Hello, all! I can hardly believe it’s been two weeks since Realm Makers—all at once it feels so long ago but just recent—and many of you, my wonderful friends, have been asking about it.
In short, it was an EXPERIENCE. I won’t delve into a novellike recounting, but this year, Realm Makers was more than a weekend of learning about writing craft. I went alone this year, flying by myself for the first time halfway across the country to a place I’ve never been before. Talk about nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs! My parents dropped me off at the airport and it was all I could do to keep from turning into a puddle. To the point of almost turning back, even!
Isn’t anxiety great? Digging up all your fears and the what ifs and how it could go wrongs and whispering about humiliating yourself, getting stranded. How it’s gonna kill you.
But there's a still small voice that's stronger than all those fears and lies.
The Holy Spirit, who dwells in the children of the creator of the universe, is powerful, present, and active. He counters with good words: “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you. You’ll be all right. I’ll be your courage to talk to the people you need to. I’ll be your peace so you find where you need to be with a clear head. I won’t leave you to do this on your own.”
Now, some of you might think nothing of traveling, and sure, doing anything enough times will turn it into a mundane activity. But I’m a homebody who doesn’t often get twelve miles from by house, and even when I do, it’s hardly ever by myself. So flying solo to St. Louis (and back home!) was an Ordeal and an Exercise in Trust.
Because God is trustworthy. He always keeps his promises and never abandons us to our own devices (though we may certain turn our backs on him and try. Fun Fact: That path never ends well).
He got me exactly where I needed to be, on time and without incident. Praises be to the God of heaven, because without his help I surely would have been so jittery that I’d misunderstand the signs and gotten lost in Atlanta. I mean, if your airport needs trams, your airport is too big.
The rest of the conference went by in a blur of volunteer work at the bookstore (best idea), reconnecting with friends from last year, seeking out people I’ve met through the online community and being on a publisher’s promotional team these last six months, and attending amazing classes, fun pre-release parties, and dressing up for an awards banquet!
I didn’t have time to explore the city outside the hotel grounds, so in case you were wondering where I was in St. Louis or what I thought of it—I have no idea and it’s a city. The biggest difference was the giant grocery store nearby was a Food Lion instead of Wegmans.
All that said, the primary thing I want to get across is that God is good and worthy of our unconditional trust. He has our best interests in mind and knows how to take care of us. We don’t always understand the reasons for why things go the way they do, but he’s God. His ways are not our ways, nor are this thoughts our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9) He’s got a plan that spans far beyond our finite comprehension, and all I can do is marvel at how, despite that, he’s decided to be intimately involved in the banal life of little ol’ me.
Because to God, there are no side characters. No NPCs (for you gamers out there). No insignificant players.
We can’t fathom all the ways God has, can, is, and will work in and through us for his kingdom, but what a marvelous thing to consider! Sometimes I can hardly wrap my brain around it, how the Lord has used even me—the introvert with few interests and fewer skills, who doesn’t go anywhere or do anything or play any intrinsic role in a community she clings to the corners of (among other generally not-involved things)—to bring joy to names that are, in my human mind, far bigger than my own.
And is that not one of the very things we are called to do, as children and servants and co-creators of a holy God? To bear each other up, to encourage, to bring light and life into this dark place?
How great is our God! If he can carry a nervous Nelly from rural New York’s brushy hills to a city in Missouri to bless and be blessed, he can do likewise for you.
He is good.
A brother in Christ once said that if he trusts God with the eternity of his soul, why wouldn’t he trust God with this comparatively small and passing thing? (Insert finances, relationships, health concern, upcoming ____, etc. Like, say, flying across the country)
He is trustworthy.
So, friends, as you go, whether into a big thing or just another unremarkable day, I want to encourage you to remember that God is working in, through, and for you. Some ways are more mysterious than others, and a lot of the time, I think, we don’t and won’t even know how we’re impacting others. But every drop in the bucket makes ripples. We can trust God. You can trust in God—more fully and completely even than gravity. Because, you know, God wrote the laws of gravity. And if he can keep the universe from spinning out of control into nothingness beyond the nothingness of space, there’s no telling what awesome things he can do in your life if you trust him with it.