On March 8-9, 2019, at the Rosen Plaza in Orlando, Florida, I had the honor and privilege of being a speaker at the Becoming Women’s Conference, hosted by one of my dear and long-time authors, Michelle McClain-Walters. She is the author of seven books (with lots more coming): The Prophetic Advantage (Charisma House 2012); The Esther Anointing: Becoming a Woman of Prayer, Courage, and Influence (2014); The Deborah Anointing: Embracing the Call to Be a Woman of Wisdom and Discernment (2015); The Anna Anointing: Becoming a Woman of Boldness, Power, and Strength (2017); The Ruth Anointing: Becoming a Woman of Faith, Virtue, and Destiny (2018); The Hannah Anointing: Becoming a Woman of Resilience, Fulfillment, and Fruitfulness (April 2, 2019); and Prayers and Declarations for the Woman of God (2018).
You can see where the “becoming” theme began to germinate in her heart years before it manifested in this conference form. Many of the women in attendance expressed gratitude for her faithfulness in seeing her vision take tangible form.
As the conference progressed and each speaker shared her heart, endlessly full and increasing levels of admiration for the glory of God was evident in each woman. The power He has placed in us to do amazing things is unique and without limit as we lean into Him.
At one point, a viscous silence oozed over the room, and we just sat under the outpour, awestruck at the reality of God Himself being God.
Then it was my turn.
Michelle invited me to come and speak to the women about how to amplify the voice God has given them through writing. After acknowledging the almost 60 to 70 percent of women in the room who considered themselves writers, I welcomed them to the already active company of women who receive the word of the Lord and publish it. (See Psalm 68:11 both in the King James Version of the Bible and in the Amplified Version. I personally have always have found strength in the fact that women make up almost 75 percent of the book publishing workforce. [Publishers Weekly, “Women Rule Indie Publishing”])
I then challenged them with these eight actions they, and you, can take to become a voice through writing:
Be you; be authentic. We don’t need another Joyce Meyer or Cindy Trimm, Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore... We need YOU!
Be open to deeper levels of healing. Lean in to the hardships to find the lesson, to find healing, to find an endless flow of passionate and empathetic writing.
Be convinced that your story is worthy of being told.
Be generous. Write generously. Come outside your problems. Come outside yourself. Ask God what part of your story should be told, at what time, and to whom.
Be supported. Find your corner, your squad. Who will encourage you and pray for you? Who will be excited to hear your ideas and tell you the truth? Don’t write in a vacuum and don’t demand support from those who don’t get it.
Be light. Don’t hide your light. Let the glory of God shine through you brilliantly—and through your writing. Don’t be afraid to talk about what God is doing through your writing, or to excitedly share the projects you are working on and the benefits you see that they will have in people’s lives.
Be brave. Do it scared. There is a natural tug of war between your spirit, which is full of faith, and your natural self, which may be fearful of the BIGGER-THAN-YOU things God is calling you to.
Be a part. Join the company of those who publish the good news. You do not need to wait for permission. You’ve heard the word; now obey it.
BONUS: Be ready to go alone. Embrace the power of solitude. Writers come to me and the first thing many of them start with is “I think I have writer’s block.”
My first thought is, “Are you really blocked? Can you really write nothing? Or are you overwhelmed at the cost one has to pay to write?”
Writing can be lonely. Writing is hard. Writing takes dedicated focus and no one can do that part but you.
To be a voice, you have to be ready to stand strong and firm in what your calling is. You have to be brave and be ready to speak up and speak out. You have a voice. You must use it. OK?
Here are some photos* from the event. For me, it was my first speaking event as a fully published author (I’ve written lots, but never my own PRINT book). My new book Pray Hear Write: 21 Day of Prayer and Fasting for Breakthrough in Your Writing was released on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. At the conference, I was even given a whole book table, had a book signing, and completely sold out. I’m so grateful!
*Photography by Sean J Photography