I want to say something really brief.
It’s really intimidating.
I’m not married, I don’t have kids, I do have a job!—But all these ladies in our guild—128 of them in fact, they’re married, have kids, have jobs, are published, and doing all this stuff—as a Mom, and a Wife and an Employee—and a writer!—and here I am. Little ol’ me with my scribbled notebook and my blog…
I sign up for an Agent/Editor slot during retreat because I can. And I want to.
And I come in, and I sit with an AGENT for publishers—and they’re a professional. And I don’t know what to say. I don’t know who to be. This is just my opportunity to sit and talk with them and learn what to say, or who to be…
This is just an opportunity….But unlike others who have prepared to be here, I don’t have anything to propose, I don’t know what I’m here for, but I write!
Coming into place
Coming here to the Redbud Retreat was very intimidating.
But when I got here the atmosphere allowed me to just be—without any competition, having a place. Having a seat at the table where no one is looking at you and asking when your last published book came out.
I was so impressed and honored to be there among my fellow guild members. To be counted as one of them. (I was so shocked and pleased to be accepted to the guild! I couldn’t believe it.—And now, after a year I was with them. Reaping, gleaning, sharing….)
No one told me that there was a category of intimidation I should come with.
But I came a little fearful.
But shouldn’t we know who we are, and believe the truths we know about ourselves?
This retreat was so life giving. Everyone gave and served and shared freely, and as equals.
So, what do I want to leave you with from our 2022 Redbud Retreat?
Don’t miss the opportunity after such moments to take note of whatever you feel you were given in such a sacred and special space together.
Whenever such an event occurs, do not miss the opportunity to stop and remember before you get back to your norm.
Keep these things in mind
At the gas station stop after leaving, while waiting in the airport, in a cramped stall with your luggage—or while throwing things into the luggage before checkout from the hotel, take out your phone and hit record on the voice memo app. Speak out the things you heard that encouraged or emboldened you! Pull out your journal and scribble a little list of bullet point “remembers.” So later you can listen to it, or go back and read what you felt when you were there, what you gained and gleaned and made you cry….What convicted and convinced you. What hurt, what joys, what stilled or set your heart on fire?
Because the lies will come.
The pre-arrival voices will come to steal, kill, and destroy the life you were given.
Whatever voice you hear—or adopted and use to repeat over yourself the lies and doubts and fears…
It will come and become all you wear after this coronation.
Rachel Kang spoke about this lady washing laundry beside the river. The one Paul and the others went down to and shared the gospel with. The one that invited them back to her house and who became saved—her and her whole family. How the gates to Asia remained locked until she came into the Kingdom. And opened that door (Acts 16).
We are the gatekeepers to spiritual places too.
Regional places. Places for other women to step into. We are gatekeepers!
We need to get our words out to open the gates we have been given, because the Kingdom is waiting.
So, don’t forget where you are standing when you are in spaces like we had back in November.
Find your gateway
Some of what we received together through the speakers, moments of worship, fellowship, prayer, tears, connections—was showing us where our gate is. Where we are in charge of opening things in—and for—the Kingdom.
Don’t let the lies crowd out what you got
Don’t let the lies make you walk away from your gate….
Demotivate your calling.
So speak it out, share it with someone(s) who will remind you. Write it down so you can come back to it when you need it.
“The mystery of ministry is that we have been chosen to make our own limited and very conditional love the gateway for the unlimited and unconditional love of God.” —Henry Nouwen (In the name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership, p.62)
Speak truth over the lies.
And then Remember again.
And again, and again.
Until you’ve opened the gate you’ve been assigned.
– For the King!
In the photo from the retreat, the author receives a gift from guild president Dorina Lazo Gilmore-Young for her help.