The minute I walked through the market area, just outside of doors for the main session of the conference, I knew I was out-of-place. I was use to youth leader events where we all wore jeans and Chuck Taylor’s or Catalyst where the hipsters are and the men far out number the women. I found myself with a group of mostly women, most the age of my daughter, wearing flowy skirts, big earrings and boots. Boots! I mean so. many. boots.
It’s just external. But it made me shrink back into the doubts I had.
The leaders were telling us to sit at a different table for each main session to get to know people. How do you get to know someone over one meal? That’s small talk. That’s not getting to know anyone.
It was agonizing. The common bond of writing seemed absent to me. Or maybe it was just me, my childhood fears of being the new girl. Again.
It would be out of my comfort zone. I knew that. I also knew I had to go. I had to go to a blogger conference and just see.
I like having a place to spill these words that are too many to contain inside and I needed to see what this looks like in a bigger context. This whole blogging community and how could I grow and, yes, I just needed to take this risk.
If you saw me in my place you’d never guess the insecurities I have in new places. If you saw me with our employees or the men living in the residence, you’d think me a happy extrovert holding the confidence of a mature, strong person. You would be wrong.
It’s hard enough to muster the courage to say I’m a writer. I’ve known only one version of me and this new thing that isn’t so new….confuses me. I find myself wanting to grow in this craft, to see if there’s something there others will connect with but……the reaching out?
Can’t I just reach out in words, behind the security of the screen? If I can’t see you, you can’t see me, right? Except these words reveal what I carefully try to hide.
I say I’m determined this time. To submit articles to other sites, to engage in groups like this one and engage more with others. I even responded to being part of Sarah Bessey’s launch team for her new book.
(Big breath here.) One day, I’m certain this is the path I should follow. To see what might be the next chapter in life. And the next day, I’m just as certain it’s folly.
Today’s sermon preparation was about start. I thought it was for them, the ones in the chapel seats, not me. The last story was about a prophet telling King Ahab that God was going to give the army of the opposition over to him. The King asked, “but who will do this?” The prophet replied, “Tis is what the Lord says: ‘The young officer of the provincial commander will do it.”
And then Ahab asked the real question on his mind: “And who will start the battle?” The prophet said, “You will!”
Maybe this is the start. Show me Lord Jesus. Calm the shifting tide inside me. Make firm your foundation, make clear your path.
Linking up with Kate Motaung as we work through a group discussion of the book, On Being a Writer.