Last fall, I attended my first ACFW conference. I’d been a member of ACFW for many years, and it was ridiculous I hadn’t made it to the national conference any sooner. I happened upon the Mount Hermon conference during my first year of writing, and that became my annual writer’s conference. But friends continued to encourage me to attend ACFW, so last September I headed to Dallas.
I’ll be honest. I approached the conference with some fear.
The year before had held a bunch of challenges. I was weary. In fact, I felt like a pheasant at hunting season – hit with buckshot and peppered with wounds.
It’s hard hanging out with others when you feel like you’re full of holes.
When I arrived in Dallas, I asked God to do a healing work. Then I waited for the big moment where He’d wash over me. But that wasn’t how He worked.
Instead, each conversation, each encounter, held balm for one of my small holes. Little by little, He brought targeted and specific restoration through the love and wisdom of people at the conference. Bits of knowledge I lacked. Words of comfort I ached for. Opportunities to encourage someone else in their efforts. Deep talks in the halls. Giggles with my roommate at night. Even making new friends while on the shuttle to the airport at the end of the conference.
I know I’m not the only one who experienced the “God-encounters” that seemed to spring up everywhere I turned.
This year, I’m even more excited to attend…
1. To watch and see what God has in mind and how He will meet me
2. To welcome Christian writers to my home state – HOORAY MINNESOTA!!!
3. To offer a workshop on the writing journey, with tips, encouragement, and resources that every novelist should stuff in their backpack while heading out on the adventure of pursuing publication.
My best tip for new attendees (as I was last year): Planning is fine, but be ready to
toss aside your personal agenda and be open to God’s side-tracks.
This is a conference that is bathed in prayer, and infused with worship. As is true whenever God is involved, you can prepare to be amazed, occasionally bewildered, and thoroughly blessed.
Hope to see you there!