IMG_20160818_194603755James 1:6 

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. [NKJV]

           Did you ever have to spend a few hours driving and couldn’t find a good radio station and had no CD’s in the car? What did you do during that time? Whenever this happens to me my mind usually wanders. Most of the time I’ll be thinking about where ever I’m going.

          This recently happened to me as I was heading to a Conference. I was a few hours in and had at least an hour and a half to go. Since this was my first time going to a writers conference my mind naturally drifted in that direction. From the hours on the road fatigue was also creeping in, so my mental defenses weren’t as sharp.

          Well this made for an interesting combination as the both sides of my brain began to play he said, she said. That’s where the one side is saying, “What are you going to a writers conference for? What makes you think you’re any good? For all you know your writing is horrible” While the other side is arguing the opposite with, “There’s a lot of people who enjoy your poems. Some are even sharing them with their families. A few even commented how they were inspired.”

          As you can tell, if I let my mind to itself it goes on spin cycle. Of course there were a few truths in there, but with a dark twist. This was my first writers conference, so I did not know what to expect. However, that didn’t mean it was going to be negative. I never had anyone in the writing realm read anything I have written, so I did not know on what level I was. This did not automatically mean that it was substandard.

          When you were a child, what did you do when you wanted to stop the merry-go-round on the playground? You put your foot out. So, I didn’t just put one foot out I put both. I was like whoa, enough already. Rather than let my subconscious run wild, I did the best thing I could. I started a prayer conversation with God.

          Many times I have found that speaking with God can calm any situation and quiet the mind. Remember, this is what he has asked us to do. We are supposed to come to him at all times, the good and the bad. Thanking him for all that we receive and asking for strength and guidance when the waters begin to jostle the boat.

          I started with the obvious. I thanked him for this opportunity to go to the conference so I could share what I have written and to learn how I can improve. I also had to thank him for my family who was supporting this endeavor and my group of avid readers who encourage me and ask for more.

          I continued the discussion with all the positives and blessings that I have been surrounded by. I was definitely blessed that I had people who wanted to translate my poems into Spanish and also High German for the Mennonites. I knew of several people who thanked me for what I shared because it has had a positive effect on them. I have had several even say they are using my material to help family members.

          As I counted the blessings and continued to thank Him for all that He has given me, my mind cleared and was refreshed. I began to feel like I was being lead in a slightly different direction. My thoughts quickly returned to the night that swept me away and landed me on this path I was now on.

          I could again feel the music, the message, and the power of those words as they challenged me to finally let go and follow the Lord. I could no longer fight the warm embrace of His love as it surrounded me. I had no more energy to resist what I always knew was right.

          As you can see, this portion of my drive was quite lively, at least in my mind. It rejuvenated my spirit and reawakened my anticipation for opportunity which lay ahead. Since I finally got myself back on track, I again thanked the Lord for His strength and calming spirit.

As I let this peace settle over me, I could see words beginning to form in my head that centered on where it all started and my journey since then. Two things I have learned recently. First is I can’t control when the words to a new poem are going to spiral in my head. The second is that I can’t drive and write at the same time.

Rather than forget the lines to a new poem, I cheat a little by using an app on my phone that lets me dictate what is coming out. What makes it interesting is auto correct. I go back to read it later and sometimes it sounds more like a limerick than a poem.

The rest of the drive was relatively peaceful now that the little imps of doubt and apprehension were stuffed back into their box. My thoughts were now able to roam free to form into connecting lines of a poem that was tracing my path. It felt good to create as I finished my trip.

I arrived at the conference and everything was very positive from the start. All the negative feelings that stirred over the past few days quickly dissipated. Even after the long drive, the opening festivities, and interactions afterwards my mind would not rest till I finished the latest poem that was given to me. Please enjoy “Your Presence I Feel”.

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