I walked down the hallway with the presenter as I asked a few questions about domain changes. Because she was approachable, I felt the courage inside to ask another question:
“When can you call yourself a writer?”
This was a defining moment for me at the Speak Up Conference in Grand Rapids last summer. I came knowing I would learn how to consolidate the two blogs I had been writing for three years. I came yearning to learn more about social media the impact of technology around me. I came yearning to learn from dynamic Christian leaders and to be challenged in communicating grace and hope to others.
I came wondering when was the moment a person became a “writer.”
And here, a gentle spirit read my thoughts. She, too, was writer, and knew my fears.
In the moment she told me I was a writer, I felt peace in my soul.
I didn’t need to publish a book, or pay someone an endorsement fee to say, “Brenda is a writer.”
I needed another professional in the area of writing and speaking to validate what my heart does when my fingers hit the keyboard or when I have the opportunity to share what is inside my soul.
For me, Speak Up has given me life-defining moments such as this one.
I first attended Speak Up in 2008. When I finished reading Carol Kent’s book When I Lay My Isaac Down, I read about this ministry in the back of the book. I had spoken and taught Bible Studies before, and was interested in learning more from someone I respected. The conference of 2008 equipped me with good friends and gave me food for thought about something I wasn’t sure what to with.
Between 2008 and 2012 when I returned to Speak Up, I began writing in ministry to women and those whose image of life’s expectations were shattered. I’d begun speaking and had my first article published in a devotional magazine. I was ready to learn more, to be connected with others in ministry, and to be challenged.
After attending Speak Up last summer, I came away with life-long friendships. Several, to be honest. I’ve developed a network of prayer partners with whom we pray for each other in the places God has called us to minister.
I also learned I can be comfortable in saying I’m a writer even though I don’t have a book published.
Speak Up is for any Christian leader who yearns for refreshment, professional development, connections with others and a place to receive confidence and encouragement in the areas God has called you. It may be speaking, writing, or leadership.
Whatever brings you to Speak Up, you’ll find encouragement, strength, and great blessing.
Check out information on this year’s Speak Up – I’m linking with a friend and one of the presenters, Cindy Bultema, for more information about Speak Up. Check it out!
I’m wondering, what has God called you to do? How are you developing the skills and passions you have for His glory?