Monday, September 29, 2014

{Pizza with Laurie} The Lord Will Personally Go Ahead of You...

I'm going to do the cheesiest thing ever (no YES, pun intended!!) and institute Pizza with Laurie. So since I don't drink coffee, humor the foodie of the Alley and pretend we're sitting across from each other sharing the pizza of your dreams. Today, mine's New York-style cheese. 

Aaaaand GO!


Before I left for the ACFW Conference on Wednesday, part of a Bible verse played through my mind continually: 

"Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8

According to the Internet, there are 13 verses that speak of this concept. I had no idea what this would mean in reference to my conference, but I had a feeling I'd find out. So I tucked it away in a safe place for quick recollection. 

Can I be honest here for a minute over our proverbial pizza? Two days before I was supposed to leave for conference, I blurted to my husband that I didn't want to go anymore. It's the most ridiculous and world's most irrational thing in hindsight, and I didn't mean it for one second. But there were all kinds of last-minute curveballs. I had close-call issues with my design and printing. I was sleep-deprived. Work was crazy. Unexpected finances kept popping up. I was a little hesitant to leave my daughter -- not because she wouldn't have been able to handle it like a rockstar, but because I'd been enjoying my time with her so much lately

But the biggest deal was that I feared I'd lost my writing mojo. I took a month-long-plus-change sabbatical from writing because I was frustrated at the amount of time I spent staring at a blank page. I needed to reevaluate. So I felt disconnected from the writing community and didn't know what would happen when I plunged back in. My instinct usually tells me to dip a toe in at first. But there is no such thing as easing into something when it comes to the ACFW. Not really.

"The Lord will personally go ahead of you..."

I genuinely believe that God went before me at the conference and ordained meetings with fellow writers, shaped my words where my own mental capacity would have failed me, and surrounded my writer friends and me with protection. Those words from the Bible became so much more real to me than a blanket reassurance I'd repeat to convince myself that I couldn't ruin His will for my writing no matter how badly I flubbed a pitching appointment :)

Are you facing a huge event in your career like a conference? A personal plot twist? An unexpected financial woe? No matter what your uncertainty looks like, know that where you waver, God is constant. He won't forsake you when you need Him. He will go before you to soften hearts, fill you with bravery, and help you give Him the control He needs in exchange for peace about the situation. 

He's sort of wonderful like that. 

When has God gone before you in an uncertain situation? 


Laurie Tomlinson is a wife and mom from Tulsa, Oklahoma, who enjoys stories of grace in the beautiful mess. She is a member of My Book Therapy and the American Christian Fiction Writers. Her work is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary and received the Genesis Award in 2013 (Contemporary) and 2014 (Romance). 

Connect with Laurie here:

Twitter - @LaurieTomlinson


kaybee said...

Laurie, this hit the spot. God is SO good. I've been waiting a LONG time to publish and made almost every mistake there is. In recent years I've learned to wait for His timing and to enjoy the journey. Good for you for going ahead with the conference. It sounds like it was worth it!
Kathy Bailey
New Hampshire

Jeanne Takenaka said...

I'm so glad you went to conference, Laurie! I enjoyed getting lost with you (;) ), talking story with you and celebrating you.

God reminded me the weekend before I left for ACFW that He had good things for me. It was up to me to believe Him. I love your reminder that God will personally go ahead of each one of His children.

Great post today!

Jaime Wright said...

I relate. Totally. Those doubts creep into all aspects of life. What an amazing piece of God's voice to hide in our hearts!!

Julia M. Reffner said...

Thank you, Laurie! I So needed to hear this today! Love the pizza with Laurie concept!

kaybee said...

Yes. I'm still not published so I often have a sense of "why bother," but it's not up to me. :)

Bonnie Roof said...

Loved your post, Laurie!! And love knowing that God DOES go ahead of us in those times of doubt and uncertainty. He has does this for me SO many times - one of the most needed being in my second cancer surgery, this past May.

Congrats on your ACFW award!!

Bonnie Roof said...

P.S. Post shared!!

Courtney Ballinger said...

Pizza sounds amazing right now, so this is amazing. :)
Doubt has been hanging around me lately. I'm waiting to hear back from my agent about editors' responses, etc. One second I think, "Oh, they're going to love it!" The next I'm ready to never check my email again because what's the point? I'm not "good enough".
I keep reminding myself that I'm not enough, but HE is. He's got this under control. He's with me.
Great post here. Thanks for your honesty.

Amy Leigh Simpson said...

I so needed this today! And I love seeing the evidence of God's plan at work, even when it goes against my plan. Great stuff!

Laurie Tomlinson said...

I love seeing how God has demonstrated this in all of your lives! It's always good to have the reminder, especially in the up-and-down business of going after one's dreams!

Esther Filbrun said...

Laurie, thank you SO MUCH for posting this! I’ve been going through a time lately where I’m wondering what exactly the Lord wants me to do, and following His guidance has been quite an adventure. And although the future is still uncertain, it’s so, so refreshing to hear the words that “He will go before you.” I’m treasuring this post today.

Thank you so, so much. You’ve encouraged me to keep on going today.


Laurie Tomlinson said...

@Esther - So glad God could encourage you through this post! Don't give up. He won't let you :)