Calling You Deeper

For the past three years, I have held a Promising Beginnings contest, in which the prize was a full scholarship to the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Last year, there were two winners. Lyneta Smith was one of them. The experience she had at the conference is why I love offering this contest! Enjoy her story in her guest post today. And if you want to have an experience like this yourself, enter this year’s contest for the 2016 conference!

I sat on a bench looking up, up, up the trunk of a redwood tree. I couldn’t even imagine what the top looked like—it was too far up to see.

I’d taken my journal to a quiet place to work on my assignment from my morning track teacher, Allen Arnold, to ask God what was next on my adventure.

I wrote a whole page as I listened to the Holy Spirit. Here’s the last line:

I’m calling you deeper—deeper into fellowship with Me, and deeper into fellowship with those I ask you to minister to.

If I could sum up my time at Mount Hermon, that sentence would be enough. Normally I leave a conference overwhelmed with a mile-long action list and an impossible strategy to execute. I left the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains overflowing with peace and a sense of God’s love. Last year at that time I could not have been emptier. Now I’d been given the double portion the prophet mentioned in Isaiah 61:7.

Deep communion with God leads to a deeper fellowship with His people. I met many new friends who encouraged me and shared parts of their lives. I not only had the time and space to see clearly what God was up to in my life, I was also excited to see what He’s doing in others’ lives.

So many divine introductions! I had no idea who my roommate would be until she arrived. Kate lives near the Oregon town I lived in for many years before moving to Tennessee. Like all great roomies, we stayed up way too late talking and laughing, falling asleep only from sheer exhaustion.

Of course, meeting Kathy Ide was such a pleasure. After a few days, it seemed like we’d been friends for far longer. She is one of the many, many people God put in my path to encourage me and spur me on. I will be ever grateful for the generous gift of paid-in-full conference tuition. (Kathy, thank you again!)

I could list many more people who blessed me at the conference, but it would likely take several blog posts. I imagine it was a little like heaven—long-sought introductions and joyous reunions. Every day, all day, I got to speak with people who love Jesus and writing. My kind of people!

Lyneta SmithLike the tops of those trees, I may never see the full impact of what God did at Mount Hermon. But I will continue to look up expectantly as I learn to depend more on God in writing and all other aspects of daily life.

I wrote about that on my blog, Waiting For Applause. I’d love to have you join me there if you have a minute to stop by.