Today the winner will be announced for the She Speaks contest we ran last week. As I write this, I have no idea who it will be but I know one thing-- there will only be one winner. And lots of people who will not win. And that grieves my heart, as your entries have really touched me because I am in the same boat with a lot of you. If I had millions, you can bet I would be paying your way!!
A few months ago, I entered a contest for a scholarship to a writers conference I wanted to attend pretty badly. Ok, really badly. With Curt out of work, going to this conference was not an option. My only hope was getting a scholarship. You can imagine my disappointment when I found out I didn't win. And yet, I sensed God telling me that He had a different-- better-- plan and I just needed to trust it. So I did.
Last week, I got an unexpected email from a group of friends who had gotten together behind my back, pooled their resources, and offered to pay for another conference I really wanted to go to. A conference that will provide me with great information I need as a fiction writer. A conference I couldn't afford to go to with Curt out of work. But God. He made a way-- laying it on my friends' hearts to pay for my registration so I could be there and totally and completely surprising me in the process.
Why do I tell this story? Because I think that for some of you, it will be easy to get to a place of disappointment if you don't win. But that's not what I want for you. I want you to rest in His perfect plan for your life. And to face this situation armed with the knowledge that if God wants you there, HE WILL GET YOU THERE!! Jesus is THE WAY and He can make a way. Don't count yourself out yet. Let this setback spur you on to a greater prayer life and a closer walk with Him. Don't throw your hands up and think "It's over." Last year I had a friend who desperately wanted to go to She Speaks, but she didn't see a way. Just a few weeks before the conference, God made a shocking, amazing way for her to be there and she has never forgotten it. My friend learned, it ain't over til it's over.
I want you to know that the P31 team has committed to praying specifically for each of you who want to be there to find a way. That God will provide unexpected checks, generous friends, birthday gifts, creative fundraising ideas, etc. If you have a strong desire to come and are willing to get creative, you can create your own scholarship! Here's what our Executive Director had to say about this idea:
"Proverbs 31 has already put together an amazing letter that they can send to their family, friends, church, small group, etc. As a result, tax-deductible donations are made to Proverbs 31 Ministries and designated as scholarship money for the individual. Each year 20 – 30 women attend She Speaks because they set up their own scholarship. Everyone is not called to speak or write. But some are called to financially help someone else answer the call to speak or write."
For a copy of this letter, go to www.shespeaksconference.com. There is a green button that says “Scholarship Info” at the bottom left of the home page. That button will take you to the scholarship information on the website.
However things work out for you, I pray that you will walk in the door with the other women that Friday as we begin this year's conference. And that as you walk in-- because of what He has done-- you will be even more impacted by that moment, even more aware of His goodness and His plans for you. We want you there and we are rooting for you. I have listed off everyone who left a comment on my blog and will be praying for you by name. Can't wait to hear your stories of His exceeding, abundant provision and how He made a way!
Be sure to come back tomorrow, when I will have a guest blogger explaining how she got creative to raise funds to attend a conference she felt God calling her to. Her story might just get your wheels turning!