Counting my Blessings
I’m on such a high coming off this weekend. My family had an amazing time at the 2012 HEAV (Home Educators of Virginia) Conference, working booths for both my books and my sister’s skirts. I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people and was encouraged to talk with so many young writers. You may have seen the announcement on my Facebook page, but God definitely blessed my booth there and I ended up selling out of my book. Sixty people went home with a signed copy of Interrupted! Leaving me to the conclusion that I better bring a lot more next year….
Anyway, after the success of this weekend, I am just plum worn out. I struggled to stay awake during the sermon today (nothing against our pastor’s preaching—I was just that tired!), but after a short nap this afternoon, I’m feeling a bit more refreshed and rejuvenated. In fact, I laid in bed for a while this afternoon just thinking about how very blessed and thankful I am.
It’s been a little over a year since I started this blog, and less than three months since my book was released. And in that amount of time, I have gotten countless emails, letters, and messages from people all over the world filled with words of encouragement. It’s been amazing to see how God has used my story and my book to inspire young (and not-so-young!) people to chase their dreams and put their words to paper. Amazing, and absolutely terrifying.
It’s terrifying to think that there are nine-year-old children working their way through the pages of Interrupted, who may have never read a book dealing with such a serious subject matter before. It scares me to think that there are twelve, thirteen, and fourteen-year-old girls looking up to me as an example, both as a Christian role model and an author. It completely sobers me when I remember that there are thousands of parents out there who have let their children read my book, and trust me to instill in them godly truths through my writing. All of these facts constantly run through my head with every word I write, every conversation I hold, and every opportunity I have to share my story with an audience.
And yet, despite my fears and reservations, I have a greater hope. From day one, it has been my prayer that God would mark out my path and direct all my steps. From my own eyes, my future may seem scary and uncertain and nerve-wracking. But every time I step back and try to look at the big picture of my life, I can definitely see God moving. I can see Him bringing young people into my life that I can minister to, and that can serve as an inspiration to me. I know that He is constantly giving me opportunities to serve Him in bigger and more exciting ways. And I realize that every time I feel discouraged, He is faithful to continually reassure me through the kind words of others.
Having the chance to personally meet so many sweet, encouraging people this weekend has definitely reminded me of why I work so hard. Why I spend so many hours slaving over pitiful first drafts, formatting blog entries, answering emails, and putting together interviews. It’s because I love this. Every minute of hard, frustrating labor is completely dissolved in the humbling joy that I get out of meeting twelve-year-old boys, sixteen-year-old girls, and forty-something-year-old moms who are just as excited about what God is doing in my life as I am. I don’t have all the answers, and I haven’t done it all, but every kind and encouraging word that each of you has shared with me has done nothing but make me love what I do all over again.
Okay, okay, I’ll stop being mushy now. I really do wish I could write every single person who has taken the time to read my book or write me a short note or email and thank them, but for obvious economic reasons, I cannot. I will keep posting, though, and I hope that all of you had just as great of a weekend, and will have an even better week!