I remember sitting in my van that spring morning, watching conference-goers weave their way through the parking lot toward the front doors. I was in no hurry to join them. Attendees were probably still mixing and mingling, sipping their lattes and discussing their latest novels.
What am I even doing here? I thought, tapping my fingers against the steering wheel. Writing for the church newsletter doesn’t make me a writer. Anyone could do that.
For nine years I had written for the church. After my youngest started kindergarten, I began to wonder if I could turn my writing into more than a hobby.
I walked into that first workshop feeling like the new kid in a junior high school cafeteria. All too soon someone asked me the question I had hoped to avoid.
“So what have you written?”
I felt the warmth rising up in my cheeks. “Oh, I’m not actually a writer. I just write for my church.”
Truth be told, I went to that conference looking for a sign. I didn’t need anything dramatic; just some little clue to let me know if I should pursue this writing thing.
As it turned out, the conference was wonderful. I learned lots of great tips, made several new friends and walked away feeling very encouraged.
As far as a sign, I’m not sure about that. But I do remember one of the speakers, Marti Pieper, saying something that grabbed my attention.
Marti said: “Writing for the church newsletter is not any less than writing that gets published. In the Kingdom, it may actually be the person who helped with the church newsletter every week, year after year … they may be the one to whom God says, ‘Well done good and faithful servant.’”
Suddenly I saw my writing from a whole new perspective. I didn’t have to be published in a magazine or write a bestselling novel to call myself a writer. After all, if God thought I was a writer, who was I to argue?
I continued skimming through the pages of my notebook. My eyes settled on a scripture I’d jotted down during one of the sessions.
Luke 16:10: “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much ...”
I remember scribbling it down and wondering if God would ever trust me to write for a larger audience than my little church newsletter.
I closed my notebook and set it on the corner of my desk – right next to my latest copy of Guideposts magazine.
Then it hit me. Guideposts currently has about two million subscribers and six million readers.
And I couldn’t help but smile.
*photo taken from www.freedigitalphotos.net / mrpuen