My weekend proved to be what I hoped for – not what I feared. The muddled circumstances that tempted me to give up and back out were just that – a muck of things not worth running amuck over. Yes, I’m good and tired this week as a result of a long and very full weekend away, but it’s a contented kind of weariness. The good kind.
There’s nothing like face-to-face contact with people to make it real. I’ve been part of Redbud Writing Guild for a couple years now and this was my first chance to meet some of the other women at a time that worked with my schedule. The fact that it was a small intimate group in a wooded cabin on the thumb of Wisconsin (rather than the larger conference venue in downtown Chicago that had been planned) made it even more perfect for me. Half of us didn’t know anyone else in the group. One woman’s teenage daughter asked about the trip. She answered that she would spend the weekend in a remote location with virtual strangers that she’d met online — something she’d never allow her daughter to do!
But I discovered we did know each other before we even met. We knew we shared the same love of Christ and same passion to create. We all desire to influence culture and faith, and to do that in community. This is our community. We’re sisters. We stepped right off our planes into full-bodied relationships with new friends from Denver, San Diego, D.C., and Chicago as though it was the most natural thing.
We wove our tapestry with a variety of rich textures and colors. Different ages and backgrounds and denominations. A whole host of degrees and occupations and hobbies. We are mothers and non-mothers and grandmothers and stepmothers. Wives and widows.
Our symphony of voices sing from the place of our unique passions, different facets of the same timeless message. We love Jesus and want to make Him known to the world.
For an extra blessing, a wonderful veteran writer and speaker who just happened to live a few minutes away came to join us for a few hours and impart her wisdom. She encouraged those of us at the beginning of the journey of writing to always keep our relationship with Jesus vital and central. “The most important thing is how it is between you and the Lord. Be immersed in Him. Cultivate intimacy with Him. Let Him feed you from His Word.” She cautioned us to never write anything we might wish we hadn’t written later on, something we might be tempted to write because we think it’ll sell rather than because we’re certain that Jesus wants us to write it. “Don’t write anything until you have something to say.”
The nights I drive home from Asheville, down the winding mountain road, it’s comforting to see red pinpricks of light ahead of me so I know whether the road is going to curve right or left or keep straight. The tail lights of other cars lead me home. That’s what my writers guild is to me. I get to follow other women, wiser and more experienced, who’ve already charted the course. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get to be the tail lights someday for another as-yet-unknown sister.