By Michelle Medlock Adams, @INwritergirl
Just as I was finishing up my booksigning at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Orlando a few years ago, I noticed a woman waiting at the edge of the Guideposts booth.
“We just ran out of books,” I explained, as I walked over to her, “but I’d be happy to mail you a copy from my personal stash at home.”
“Oh that’s Ok,” she said. “I actually just want to talk to you.” I smiled but I was actually worried that maybe I’d met her previously and didn’t remember her. Just as I was about to ask if we’d met before, she took my face into her hands, looked me square in the eyes, and said, “Quit saying you’re not a speaker. Stop saying that you’re only a writer. Did God tell you that you’re only a writer and not a speaker?”
I shook my head no, trying to keep my composure. “Then stop saying it. Only say what God says. Let Him define you.”
With that, she removed her hands from my face, walked away, and I never saw her again.
How could she have known? I wondered.
Just the night before, in the privacy of our hotel room, I had said to my husband, “I think I’ll call my sister and see if she wants to speak at that women’s conference that invited me to keynote. After all, she’s the speaker in the family. I’m just a writer.”
I had planned to call that conference director when I returned home from ICRS and give her my sister’s contact information, but apparently God had other plans. It was a turning point in my journey. It was the day I stopped defining myself and started allowing God to define me.
I did call that conference director when I returned home but not to give her my sister’s information. Instead, I called her back and said, “Yes, I’ll do it.”
I can look back now and see that God was preparing me to be both a speaker and a writer—even as far back as my college days at Indiana University when I ended up minoring in Speech Communication. I thought I was just minoring in Speech because many of its requirements overlapped with my journalism major, but it was all a part of God’s plan for my life. He had been guiding my steps all along, and I am so thankful to be on this journey with Him.
So, how have you been defining yourself? Are you letting God define you or are you letting others tell you who you are and what you’re called to do?
It’s time to walk in the calling that God has for your life. If God is calling you to write a devotional for women, then go for it—even if you’ve only written fiction thus far in your writing journey. If God is prompting you to write a children’s book, then take a children’s writing workshop and follow that dream! Don’t let your insecurities or someone else’s opinions keep you in a box, limiting your vision and outreach. He has a plan for your life, and you’re going to love it!
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, earning top honors from the Associated Press, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Hoosier State Press Association.
Author of over 70 books with more than 3 million books sold, Michelle’s latest children’s book, Happy Birthday to You! won the Selah Award for Best Children’s Book in 2017—her third Selah for Best Children’s Book since 2012. In fact, in 2014 Michelle’s board book God Knows You not only won the Selah for Best Children’s Book but also won the esteemed Book of the Year honor over all other Selah winners. And, her latest release for women, Love & Care For The One and Only You (Worthy) was a finalist for a Christian Retailing Best Award in the Devotional Category and earned “The Gold” for best devotional in the 2017 Illumination Awards. In addition, her book When Chocolate Isn’t Enough: An Inspirational Survival Guide for Moms (Worthy Inspired) earned “The Gold” for best devotional in the 2016 Illumination Awards.
Since graduating with a journalism degree from Indiana University, Michelle has written more than 1,000 articles for newspapers, magazines and websites; acted as a stringer for the Associated Press; written for a worldwide ministry; helped pen a New York Times Bestseller; and served as a blogger for Guideposts. Today, she is President of Platinum Literary Services—a premiere full-service literary firm—and she continues working as a TV host for TBN’s “Joy in Our Town” and successfully running her own freelance writing business.
When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities, politicians, and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers. Michelle is also a much sought after teacher at writers conferences and universities around the nation. In fact, she is serving again as an adjunct professor at Taylor University Spring 2018, teaching “Writing for Children.”
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff, and they have two daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a miniature dachshund, a rescue Shepherd/Collie mix, and two cats. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys bass fishing and cheering on the Indiana University Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies, and the LA Kings. www.michellemedlockadams.com