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“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Friday, September 10, 2010

ANTICIPATION... it's making me wait

Anticipation…can be sweet, can be nerve-wracking. In less than a week, I’ll be traveling to the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) national conference. The excitement has been building for weeks. The prospect of seeing friends we only get to see once a year tickles my innards until I’m virtually dancing with the thought of fellowshipping with hundreds of writers. >>Oh, what a delicious thought! Hundreds of writers all together in one place. People who understand that my characters really do exist, because they talk to their characters too. People who think it’s perfectly natural to cry when my character hurts or experience shortness of breath when my character is in danger. They get it!! YES!!

The ACFW online loop has been posting daily prayers for every aspect of the conference to go smoothly and be God-honoring. We’ve prayed for everything from the sound system and technicians, to the faculty members as they teach, to the staff at the hotel, and the finalists in the contests. There are two more people that I’ve added to my ACFW prayer list: the winners of the first-time contracts.

Every year, one of my favorite parts of the conference is the awarding of a first-time book contract to an unsuspecting author—a writer who has struggled to learn the craft, strived to improve, felt the sting of rejections and has persevered. I love watching the reaction as the person’s name is called. Last year, as the two editors made their way to the platform, I turned to my critique partners with whom I was sitting and said, “I just love it when they do this!”

The next thing I know, the title of my book is being announced and my critique partners are all screaming at me. The flurry of excitement and uncontained joy that followed will always remain one of the high points of my life. My husband said he really hated that he missed it, because it’s the only time in my life I’ve ever been speechless.

So this year, as I’m preparing to go the conference again, I’m wondering for whom God has prepared that contract. Who will feel that jolt of exhilaration and experience the thrill of seeing their persistence and perseverance come to fruition? I’m praying for those two people. They are about to set out on an extraordinary journey, filled with peaks and valleys, fears and doubts, and over the top happiness. When the title of their book is announced and they numbly find their way to the stage in shock, I pray they will relish every heart-pounding moment, every smile, every congratulatory hug, every tear, and every step they take two feet off the ground for the remainder of the conference. I’m praying they will always cherish the moment they receive the contract in the mail and affix their signature to it.

Anticipation…it’s delicious.

Thanks for letting me share my heart.


Martha W. Rogers said...

Connie, I'm so looking forward to seeing you and giving you a great big hug. None of my writing buddies from Houston will be there, so I hope you'll let me "hang" with you and some of your friends. And I agree, it's always exciting to see who the "first contract" receiver will be.

Rose McCauley said...

As one of the receivers of this year's Barbour "first contract" I can only offer my thanks to you, Connie, for your faithfulness, and to God for answering your prayer with my name!