The ACFW national conference begins one week from today and I find that the nearer it gets, the more I eat, dream and breathe ACFW. Thoughts, anxiety, hopes, pitch, fears, excitement, one sheet, questions, ideas, prepare, do's and dont's, pack, memorize, research, polish ... I'm sure some of my fellow newbie's can relate! And I know that the friends I talk to regularly are sick and tired of hearing about it! Even my bed has been completely taken over by my suitcases!
I've become hyper focused on what to wear (and what to eat so they will fit), what to bring, what to pitch, and the list goes on. It just feels like this is the single most important weekend of my entire life. And if I mess it up it will be the death of a lifelong dream. (I'm not damatic at all - wink, wink)
No wonder I've been stressed! That's a lot of pressure to put on myself. And the beautiful, freeing truth is this is not my make-it-or-break-it moment. It's only another step on the divinely charted journey God is leading me through - a journey that is far from over, no matter what happens next week.
It never ceases to amaze me how God can summon scripture from the recesses of my memories, brush the dust off of them and present them to me as if they were brand new truths, perfectly applicable to my situation. How sweet those precious words are when they are whispered to my anxious soul just when I need to hear them! How wonderfully patient my Savior is as He reminds me of the promises He delivers though His word!
Here are some of the gentle reminders that have been popping into my head in the last few days.
Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Joshuah 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
Psalm 27: 13-14 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
Scripture is the balm for my soul - and it's unscented, so I can take it with me to ACFW. ;)