I’ve been fretting today about a conference I’m going to this week. It’s going to be amazing – I know it is, and I know without a doubt that I’m supposed to be there.
But the fretting….well, it’s not unusual or unexpected, but it’s not any fun. I keep wondering what I’m going to wear and who I’m going to sit with and if I’m going to connect with people and if I’ll fit in and if it’s going to be as good as I hope and if I’m going to miss something I’m supposed to be there for. I’ve stood in front of my closet and looked on my favorite clothing items with scorn. I’ve looked at my blog and felt almost embarrassed by all the ways it’s unprofessional and homegrown. I’ve opened my box of business cards and wished I had ordered some new ones. I’ve assessed my loneliness and doubted whether or not I even belong among such a community of wonderful women. I’ve fiddled with my hair and wished I had money to do something fun with highlights (or even a trim!) before I leave. I’ve chastised myself for not exercising more in recent weeks so I could at least feel good in my own skin when I go. I’ve looked at my daughter and wondered what she thinks about Mommy leaving for a few days. I’ve changed and changed again my profile picture on Facebook, wanting a picture by which I can be recognized but cringing at the realization that I hate the way my eyes squinch up in every. single. picture I have of myself.
There has been a lot of doubt and self-condemnation and anxiety. There always is before something like this, and I always console myself with the assurance that if I didn’t feel all of that, it might be a clue that this isn’t the right path for me to take. Some people feel peace when they’re on the right track; I feel spiritual pressure. That’s always how it is for me, so I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing.
My enemy….he has a lot to say about this. He says I’m not a big enough blogger to go to something like this. He says I’m a mockery of a writer, with my tiny following and mediocre posts. He says my blog title isn’t original and my tag line isn’t compelling. He reminds me that I backed out on a series I’m supposed to be doing, and points out how my readers have backed away as a result. So if those kinds of things are confirmation that I’m doing what God wants me to be doing, then yes – I’m sure I’m on the right track.
Yet I doubt this conference can be as good for me as it has been for the countless other women whose testimonies I’ve read. I doubt somehow that God has something that amazing planned for me. I doubt that my place in this community of writers is an important one….or that I even belong here.
What makes me think that God would have something good planned for me? For me? How could I be so presumptuous to believe that I – I – have a place in His story? How could I assume that signing up for a conference would somehow change anything for little old me?
But this morning, as I thought on these things and pulled out of the neighborhood to take my daughter to school, I looked up. I looked up and saw a sky that no one else has ever seen before. A sky that would be gone in a few moments, never to reappear again. A sky with white feathers of clouds wisping their way overhead and a blueness that drew me in.
And I realize that the God who has called me to this place….this calling….this conference? He is infinitely creative, and He is always doing things He has never, ever done before….and that He’ll never, ever do again.
That sky? It was unique.
Whatever God has for me? It’s unique, too, and special and perfect for whatever He has in mind. He has something brand new – something He has created just for me – and whatever it is or will be, it is good.
I tell you that, friends, to remind you that the God who created the universe is still in the business of creating. The God who knitted you together is still weaving your story. The God who placed the stars in the sky and named each one has a place and a name for each of us.
So wherever you are today, God is working on doing a new thing there. Yes, right there in the car line as you wait for your child who had an awful attitude this morning to come out of school. Yes, right there at the supper table as you sit across from a family member who has become like a stranger in recent months. Yes, in that women’s group meeting as you sit in silence wishing you hadn’t come. Yes, as you throw the best clothes you own into a suitcase for a conference that scares you to death.
Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, and however prepared or unprepared you feel for this day, God is there. He is there, and He is still creating a new thing.