I can literally cry right now thinking about how good God is to me.
I am on a plane on my way back from San Jose to Phoenix and in awe of all God has done over the last few days.
My word for 2017 is Purposeful. A month ago when I sat down with about 3 hours to focus on next steps for my book and re-lauching of my speaking career, I began with a prayer that God would guide this time. That it would be purposefully used.
Well, of course, He did. He reminded me of a literary agency I had run across months prior. When I got to their page, I researched how to submit my proposal to them, but I also ran across a list of conferences their agents attend. It clicked. My personality comes across a lot better in person. I needed to get to one of these conferences. The first one I clicked on was pretty far outside my budget. The second one was practically perfect in every way….just like Mary Poppins. It was in the Bay Area, so I could stay with friends and family and the cost to go was amazing low…which meant I could totally swing it.
Ainsley was already going to be gone for the weekend on a mission trip with a sweet family who invited her to go with them. Jerilyn can always stay at the group home if needed. All I would have to do is cover someone to hang with Daisy, which was quickly solved the next morning. I booked the trip without a second thought.
I absolutely believed God had good things planned.
The event was a month away. A couple weeks after I registered they announced they would be offering one-on-one coaching and critique sessions with industry professionals, including the two literary agents attending (who, by the way, were from great agencies that were in my first picks to work with if possible.) However, there were limited time slots and you had to apply and submit work to be considered.
By God’s awesome grace, I was offered one of the spots with an agent. I only had time to attend one session on the first day of the conference before my session, and it just so happened to be one of the sessions she was teaching on the agent-author relationship. I felt like I got to know her as she spoke and was impressed by her knowledge and sweet spirit as well.
Next, I was able to go into my session with her. She started off apologizing that she hadn’t had a chance to read through my work but had heard it was terrific or fabulous….I can’t remember….but, whatever she said made my heart happy. We had only 15 minutes, so I started with my 30 second speech and then just got to chatting. Around the 5 minute mark, she asked me to email her my full proposal directly. I took that as a great sign of God’s favor on this project.
We spent the next 10 minutes getting to know each other. Her last question to me was what other projects I was working on. I let her know about the courtroom victories stories I was compiling for my next book. She seemed to get excited about that right away and even suggested the title, “God in the Courtroom.” I can’t tell you how encouraged I felt leaving that room.
My big hope in coming was to get a literary agent interested in reading my proposal and it had been accomplished. Miracle #1. Yay God!
However, I wasn’t done with my big dreams and big prayers for the conference. About a week before the conference, they announced they would be giving away a scholarship to a speaking conference the following month. And the conference was in Prescott…less than two hours away from Phoenix. As soon as I saw that, I began praying for God’s favor. I prayed a prayer circle around it. (Thank you Mark Batterson!)
To enter the contest for the scholarship, you had to answer questions about why you deserved it, what you planned on doing, etc. I filled it all out and prayed.
Bet you can guess what happened? Nope. You can’t. Because it was unexpected. They only had one scholarship to give away. However, the day before the conference, someone had gone to the graduates of the program last year and had surprised Kathy Lipp with offering to sponsor two half scholarships as well.
I was sitting in my chair and they called the first half scholarship. Not me. I knew my name would be either next…or next after that. I didn’t care which. I just KNEW it would be called. Not out of pride, but out of trusting God’s calling on my life and his moving in my spirit that it was time to get all of this kicked into high gear. Second half scholarship….April Chapman. Woo hoo!!! I jumped out of my seat and hollered. Miracle #2.
Out of all the attendees at the conference there was one woman who I had hoped to meet because her ministry was to the special needs community and to families in crisis. I was feeling some serious overlap with my heart. Well…she won the full scholarship to the Speakers Conference and now we get to be roomies! Already feel like we will be fast friends. Her name is Diane Kim. Miracle #3.
We had a worship service led by Josiah James next where I could literally not stop the tears rolling down as I thought of how good God is to me.
I CAN NOT wait for the Leverage Conference next month. Excited to pray circles around it and see what God does!
Dreaming big dreams.