ACFW Conference Wrap Up

Some of your are confused right now.

sword“Andrew, didn’t you say you weren’t going to ACFW Conference this year?” Yep.

“Didn’t you post on Facebook explaining how you felt God telling you to stay home instead of going.” Absolutely.

“Didn’t you spend part of that week commenting on people pictures and texting your friends saying you wished you were there.” Guilty.

So why am I writing a wrap up post for a conference I didn’t attend? That’s a great question…and I wish I had a great answer.

Ever since I decided (reluctantly) not to go, I have been trying to figure out what God had in mind for me. I spent a lot of time last week asking God “Why am I still here?”. Why am I not around my friends and my family of writers? Why am I missing out on a chance to get some face time with agents and editors and other industry folks? Why don’t I get a chance to get away from the junk of life for a week and just live in the awesome fantasy world where everyone likes to create stories with their brain?

Because you've got to have an elephant at your writer's conference. You've just got to.

A few answers came to mind. It is a busy season with my “real job” right now and it’d but my boss in a major pinch to abscond to Texas for a week. I’m certain that some of it was God simply reminding me that this desire in my heart to tell stories was originally His idea, not mine, and that ultimately my writing career will unfold on His time table, not mine. And on some level, I’m sure that part of it was just God testing me to obey in sacrificing something I really really (really) care about, even when I don’t fully know why.

But in the end…I still don’t get it.

There’s been no silver bullet answer. No “Full House” moment where God sits me down on the couch and say “Well Andrew, the reason you didn’t get to go to Dallas is…” I’m just here, resigned to the fact that, like so many things this side of Heaven, I may not know what God, in His sovereignty, was (or wasn’t) up to.

So I get back to it. Plugging away at revisions on my novel. Fine tuning my short stories. Working hard with a launch team for an upcoming novel (some of which you’ll be seeing on this blog). All the while confidant that God, who called me to tell stories, will has my best interests in mind will ultimately work things out.


One day, I’m going to make a website where I can say whatever I want. Twitter or Facebook (or a blog) is supposed to do this for us, but we all know they really don’t.

There are so many things we’re not supposed to say. Things that would scare your friends if you said them out loud or just depress them.

Courtesy of Colin Logan via

Courtesy of Colin Logan via

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to be a horrible husband.”

“My dreams are all empty.”

“I know there are a lot of people who have it worse off than me, but I really don’t care.”

“At least I know I’m a disappointment.”

“Pretty sure most of my friends wouldn’t notice if I was gone.”

I’d post this stuff and more, not because any of it is true, but just to get it said. No need for a long string of comments asking “You okay, bud?” or “Hang in there”. No need for fortune cookie encouragements like “The night is darkest just before the dawn.” No need for my family and loved ones to look over my page and wonder if I’m doing okay.

We don’t say these things because we believe them. We say them because we’re afraid they’re true and we think we’re protected if we just accept it.

For as many awful days as I have where I believe all these lies, there are just as many (and more) days where life is actually pretty darn good.

But on those bad days…the lies seem so real.

So maybe if instead of saying proclaiming lies on my fancy website to protect myself, maybe I can say them to call them out and reveal them for the twisted fiction that they are. Put it all up on a bill board like “Hey! These things aren’t true!”

It’s actually not a very good idea for a social media page, but it’s a thought. I’ll put it on the back burner.

For now, I’ll get this stuff off my chest in long angry prayer sessions, in quiet talks with good friends, or just shouting it into my steering wheel on the way home from work.

You know, the old fashioned way.