In Which I’m Taking the Next Leap of Faith


The call to write, not just for myself, but for others, began in 2003.

Let’s just say I was a little slow to listen.

Yep. I’m admitting it here. Now.

I was a little slow to listen.

Okay. Maybe I was really slow to listen?

I witnessed events unfold through the years. They’re all detailed in a private document I wrote in April 2014, titled “A Possible Calling.” Perhaps the truth’s in the title. As much as God’s tried to (gently) bat me over the head with His truth, with His vision for my life, I’m still calling this whole writing gig “A Possible Calling.” Because I’m human. I’m not God. Even with all the evidence, even with all the unfolding of this and that, it’s still hard for me to prove to myself and everyone else that this is my calling.

I struggle with this, can you see?

A wiser and older owl I met in November 2006 affirmed the vision I shared in the quiet of a dark hallway nook. A vision, which at the time, seemed like utter crazy talk. I seriously felt like I was making stuff up, people. Like I was pulling dreams from the sky and taking them on as my own.

Anyway, that day, among other words of wisdom I wrote down in detail when I got home, the wiser and older owl shared two pieces of advice I’ve never forgotten…

“Don’t look to people to affirm what God has already made very clear to you.”

and this…

“Walk. And follow the lily pads of grace.”

She clarified, stating that if this vision is God’s will, if this is God’s call on my life, that He will lead me through. One by one, He will place “lily pads” in my path, next steps along the way. And I will know. This is what I’m supposed to do next. This is His call.

Doesn’t it sound mystical? Maybe even a little kooky? “Lily pads of grace?” What the heck does that mean?

Well, let me tell you in plain words, friends. Maybe I didn’t know then what she really meant. But I know now. “Following the lily pads of grace” quite literally means to take one step after the next, after the next. First take this little leap of faith, then this door will open. Go through it. Take another little leap of faith here, and you’ll feel a tug to go there. So you do it. Then, you get a kick in the butt and realize there’s no other way but to do that next thing. So you do it. And it goes on. And on. And on. Until the light bulb turns on. I’ve taken 20, 30, 40 steps towards this vision. And truth be told? All of those steps have been leaps of faith.

Leaps of faith can be scary. Leaps of faith require courage. But after a while, leaps of faith make way for the answers you’ve been looking for. Things start to make sense. Little by little, the purpose of your life becomes clearer.

So today? I’m announcing the next leap of faith I’m making on this journey I’ve titled “A Possible Calling.”

I’m jumping on the next “lily pad of grace” God’s set before me. And as far as I can see, I’m jumping on over to a big one.

Well, I’m not really going to be jumping. I’m going to be flying, down to South Carolina where I’ll be attending my first writing and blogging conference! It’s happening next month while I’m doing that crazy every day writing challenge called #31Days.

I already know this writing conference is a lily pad set before me by God…

Because I’ve been a part of this community for more than four years.

Because I’ve been following this conference closely for two years and I’ve longed to be there.

Because it’s never been a possibility for me to go until this year.

Because I approached my husband about going to the conference just one week after I’d written that document, “A Possible Calling,” and he said yes. Pretty much right away. Without much persuasion on my part.

I already know this writing conference is a lily pad set before me by God…

Because my all-time favorite blogger, Ann Voskamp, was scheduled to be a keynote speaker when I signed up to attend, and then we got word she wasn’t going to be there at all. With or without Ann, I knew I was supposed to go anyway.

Because I asked Jennifer if we could room together, but she isn’t going this year.

Because I emailed a different Jennifer, Michele, Anna, Nasreen, Alia, and Kris to see if any of them would want to room with me. Four of them aren’t going to the conference this year. And two of them are, but already had roommates.

Because the week I’d planned to just go ahead and book a hotel room by myself, it was announced that the place was sold out. No more rooms available. Everyone make space. Find a place to crash. Bunk up.

Because I knew there was no other way but to put an announcement out there – I need a roommate. And believe me, that was the LAST way I wanted this to happen.

Because the eighth potential roommate decided she couldn’t afford to go this year.

I already know this writing conference is a lily pad set before me by God…

Because the ninth roommate? She had a room. And hallelujah, she had space for me! The funny thing is that we were already connected through Twitter, but hadn’t ever connected in that space personally. I’ve since discovered that there’s only one thing I need to know. She’s beautiful. She’s amazing. She’s kind-hearted. And God was determined to match us as roommates. In other words, God had the pad laid out. It just took me nine tries to find the right one to hop onto.

So I’m taking this leap of faith. Because after all of that? After all these years of feeling called to write, way back to 2003? I think it’s high time I attend a writing and blogging conference. In fact, it’s long, long overdue. Clearly God thinks so, too, or He wouldn’t have made the way.

So yes. I’m leaping. To a Christian writing and blogging conference called Allume. It’s next month and it’s sold out. 450 spirited, sold-out souls will gather to share and learn what it means to be called to write. And bless my leaping soul, I’ll be one of them.


  1. Linda Johnson says:

    I’m so glad for you, Amy! (My longtime school friend lives in Greenville, SC with his family. I’d so love to visit them there.) It was great sitting next to you & reconnecting while at Jessica Joy’s CD release concert last night!

  2. Gretchen O'Donnell says:

    How cool for you! I wish I could do something g like that!

    • Amy says:

      Gretchen, it would be a blast to attend a writing conference with you sometime! Perhaps we can make a local twin cities one work sometime? Seth’s been encouraging me to find a good local one.

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