For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world’s rulers of the darkness of this age, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
“Get away. Leave me alone. Do you hear me? Get out now!”
Those were the words I exclaimed as I was getting ready for my first day at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. I had to giggle to myself because I was standing in front of the mirror which was right next to the door to the hallway. Anyone walking by may have assumed I was quarreling with my husband.
It was not him or any other person for that matter. It was my adversary, my enemy.
I had spent a sleepless, anxiety-filled night and was seriously contemplating calling my husband to come and rescue me. It was 12 hours into the conference and I was done.
That evening was the culmination of a series of circumstances threatening to sabotage my attendance at the writers conference – an event I was eagerly anticipating.
First, prior to the conference, I had six weeks of continuous mouth ulcers. As soon as one faded away, another one appeared. They were quite painful and made me talk funny.
Then, just five days before the conference began, I developed a head cold.
I needed to print some things to take with me but partway through the process, the printer ran out of ink and the closest office supply store was a 30 minute drive. Luckily, I purchased two ink cartridges because the first one I tried did not work.
I finally arrived at the Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference armed with a new cold remedy to insure I did not cough on my instructors or fellow conferees. I’m not sure what was in that medicine, but, at 3 a.m. my heart was racing and I felt as if I had consumed an entire pot of very strong coffee.
That was almost the breaking point for me. I was ready to give in, to tuck my tail between my legs and sulk off. What was I doing there anyway?
Yeah, that’s right. You should probably leave. You don’t belong here.
An early morning pep talk with my sister-in-law was just what I needed. Her wise counsel and knowing that I had a bevy of prayer warriors praying for me back home helped me through my mini crisis.
I am so thankful I listened to her. Had I left the conference, I would have missed informative workshops and inspiring keynote addresses. More importantly, I would have missed meeting amazing fellow writers who will surely become friends.
I was one of about 400 conferees and I was not the only one who felt as if it was a battle to get to the conference and to remain. From broken bones, illnesses and migraines to feelings of inadequacy, a battle was raging.
But, we persevered. We learned things to help us in our craft, networked with writers from across the country and were inspired by great speakers. We left the conference armed with a word from the Lord, some prayer, hearts full from worship and our laptops, pen and paper ready to head home to continue the task of communication.
It’s a battle out there, but the fight is worth it!