The 25th annual Florida Christian Writers Conference,
March 1-4 2012.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
A REFLECTION ON THE FLORIDA CHRISTIAN WRITERS CONFERENCE AND SPIRITUAL RETREAT
by Elaine Creasman
It's hard to believe 25 years have passed since I first entered through the doors of the Florida Christian Writers Conference as a mom of young children and a new writer. I battled many unresolved emotional issues in my life, but felt God had called me to write personal experience articles about how He was intervening in each of these.
For the first few conferences, editors terrified me. It seemed they had the power to mend or break my heart with one word--"yes" or "no" when it came to my meager offerings. Often I would ask myself, "What am I doing here?" But along the way, God helped me find favor with editors and improve my writing. Much of the writing which I've had published--including numerous articles, poems, gift book contributions--is a result of connections I made at FCWC.
Even though I came to the conferences to learn about writing and later on to also help writers move on in their writing journeys (as I joined the staff,) the Florida Christian Writers Conference has also been more. It became a place for a spiritual retreat--an oasis away from the sometimes chaotic happenings in my life--to hear from God.
At the early conferences Peter Lord, who wrote the book Hearing God, helped to open the door to believing God wanted to speak truth to me about Himself, about me, and about my writing. And at each conference (I've attended 23 out of 24 conferences) He has spoken truth. I have found myself coming home at times much more excited about how God was changing my thinking and healing my emotions than how many pieces editors said "yes" to. Over time I discovered these changes helped my writing.
God convinced me at early conferences that He didn't want me merely to focus on my writing at the conference, but He desired I embrace how He wanted to heal me and help me as a Christian. He reminded me that If I wanted to be an excellent Christian writer, it was essential to also work on the "Christian" part of that title.
Along the way God has spoken life-changing truths to me at FCWC through the wisdom of Billie Wilson, through speakers, through faculty and fellow writers, and through times alone as I have sought Him in prayer. Times alone have become one of the most important parts of the conference, which I encourage all conferees to pursue.
One experience I had at a conference where Peter Lord spoke was a turning point in my relationship with God, the Father. I wrote about it, and it was published as part of a piece in a women's magazine and more recently on CBN.com.
Excitement is mounting about the conference again. Yes, I'm preparing as far as the writing end of things goes, but I'm also getting my heart ready to hear from God.
Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening.
How about you? Is your heart and mind open to hear what God has to say about Himself, about you, and about your writing? Are you eager to draw closer to Him as you take time away from your everyday life?
I pray God will bless you at FCWC 2012 as you seek to hear all He has to say to you. I'm confident it will be life-changing.