Monday, July 2, 2007

She Speaks, Part 2

Meaningful experience #2—God works through us, even when we're oblivious!

To fully appreciate this “God-incidence” you have to go back with me to She Speaks 2006. It was my first time at this conference, or any writing/speaking conference. I had signed up for the writer’s track and on the first night we had the option of meeting with other writers for a peer evaluation session. Since Satan was doing a number on my nerves, I was on the lookout for friendly, encouraging faces. All alone at a table towards the back, I saw a woman I was just drawn to for no apparent reason other than she just looked “cool”—someone I could hang with. Plus, she was smiling warmly at me, so I asked if I could join her. Her name was (and is!) Lisa Marrone and I liked her immediately.

We ended up with three or four others in our group, read each other’s work, and gave encouraging feedback to each other. I remember Lisa’s article was about the Fruit of the Spirit and I loved its insight.

Throughout the rest of the weekend we ran in to each other quite a bit and would stop to chat. She asked how my appointment with the literary agent went and I shared how it was less than stellar. She didn’t have an appointment, but did have a book idea and wondered what I thought about her approaching him with it. My viewpoint was, “Why not? Go for it!” When I saw her later, she shared that she had pulled him aside and he seemed interested in her idea. I congratulated her, we exchanged contact information, and we parted ways at the end of the weekend.

Flash forward to early 2007. I was on the P31 website looking at the registration information for this year’s conference when I noticed a testimony in the side-bar. It was written by a physical therapist (hey, wasn’t Lisa a physical therapist?) who said the world of writing had been foreign to her (hey, didn’t Lisa share that with our group?), but because of the conference, was signed by the William K. Jensen Literary Agency and had a two book contract. NO WAY, I thought. I went to the agent’s website and sure enough, there was MY Lisa’s picture! She did it! He signed her! When this year’s conference rolled around, I wondered if I’d see her again or if she’d be too busy working on her books and marketing them to attend.

As it turned out, I didn’t even have to search the crowd for her. I hadn’t been in the hotel five minutes when, upon checking in, I turned around and saw that beautiful smile accompanied by a friendly wave. She came over to not only hug me, but to impart a warm kiss on my cheek. I congratulated her on being signed and asked how things were going. We had breakfast together on Saturday when she blessed me more than she’ll probably ever know. That is when she shared with me that when she speaks to groups, she includes me. A little confused, I asked, “What do you mean?”

She explained that when we connected last year, she took my feedback as confirmation from God for her to pursue her book ideas. She didn’t consider herself a writer at all, but knew God was asking her write. Though she doubted her ability, she valued my credentials as a writing instructor at ISU and said God used me to show her that “someone who should know” validated her writing. I was a piece of the overall puzzle. Wow. I cannot put into words how humbled I was by that. Praise the Lord! If you want to check her and her books out, go to and click on authors. That’s my Lisa! What a blessing!

Ya know, we go to things like conferences and seminars and even church with our own preconceived notions of what will go down, how God will show Himself, or even what we will or won’t get out of it. As if we can predict God’s plan! I thought I knew my purpose there last year (why, to get published, of course! Ha!), but I had no idea…wasn’t even close. Praise God for using a broken vessel like me and praise Him for using Lisa and hookin’ us up!


Refresh My Soul Blog said...

wow! What a neat thing. God is so good how He works all things together for His good. Very neat story.

M. Milbourn said...

ran into her quite a bit? yeah, like it seemed like every time we rounded a corner we ran into her!! Very cool story! God is good!