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Conference Expectations

by Ian Acheson

I waited outside the reception area of the corporate campus waiting for my client to arrive. I was expecting to receive a letter of employment from the CEO that would end my consultant status and see me appointed as a director of the company. We’d been in discussions for six months and all that was required was completion of the paperwork.

My client, the CEO and his Sales Director, were running late, having flown in from interstate. They rushed past me towards the main lobby reception with only a curt hello saying we needed to have a meeting before we left for our next appointment. They both made little eye contact and were visibly tense. My mind immediately recalled the whisper I thought I heard in the cab on the way over: “Ian, you’re time in this business is now over.”

There was clearly something going on and I had to play catch-up. Once in the meeting room, it was obvious that something unpleasant was about to take place. And who was to be the recipient.

It was all over in fifteen minutes.

I stood up, emotion gripping my throat, handed them the details of the next appointment and sincerely wished both of them the best of luck.

I’d just been fired. The exact opposite of what I expected was going to take place.

As we prepare for the ACFW Conference in a little over ten days time most of us will go with expectations. For some of us it will be having an agent or editor ask us for a copy of our manuscript, for others to be well received in person by those whom we’ve established connections with virtually, or perhaps to gain greater traction within the ACFW community.

It took me a few weeks to get over being fired. The shock, anger, disappointment and offence all took their turn grabbing pieces of my heart. My world was rocked and getting back to a state of normality took longer than I anticipated.

Unfortunately my experience has become commonplace for many in these uncertain times. I read this marvelous quote from Tim Keller the other day:

“When work is your identity, if you are successful it goes to your head, if you are a failure it goes to your heart.”

We can replace “work” in the above statement with any other “thing”, eg, published author or great faculty speaker or popular attendee, that we have given too much of our heart to.

Weeks later it became apparent the role and company weren’t right for me so missing out on the potential opportunity was a blessing. God had other ideas for me. A few months later a pastor prophesied over me one of many very well know verses from the Psalms:

“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps 37:4)
Initially I focused on the second half of that verse. Fabulous, I’m going to receive the desires of my heart. Hooray!

Now I’m realizing to step into the prophecy I need to let go of the desires and start delighting. In Him.

No delighting, no receiving desires.

In this final week before and during what will be a sensational conference let us all keep delighting in the Lord. That way, no matter what happens at the conference, His desires for us can be unleashed.

I’m sure looking forward to finding out.

Ian AchesonIan Acheson is an author and strategy consultant based in Sydney, Australia. Ian’s first novel, Angelguard, is now available in the USA, Canada, UK and Australia. Visit Ian at his website and on his author Facebook page.

This entry was posted in Advice, Authors and writing, Conference, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, Prayer. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Conference Expectations

  1. Ian, I can certainly relate to your situation. After 28 years of teaching at the high school level, my contract wasn’t renewed. I ended up claiming that same verse and went on to teach at the college level and then retire to writing full time. Two things I would never have been able to do had I not been let go.

    God never makes mistakes does He? His promises are sweet. Hoping to meet you in Indy.

  2. Rick Barry says:

    Thanks for sharing, Ian. In one way or another, we’ve all experienced disappointments, and only the Lord can help us to keep our head when all others are losing theirs.

    Blessings to you!

  3. Ian says:

    Martha & Rick, thanks for your encouragement. I hope to see you both next week in Indy.

  4. Absolutely wonderful post! And I know what you mean about focusing on the last part of the verse. lol. And don’t forget Psalm 46:7–Wait patiently for the Lord…

  5. Ian says:

    Thanks Patricia. Yes, yes, everything in His time. Bless,

  6. Susan Mires says:

    Right on, Ian! Thanks for sharing your painful experiences to help keep us focused. Looking forward to seeing you next week!

  7. Ian says:

    Hey Susie, looking forward to seeing you next week.