I wandered through the halls a nervous wreck last Friday evening. I walked back and forth hoping to catch a friendly eye. This was my first big time conference and I was attending all alone, feeling smaller than ever.
I recognized the author of one of my favorite blogs in the hallway and stopped her. I’m usually terribly awkward when it comes to meeting anyone remotely famous. However, she was gracious as I gushed and grabbed her hand and fumbled over my words. She simply smiled and asked me a few questions about myself. Soon all of my pent-up nerves were leaving.
I went to the She Speaks conference with every intention to network, dream, improve my speaking skills and connect with a publisher.
But I did not meet with a book publisher last weekend even though I was on the top of the waiting list. I spent hours preparing my proposal last week. I furiously finished drafts and letters and chapters… and I never got the call.
But I wouldn’t trade the weekend for anything in the world. For two days I sat at the feet of Jesus and listened. He spoke to my worried, fearful, and busy heart: “Just stop.”
I wandered over to the resource table and surveyed the vast selection. Out of all the resources available on writing, speaking, and teaching I ended up selecting a book on Christian living, the book by the smiling blogger from the first night.
I purchased “Grace for the Good Girl” by Emily Freeman and finished half of it on the flight home Sunday… tears flowing all the way. I read paragraphs aloud to my counselor on Monday, feeling as though I finally had words I hadn’t been able to express during a whole month of counseling.
“Somewhere along the way, I got the message that salvation is by faith alone but anything after that is faith plus my hard work and sweet disposition. I lived under a system I designed for myself and I labeled it The Gospel. As a good girl, every choice I made was dictated by a theology of self-sufficiency. Life was up to me, and I was prepared to get it right.”
Emily Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl
I choked those words out through tears, but the kind of tears that mark the start of a very good thing.
Who knows? Perhaps the sole reason I attended She Speaks was to accidentally accost Emily in the hall and then be prompted by the Spirit to pick up her book. Regardless of His reasons, God is using her words to touch the heart of a tired good girl.
I should tell you that I haven’t finished it yet. But that’s how much faith I have in recommending it. I still have 70 pages to go and I’m declaring it to be one of the most influential books in my spiritual development. If you’re tired of trying to hold it together – I highly recommend this book.
Following in freedom,