Why I Almost Didn’t Register for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference

by Cathy Baker

While traveling home from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian’s Conference last year, I sensed very clearly that “play time” was over. Not that I’d viewed it as such but I’d wasted spent a lot of time debating with myself if writing was where God wanted me to spend His time. Through a series of confirmations at BRMCWC, I left feeling confident I was exactly where He wanted me to be.
Within weeks of returning from the conference, my husband and I began discussing selling our home. The result was a seven-month pilgrimage that, in the end, played out more like a devilish detour. During that time, I shifted almost everything else—writing, meeting with friends, attending writing group—to the sidelines of life. 

When 2014 rolled around, I spotted Register for BRMCWC on my calendar, but ignored it. I didn’t feel I’d earned it. This past year was to be different. It wasn’t. I was going to write every single day—but I didn’t. Despite having my poetry published in two books last year, I felt like a total failure. The thought of facing conference mentors who’d spurred me on last May was, well…downright embarrassing. 

Then it happened. On a rare snowy South Carolinian day, I sat upstairs gazing out the big window in the front of our house. I soaked in every detail for a possible poem. One particular car kept driving by, when suddenly the man pulled off the street and hopped out of his car with a fancified camera pointed in my direction. He motioned for me to meet him on my front porch. I’d barely opened the door when he asked what I was doing up there. He scribbled a few lines on his pad and jumped back in his car. A few weeks later, I opened our local paper to see my picture with the tag line Inspired by a Snowy Day…Poet at work: Cathy Baker from her Curtis St. window. 

While taken back by his choice of wording, I couldn’t help but feel it was a divine wink to keep moving forward. The wink escalated to a nudge when my amazing hubster insisted I register for BRMCWC. 
So, Lord willing, I will enter the lovely Lifeway campus this May looking ahead, not behind.
Past regrets will not rob God’s unfolding plan for my future. 

Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13, 14

Are you sensing a divine wink or nudge? I’d love to see you at Blue Ridge this May! We’ll already have something in common. 🙂

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