But over at Godsizedreams.com this week, they're talking about how we can trust (a resounding theme in my life this year) that God's given us just what we need for those God-sized dreams. So I've decided I really should share the rest of the story.
As I explained in A Step of Faith, God had miraculously provided all the funds I needed to attend the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer's Conference 2 years ago. And those miracles didn't stop once I arrived.
A woman I had lunch with on the first day of the conference came to me a day or two later and said "God laid it on my heart that there might be materials you'd like to purchase from the conference. I wanted to give you $20 to help."
I laughed and explained I had done the proverbial "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul" in order to purchase some books - and the total was $19.81! Her gift allowed me to cover the money I had risked spending.
An online devotional site picked up the only two devotions I'd brought with me. And months later, a contact I made there would offer me another devotion writing job.
Then I won the unpublished writer's competition with a prize of a 50% scholarship for the following year.
It was an amazing experience for this novice!
Fast forward to the following June.
My financial status hadn't changed except to get worse. Once again I debated long and hard about attending the conference. Not so much because I doubted my writing ability at this point, but because I had no idea where the other 50% would come from.
Still, I hated the idea of letting the scholarship go unused.
Back and forth, back and forth...I racked my brain as to how I could make it all work.
How I could make it all work. When did it ever become up to me?
God had provided every step of the way the last time. Everything I needed to make the dream a reality. Why would this year be any different?
Philippians 4:6 admonishes us "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (emphasis mine)
The previous month, the radio station I work for was bought out. For the first time in years, employees were offered the opportunity to attend, free of charge, the New Jersey Broadcasters Association conference in Atlantic City. While it was a generous offer, I saw nothing in the curriculum applicable to copy writers, so I elected to hold down the fort and work out of the office.
The business manager, who had also stayed behind, looked surprised to see me. "Why aren't you at the conference?" I explained the situation and then said there was a writer's conference at the end of July I was hoping to attend.
His response floored me. "Well, are we paying for that? We should be."
When my boss returned from the conference I made a beeline into his office with my request based on the Business Manager's suggestion. He agreed. In fact, he agreed to not only pick up the other half of the registration costs, but the cost of meals and the room. Once again all my expenses were covered.
This year, I've put another request before God. I'd love to attend the She Speaks conference in July. It's three times the cost of the Philadelphia conference, and that 'ol financial situation remains the same.
A chance conversation just this week led to the offer of free lodging if I can get there.
Psalm 37:4 says "Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart."
This year, I'm resting in Him. There's no racking my brain on how to get there. If God wants me to attend, He will make a way.
He's given me a dream to reach out to my community and show them His love through practical acts of service. He's allowed me to write about it. And I believe He wants me to speak about it, to encourage others to take the ideas and run with them so they can change their little corners of the world.
I believe that He's equipping me for this God-sized dream. I'm not sure if this conference is part of that process or not, but I know if it is, He will once again be faithful to provide.