Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
This verse describes how the Declare conference was for me this past weekend.
As I mentioned in my last post, I was very nervous about giving my pitch. But when I arrived at the first session Thursday night and sat down at a table with a group of ladies talking excitedly, I immediately recognized that I had sat down by the publishing consultant (named Jevon) I had an appointment with on Friday. I knew it was no accident we happened to be sitting together. It also squashed any doubts I had when making the appointment in the first place. I was able to talk to Jevon before we even had the appointment, which was a huge blessing. I contacted her before I came to the conference and told her, “I just wanted to let you know I am unable to talk but use a communication device.” The reason I reached out and told her was because I didn’t want her to be surprised and cause our meeting to be awkward. But the Lord made me more comfortable by sitting with her Thursday night.
My appointment was at 8:15 Friday night, which made me very anxious yet confident at the same time. I met so many sweet women who encouraged me and told me they would pray that my appointment would go well. In one of the sessions that day the speaker said, “You are qualified to do what God has called you to do.” That statement is so incredibly true not just for me but for those who think they’re not qualified to do a certain task. When I heard that statement I said to the Devil in my head, “That’s right, I am qualified to do what God has called me to do even though I’m only 25!” That made me feel even more confident about my appointment that night.
So, I arrived at my appointment, told Jevon my pitch with my communication device and gave her my book summary on a sheet of paper. She really liked my concept but didn’t like my first title which was Misdiagnosed: Living A Life I Never Expected. She thought it needed to be a title that would speak to a broad audience. So, I showed her my second title idea and she loved it! She told me the next step was for me to meet a literary agent. There so happened to be one literary agent at the conference. She told me I should try to meet her sometime on Saturday. After my appointment was over I was so overwhelmed with emotions. I couldn’t believe someone who didn’t know me well liked my book idea.
Guess what, the story isn’t over! That night after my appointment I went back to finish listening to the session I had left. And what do you know? The literary agent (Stephanie Alton) I’m wanting to meet is sitting on stage answering questions. Isn’t the Lord so awesome?! After the session was over I quickly ask my friend Anne who knows Stephanie to please introduce me to her. She said, “I would be happy to.” I met Stephanie and before I showed her my pitch she told me she saw me walking around at the conference and told another lady, “That woman exudes joy.” Then she read my pitch.
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal illness or a chronic illness, we have all reached pivotal points in our lives and thought, “This is not how I expected my life to go.”
I faced my first life-altering circumstance like this at three years old. I was bitten by a tick and contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I had all the symptoms yet the doctor sent us home and told my parents it was a bad reaction to Penicillin. Because of the misdiagnosis, I got severe brain damage that robbed me of the ability to speak, walk, and use my hands. In my book, An Unexpected Life: Choosing Joy When Life Is Hard, I will share how I have overcome countless obstacles living with a unique condition called Dystonia. No matter what difficulty you’re facing, I want to show you how to persevere with joy and how to depend on God in the midst of devastating circumstances.
She told me she would be interested in seeing my book proposal. Book proposals are used to sell nonfiction books to publishers. A book proposal argues why your book (idea) is a salable, marketable product. So that’s the next step I’m going to do.
The Lord definitely exceeded my expectations at this awesome conference. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude yet humbled by the way He has allowed me to come this far on my writing journey. My writing journey isn’t over—it’s just beginning.
Remember, YOU are qualified to do what GOD has called YOU to do.