I was honored to be able to speak briefly during the Encouraging Words session at the Southern Chistian Writer’s Conference in Tuscaloosa last weekend, June 5, 2015. This blog post is that inspirational speech that I gave there. I hope the words will inspire you as well. All of us have dreams and aspirations. With a few determined steps – Things are about to change!
When the Sloans asked me to speak my first thought was “But, I haven’t published anything yet.” And then my next thought was, neither have most of you. And so today, I say what I say as a fellow wannabe that’s still in the trenches with you.
No, we have not yet arrived. We have not yet reached our final goal, but, we are here and ready to take the next step of our journey. We may still be in the trenches but we are determined to avoid the ruts of complacency and the ditches of defeat.
We are here at this conference and ready to focus on the next step even though the whole journey feels a bit overwhelming and intimidating.
We are willing to learn and ask and invest our time and money and energy into what we so long to do. To write, to share, to encourage and in my case, as I like to say, ‘to give cause for pause’.
I want my readers to stop and think new thoughts and have new perspectives and see things differently than they have before.
I do so love to write. I like to create stories of fiction, I pen devotionals, I enjoy blogging about my two greatest passions, The Bible and Adoption.
You see, I am the mother of seven adopted children whom we adopted from the foster care system of Alabama. They range in age from 11 to almost 21, five boys and two girls.
I believe that if people could see adoption differently, in particular older child adoption, they might be willing to take a chance on love and adopt one of the many waiting children. And that my friends, would be better than being published or having a best seller.
Today I hope to inspire you to take a chance on your dreams. Whenever I need direction or encouragement or inspiration, I look to the Word of God. So, I’d like to do just that and share a story that is tucked in the pages of the Old Testament in 2 Kings chapter 7.
Our portion of the story begins in verse 3 but, let me give you a little background before we get started.
The city of Samaria was under siege by the Aramean army. The city is closed up tight, shut down, people starving, horrendous things happening. Things are hopeless and people are desperate. The king of Samaria is mad at God and mad at the Prophet Elisha. Elisha has spoken and told them that things are about to change and they’re going to change suddenly, drastically, miraculously. They don’t believe him.
Things are About to Change!
In verse 3 we find four lepers sitting at the city gate. They are desperate themselves. They have no where to go, mo resources and no chances. The scriptures say that they began to discuss their situation and said to each other, “Why should we sit here waiting to die?” That leads me to the first thing I want to say to you. “Why should we just keep sitting on our dreams until they die?” Maybe the walls are high and the gates are shut and you feel like you are out of options. But, what those lepers didn’t know and what we often don’t realise is God was already at work preparing the way they just needed to get up and take the steps to get there.
The lepers decide in verse 4 that they might as well go out to the army surrounding the city and take their chances. Here’s the next thing I want to say to you today. Maybe it’s time for us get up and go ALL out and take a chance by trying what we haven’t already tried no matter how unlikely it seems.
When the lepers arrived at the camp they were shocked at what they found. The soldiers were gone but they had left their tents behind with provisions. The lepers ran from tent to tent discovering food they were so hungry for and drink to quench their thirst. Then they began to find treasures and they began to gather them and hide them.
Guess what, here in just a few minutes you’re going to go up those stairs and find yourself going from room to room In those rooms you’ll find what you you’ve been hungry for and be strengthened and encouraged. You’re going to discover some treasures too. Are you going to hide them?
Finally in verse 9 it says that the lepers declared, “This isn’t right! We have good news and we aren’t sharing it with anyone.” They went and told the people of the city that they had made this wonderful discovery. But, the people reacted as people often do, hesitantly, suspiciously and cautiously.
Don’t worry if after you leave the conference and try to share with others about what you’ve discovered that you find they aren’t quite excited as you about it. Your part it to share the good news. How they react is their part.
In closing if like you to consider these two WHAT IF’s?
What if because you were willing to make yourself vulnerable and share your treasures (thoughts and words) a life was changed-altered-saved?
What if I found my courage and took my chances and pulled myself up by my bootstraps even while my knees were still trembling, and took that next step?
There’s a contemporary group called Leeland that re orders a song called _The Great Awakening _. The lyrics are inspiring as they remind us that one person awakened can change another and it can MULTIPLY! Surely then it multiplies!
I’d like to challenge us all with this scripture found in Genesis 9:7.
“Now, as for you (and you and you and you and me) Go forth, be fruitful and multiply!”