The storm raged like a starving lion eager to devour anything in its path. The wind howled through the chimney. Waves crashed onto the shore. Lightning flashed, followed immediately by an ear-piercing clap of thunder, causing five-year-old Abigail Stevens to tremble and scurry into her mother's arms.
"I'm scared Mama."
Melissa Stevens smoothed her daughter's red hair, as she pulled her onto her lap. "There's nothing to fear my dear. God is with us. Remember what we memorized in Psalm 56:3 this morning?"
Abigail nodded as she recited, "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee."
"That's right Abi. God doesn't want us to be afraid, but to trust in Him," Melissa said reassuringly.
"What about Papa and Andrew? Can God take care of them too?" Abigail asked, curling closer to her mother.
"Even though your brother and Papa are in the tower tending the light, God still sees them and cares," Melissa comforted.
"But why can't Papa be here with us?" Abigail asked in a small voice, ducking under her mother's arms, as a brilliant flash of light pierced the darkness.
"You know that Papa needs to be making sure the light is shining brightly. It's important for Andrew to start learning how to help Papa. On a stormy night like this one, we need to be able to warn ships about the hazards if they would happen to get closer to shore. Your Papa has a crucial job as lighthouse keeper," Melissa said.
"But, why can't I help too? I'm the same age as Andrew," Abi said with a frown on her face.
Melissa smiled at her. "You'll have your turn to learn too, dear one. God has called each of us to be a keeper of the light."
"I never knew how right you would be Mama," Abi murmured years later, as she lovingly placed wildflowers on the graves of her parents and twin brother. She wiped a tear from her cheek. "How am I ever going to manage the lighthouse on my own now?"
On July 30 - August 1, 2010 speakers, writers and women's ministry leaders will descend upon Concord, North Carolina to attend this year's Proverbs 31 She Speaks Conference. I would love to be one of the ones blessed to be there. Cecil Murphy is offering a full scholarship for one person. To learn more about the contest and conference, check out Lysa TerKeurst's blog, as well as Proverbs 31 Ministry.
The competition is tight for this contest. Each woman expresses her desire to attend. Some cite the rough times encountered in 2009. Others convey their passions to speak, write, or lead women. I fit both of these categories. I have a calling and passion to be a writer and my family has undergone its share of difficulties too. This past year we experienced a debilitating ski injury, complications from surgery, months without work, a leaky roof, and I endured months of physical illness. While each of us is unique, every participant hopes to be the one picked for this scholarship.
After six weeks of spiritual renewal, God has reaffirmed His calling in my life to write. This passion has been a part of me since I was a very young girl. Until now, something else has always taken precedence. I prayed throughout the past couple months, seeking God's discernment. I was open to writing nonfiction, Bible studies, articles, fiction, or whatever He desires of me. While vacationing in Georgia at the beginning of March, God surprised me with the idea of writing a fiction trilogy on lighthouse keepers. This era of history is fascinating, and often overlooked. I would love the opportunity to pitch my idea with a publisher this summer, and to step out in faith in my calling to write.