By Brenda Flury Greig
I will make the coffee! I will operate the
lights! I will …I kept offering up to God all that I was willing to
do, yet He was saying He wanted me to write and speak. As part of this
quest, He brought the Proverbs 31 She Speaks conference to my attention.
That was two years ago.
I reservedly complied by signing up
for the conference, along with the speaking critique and a publisher
meeting. I felt the whole thing was really out of my realm. You see,
as an introvert, I would rather starve than eat at a table with a bunch
of strangers, and all meals were provided as part of the conference!
Yes, that meant I had an unlimited opportunity to meet women from all
over the country…yippee…I sighed sarcastically.
celebration was powerful, with hundreds of women filling the conference
full of love and excitement for Christ. The singing shouted to the
heavens as each woman poured out her heart, except me. I was the shy,
Minnesotan way in the back, singing quietly, knowing that even raising
one hand in the air to worship would be way over the top! There I
stood. Very nervous, fully certain that everyone else had polished
their writing and speaking skills as to be on the brink of the fame. I
had come barely prepared.
The usual small talk around the table
started and the woman next to me asked, “Are you a speaker or writer?”
Choking on my last swig of coffee, I stammered, “neither really, I
would just like to make the coffee or something.” Needless-to-say, the
conversation stopped in its tracks!
Thankfully, the opening
speaker came up on stage to take my mind off myself. She spoke funny,
inspiring, caring girl-type words in an attempt to ease the anxiety in
the room with assurance that the loving staff, coaches, agents,
publishers, and evaluators were all there to help us use our talents to
fulfill all that God had in mind for us. I just want to make the
coffee, I reminded God.
Off to the first breakout on “Ten Tips
to Wow Publishers.” I couldn’t help but think how bizarre it was for
me. Here I am in a room with others that know what a publisher, editor,
and agent do! I had a rough idea …but still just wanted to make
coffee. The next breakout told us how to promote our book. The steps
included speaking engagements and the development of a blog…a what? I
didn’t even know what that was!
Leaving the room at the end of
that session, I realized I wasn’t really hungry so I could skip lunch
and go back to my hotel room for a minute. Well, minutes turned to hours
and yes, I hid out in my hotel room for the rest of the conference! I
reminded God that He made me this shy introvert, so I think its best I
just stay home to care for my husband and occasionally volunteer at
church. Assured that He understood the wisdom in my reasoning I
comfortably got back on the plane to return to my safety net. Ahhhh.
I was convicted numerous times by the Holy Spirit about my
disobedience. Recently, while facilitating a Twelve Step group,
everyone fell silent when asked to share a time of obedience or
disobedience in their life. In an attempt to spur conversation, I
shared about the clear directive I heard from God and my subsequent
decision to hide out in my hotel room. One of the participants replied,
“You never know, God is a God of second chances.” I chuckled and moved
That night I arrived home and checked my emails to
discover the Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference Director was announcing
the conference had been full but now had a limited number of openings! I
thought “No….you’ve got to be kidding!” Out of curiosity I checked
the costs of the flight, hotel and conference to discover it would be
approximately $1,400. “Well, there you have it,” I proclaimed. We
don’t have an extra $14 dollars let alone $1,400 so that’s it! While
lying in bed, I shared the story with my husband and he agreed there was
surely not $1,400 somewhere in our budget. Relieved, I claimed the day
and went off to sleep.
The next evening my husband came home
from work and said, “Honey, you know those two people I recruited and
hired at work? Well Human Resources told me today that there is a $700
recruiting bonus for each one!” I stood in silence staring at him. No
matter how I calculated it, $700 plus $700 equaled $1,400. Yikes.
but with a stern intent, my husband said, “I believe God wants you to
go to that conference.” I stuttered and stammered questioning the
validity of that conclusion. In another attempt to sway his thinking, I
reminded him that his Jeep needs air conditioning and wouldn’t he
rather have air in the Jeep? The answer remained…no. I was to go to
On the first morning of the conference,
I found myself having breakfast with about eight other women. The
question of prior attendance came up and everyone else was attending for
the first time. When I mentioned this was my second time, they all
fixated on me intently and began asking what it was like, was the
writing critique hard, did I have a meeting with a publisher, etc. I
proceeded to share from my heart what God had called me to do two years
ago and how I had disobeyed. I shared my regret and sadness over
disappointing Him; and how I ended up here today. It was as if God put
His arms around each and every woman at the table and said “Be strong
for I am with you!”
It was a magnificent conference and I have
been blessed many times over for my obedience to Him. I continue to
write and submit articles on a regular basis. My greatest desire, to
write a book, is in the making. So when God tells you to do something,
just do it!
Brenda Flury Greig
has been described as passionate, inspiring and very authentic. She is a
devoted follower of Christ who delights in leading Bible Studies,
facilitating Twelve Step groups and walking one-on-one with others in
their journey to sobriety. Brenda lives in Minnesota with her husband
and their German Shepherds and Yorkies.