Thursday, July 28, 2011

"She Speaks" Part Three: My GPS

July 23, 2011

"Hold My hand in joyful trust,
for I never leave your side."
July 23, Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

“Liz, your aimer is broken.” That's what my Dad said after he took me out to hit golf balls a few times when I was growing up. It’s true – I have a good backswing, but my follow through and aim are terrible. It has been proved time and again not only in golf, but also in map reading and direction following. Quite honestly, I would do a lot better if I had a GPS attached to me at all times.
So it really comes as no surprise that on the very first day of the "She Speaks" conference I went to the wrong session. But because I had prayed over every seat that I would sit in before I left, I realized I was in the place God had for me. Nonetheless, when I woke up on the second day I repeated my daily prayer asking the Lord to direct my steps and my conversations, placed my personal seminar schedule in the front of my notebook and thought, “I am not going to mess up again today! Today, I will make doubly sure to be in all the places I am supposed to be.”

And I was. It was a packed morning kicked off by the gifted Renee Swope, and later filled with tips on writing for magazines, devotional writing and platform building. After our session ended, the friend sitting next to me asked me where I was going.
I replied with great confidence, “The fiction writing panel.”  

She made a funny face. “Wow, that's pretty ambitious.”

“I guess so.”

I walked down the hall, entered the room and made a beeline for the front row. One of the authors on the panel was the wonderfully talented Nicole Seitz, whom I had the good fortune to sit next to at lunch the day before. She has published five novels with her sixth coming out this fall. Nicole came to hug me when she saw me. “I’m so glad you came!” she said.

The session began. There were five authors on the panel, as well as two moderators. Questions had been submitted in advance, and I dutifully took notes.

I don’t remember the question that was asked when Nicole answered as she did. But I do know that my life changed forever when she spoke.
“You all want to be in here, right? God has you in here for a reason, and He wants to take you through the process of writing a novel.”

At that moment, sitting on the front row, I started laughing. “I can’t believe I did it again, Lord! This is not the session I signed up for! This is not where I am supposed to be!”
And then, I couldn’t stop crying.

I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

My very own GPS – God Powered Steps – had taken me into the right room and given me a front row seat. The day before, He sat me next to Nicole Seitz at lunch, someone I had prayed for long before I met her. He blessed our conversation and she spoke directly into my heart.

You see, since I was in middle school I have wanted to write a novel. But it seems an insurmountable task, doesn’t it? I mean, how do you even write a novel? I had an idea for a story, but what would people even say if I told them? So I nursed the dream privately, and then I covered it up with life and babies and laundry.

I left it for dead.

Remember the parable about the Dead Girl (Luke 8:52-55)?
"Jesus said ‘(The dream) is not dead but asleep.’ ... he took her by the hand and said, ‘My child, get up!’"
Right then, in Concord, North Carolina, the Lord of Healing reached deep into my heart and woke up a dream too long ignored.

At breakfast on the last day before our final session, my GPS took me to a coffee station with just one other woman standing nearby. Because that is the way God rolls, it turned out to be Marybeth Whalen, Proverbs 31 team member, fiction author and one of the panel moderators. I told her about my experience on Saturday and confessed to her how scary it was to begin this journey. She understood completely, put words to some of the fears I had and comforted me, too.
I went to "She Speaks" thinking I would learn better how to write devotionals, or magazine articles or perhaps a Bible study for pre-teen girls. Then I met Jehovah-Rapha. I left knowing that God wants to take me through the process of writing a novel. I can't even imagine where to begin, but I will trust my God Powered Steps.


  1. Love your story Elizabeth. Praying you take the steps God intends every day. His way is the best. Blessings!

  2. WOW, such a powerful testimony of God's GPS leading you, girl! I am excited for you!!! I will keep you in my prayers as He unfolds your novel. He is the God who heals and restores lost dreams.

  3. I'm so excited for you! What a great testimony. Keep walking in God's steps for you.

    So happy you prayed for me, and I was one of your seat mates.

  4. I read this with chills and tears. I love how God works but I also love how you allowed Him to work. So proud of you and happy for you! 

  5. That's awesome!!! So excited for you. I'd love to write a novel, but I don't even have an idea! You're much closer than I am! I loved your take on sleeping dreams vs. a dead dreams. Such a cool perspective. Praying for you as you venture out in faith!

  6. That is fantastic! I can't wait to read your novel! God Powered Steps...exactly where He wanted you to go...I love it!

  7. Liz, LOVED reading these posts! Thank you for sharing your heart and how the Lord is at work in your life.
    I cannot wait to read your novel!! :) Love you friend!