In order to enter the contest, you must have a blog & link back to the post on Lysa's website. You also need to share some information about the conference & why you want to win the scholarship.
Now that I've shared some information about the conference & contest, here are some of my reasons for wanting to win the scholarship:
* I started writing poems while I was in Junior High.
* I also got interested in reading books on developing my writing & poetry skills during the same time.
* I believe that God put the desire in my heart to write & use it to encourage others.
* My 1st poem that I believe was God given/inspired was ‘Lonely Souls’ which was written after I had a falling out with my dad & stepmom after he went into the hospital for surgery.
* After sharing the poem with others, I got the encouragement I needed to continue writing.
* I believe that every child of God has a story to tell & that the outlet that He has given me to share it is writing.
This is actually my 3rd attempt at trying to go. I learned about the conference over 3 years ago & the 1st time I tried was when I entered a similar blog entry contest & didn’t win. The 2nd time I was actually going to pay my own way, but because of my own fears & some financial problems that arose, I had to cancel about a month before the conference. Now, I’m entering the scholarship contest yet again in hope & prayer that this time will be different.
I’ve already read a couple of the other entries and, to be honest with you, I feel like I should have waited until after I posted my own before reading them. There are some really good entries listed and for me to attempt this a 3rd time is a big step in following & being obedient to God’s leading. I really have to humble myself because I know there are some people who have entered that either have way more experience, speak more eloquently or even write better than I do. However, that is not a good excuse for me to not even try.
It would be real easy for me give up this year & think to myself, “why even bother?”, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is exactly what the enemy would want me to do. He wants me to throw in the towel & will start planting seeds of doubt like, “what makes you think you can win, or even have what it takes.” He will also throw in some thoughts like, “did you really hear from God? And even if you did, what makes you think that people will want to hear what you have to say?”
Now normally in the past I would’ve have listened to those doubts. But not this year. No, I’ve decided to take my stand & not let my own fears or prideful thinking get in the way of what I believe God is calling me to do. Since God doesn’t give up on us, then why should we. Just because I didn’t get the opportunity to go in the past, doesn’t mean that I should give up completely. This desire that He has placed in my heart is still there & even stronger today as it was back then. But, I've also purposed in my heart that if I don’t make it this year, guess what? I’m OK with it, because it just means that it’s not my time yet & that I still have some more refining to go through.That was something else that I've had to realize through this whole process. I've learned that sometimes our dreams may be put on hold for a time or season because God needs to take us through a refining period. Since God already knows our end from our beginning & knows what we can handle or can't, I believe that He does this in order to help us get rid of any selfishness, pride or arrogance that we may be holding onto that may hurt or hinder our walk & dream that he has placed in our heart.
I also find it very humbling to realize that a holy God that created the universe wants to use someone like me to share my story in order to encourage others. He doesn’t have to or even need to use me, but He chooses to anyway because He loves us. We just have to be willing & obedient to His calling on our lives.
1 Peter 2:9-10 (NKJV) states:
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. (emphasis mine)
Whether I win or not, I'm just grateful for the opportunity to enter this contest.