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15 April, 2024

Be Still and Know

 I had the privilege of attending the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College last week. When you attend a writing focused conference, and a faith based one at that,  you have a set of expectations. "I'll listen to authors, take notes, hear God proclaimed in writing, meet people, drink coffee, hear some creative practices I can incorporate into my work, eat a lot of good food (I'm a foodie), get my favorite author to sign my favorite book, etc. " That absolutely happened, except the book signing part. What I did not expect was there to be another part.  

Fear has been an anchor in my life, holding me captive like a dog chained up to a tree only able to move in a circumference of three feet.  I listened to fear. Believed what it said about me and about my worth in this world and modeled my life around it. 2020 and the pandemic lockdown brought cracks in the anchor of fear; rusting away the heavy chain around my neck. This conference? This conference obliterated the remains of that anchor and chain. 

Every talk and interview I went to I marveled at the boldness and honesty with which the authors spoke and with which they wrote. Is that what authors do? I wondered. Is that what's been holding me back? Keeping me from being traditionally published? Keeping me from more than writing? Fast forward to Saturday and my mind was heavy after an author's talk. I walked over to the Seminary Pond after lunch, as it was a beautiful sunny day, and I had an extra hour and a half before the next author talk...I ended up missing the talk. 

I sat at that Pond on a beautiful piece of white sparkly granite. Me and God. And I wrestled with God. I had to be still to hear Him. And answer Him back. I had heated words. He did not. I had tears. He remained. He repeated the same words to me "Let Go", over and over and over again. And my reply over and over and over again was: No. 

God is patient. And when I had exhausted myself emotionally I had two choices, get up from that rock and go to another talk having missed the one after lunch, or stay and surrender. 

I surrendered. 

There is healing in being still. I like the passage in Romans about renewing your mind, but until Saturday I didn't fully apply that to my life. 

I am going to be working on a book this year for women who have been sexually assaulted and abused. Both were true for me for decades. it's time for us to "Let Go."

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