I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
“You look like a funky young writer,” my friend, Nicole, said to me on the first day of the American Christian Fiction Writers’ conference. That comment made me very happy. Anyone headed into her sixties relishes being called young. I am blessed that I still have more copper and golden streaks in my hair than silver and white ones. It is a trait handed down from my mom’s side of the family, so I can’t take credit for it. I was also excited to hear the word, funky, as that is exactly the image I sought. I love the new fashions this fall. Embroidered jeans, 60s style peasant tops and jean jackets were once staples of my wardrobe. When I was 12. I worried when I bought the outfit someone might say it was too young for me. Thankfully, the combination looked funky not dumpy. Finally, I love the image of being a writer. My mom introduced me to someone at the hospital this week as being, “Cathy Slusser, the writer.” “Cool,” said the funky young writer. Then, I pinched myself and remembered what I just learned at the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference where on the second day, I attended a class taught by author and publicist, Allen Arnold. Until that point, I struggled with nerves. Though I know that I am where God wants me to be as an independently published author, I caught the anxiety of the other conference attendees who anticipated meeting with agents, editors and publishers to sell their work. Though I did not reserve any appointments at the conference and came only to be a better writer, upon arriving at the conference center, aching stomach and racing heart enveloped me. I should have made appointments. I should have brought nicer clothing. I should have brought materials to give to the professionals in the industry. Participants’ heightened emotions filled the air. Then, I heard Allen speak about coauthoring with God. He noted that as Christian authors, we should not be concerned about awards, contracts or even, word count. Our goal should not be the accolades of man, but intimacy with God. He noted that the fresh breath and life of the Holy Spirit is what sets apart the Christ followers’ work from the rest of the worlds. Allen added that when we have trouble writing, it may not be because we have writer’s block, but that we are seeking to please man rather than focusing on our relationship with God. Finally, he stated that God is more concerned that the process of writing brings us closer to Him than He is with what and how much we write. Or the earthly awards we might win. As Arnold spoke, I felt my own breathing slow. My stomach eased. I remembered what truly is important. The anxiety once swirling around me dissipated. Followers of Christ seek Him first. No matter what task lies before you today, when you are filled with His Spirit, anything is possible.