God is good, so very good. He saw to my needs in a most amazing way this week. He proved He cared about the smallest details of my life.
Sometimes the Going is the Hardest
I signed up to attend the Florida Christian Writers Conference at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center, March 6-10. The main draw for me was that two of my favorite authors were going to be there. Liz Curtis Higgs was scheduled to be the keynote speaker and Rachel Hauck was on the faculty. One of my favorite things about these conferences is that you are welcome to sit with the faculty members at lunch or dinner. I was excited to meet these two women and also to see writers I met at previous conferences and those I’ve connected with on social media.
There was only one thing that would potentially hold me back. Anxiety.
I took a break from attending conferences last year. Part of the reason was because it was a busy year of travel. The other reason was hidden under the surface. I was afraid.
You see, two years in a row, I experienced mild anxiety attacks at writers conferences.
Fear threatened again this year. If I went for more than just a one day session, would I experience another anxiety attack? Luckily, my desire to hear from these authors was stronger than my fear. And, as one of my dear friends pointed out, I had a plan of escape. I could always leave if I needed to. It was only an hour and a half drive back to my safe, cozy home.
This year was a little different from previous conferences I attended because there were not enough rooms for everyone to have a single room. You had to have a roommate. If you were not attending the conference with anyone, they matched you up with another conferee.
I was mostly fine with that. I welcomed the thought of not having to spend the night alone in a strange place. It wasn’t until a couple of days before the conference that all the “what ifs” started popping up in my mind.
- what if she isn’t nice
- what if she hates me
- what if I snore too loud and keep her awake
- what if she hogs the bathroom
- what if she’s a psychopath who murders me in my sleep (I tend to get a little carried away in my what ifs)
The day of the conference arrived. The drive was beautiful — the bluest of blue skies and trees that perfect shade of green that says Spring is here! When I arrived at Lake Yale, I registered for the event and went to the classroom for my first workshop.
Angel, Friend or Both?
I sat at the table thumbing through the conference notebook. Other women and a few men trickled in and took their seats. Someone came and sat at my table leaving a seat in between us. After a few moments, she smiled, extended her hand and said “hi, I’m Angel.” I introduced myself and we exchanged a few pleasantries. The conversation didn’t last long since the workshop was beginning.
Angel seemed nice, someone you would want to be friends with. I decided that when our class was over I would ask if she wanted to sit together at dinner. (The most anxiety-producing part of a conference for an introvert is finding someone to sit with at meals.) Class ended and the lady sitting between us left so I started to ask her about dinner.
“Do you want to sit together at dinner,” I asked. “Sure,” she said. “Ok, I just need to put my luggage in my room.” “Oh, I’ve already put mine away but my roommate wasn’t there yet.”
Do you see where this is going?
I pulled out the key to my room and asked, “what room are you in?” Her reply, the same number as mine. We were roommates! We laughed and hugged each other, both a little relieved that we ended up with someone compatible.
As I write this, I have only known Angel for about forty-eight hours but it seems like we’ve known each other for years. She is one of those people I simply clicked with. We have many similarities but, some differences too. It is great that I have not had to do this conference alone but even better that I’ve made a new friend.
Thank you, God, for looking after the smallest of my needs.
How has God helped you with a seemingly small need in your life? Has He ever put a person in your life at just the right time? I would love to hear about it.