz over coffee and crepes the next morning, pull our hearts together in prayer, and dive into creative conversation and dreams and Enneagram strengths.
I sit with the gift of all of this and I mark these moments by tapping out words.
And I ask, “How do I pass this on to you friend?”
To the one sitting in a similar place. Perhaps waiting. Hoping. Wishing. Perhaps you’ve recently named yourself for who you are, Perhaps named a different narrative than the one that’s dogged your heels or dragged you relentlessly.
I do not believe we will ever fully “arrive.” I do not believe we will ever find the puzzle which carries no problems, pain, or panic. I do not believe all days carry glitter.
I do believe in slow growth. In formation. In naming our needs and desires. In submitting the application. In doing it scared. In practicing.
In picking up a pen…..or whatever passion we find our hearts yearning toward.
I do believe in life-giving change. I do believe in YOUR hopes for YOU. If a middle-aged, word-loving woman with the only degree to her name found in the fine art of discrediting herself can land smack-dab in the center of amazement, you will too.
Inspiration, creativity, and beauty do not carry expiration dates. They aren’t quantitified. Nor do they diminish when used.
They multiply, grow, expand, when activated and shared. Come on friend! Here’s the invitation. Bring your puzzle piece, we need it.Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2023
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