Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Inspiration from ACFW Conference


My son had a puzzle to reflect his donated funds

Dear Boy had a puzzle to reflect his donated funds.
It stayed empty for a long time.

The writing conference I went to last weekend wasn’t only about writing. We enjoyed great worship led by Rachel Hauck, encouragement from Brandilyn Collins, and inspiration from keynote speaker Robin Jones Gunn. And what a brilliant story-teller she is!

What really caught me on her discussion was how the Lord shocked her with the way He answered her prayer. I don’t want to give any of her discussion away, so let me compare it to Beauty and the Beast.

What did Belle want? Romance. Adventure. Something beyond “this provincial life.”

BelleShe had a great opportunity with a handsome he-man. On the surface, the relationship would seem to offer all of her dreams. Certainly the romance and adventure.

But instead, she gets stuck as a prisoner with a horrible beast. No hope for freedom, adventure, romance. Certainly no chance to break the monotony beyond the books she found in the library.

And yet, she ended up with all that she dreamed of and more.

I have to tell you, Robin Jones Gunn’s story was MUCH better than Belle’s! Made me cry three times when I heard it and again every time I told about it.

The bottom line for Robin, and the area where I’m being taught right now, is that of control. Robin had no control over her future. I have no power over mine. For that matter, who does? I mean really?

Folks sure act like they have power over their lives. They plan and expect things to fall into place. Even get frustrated and angry when things don’t work out according to their preparations.

Have you ever done that? I sure have! Though my examples aren’t nearly so good as my Dear Boy’s.

Accepted into a mission program, he had 2 months to raise over 20k in support for the year. With only 3 weeks left, he still had 93% of his funding to raise. Impossible, right? Sweet Hubby and I shook our heads, and Dear Boy stressed and paced holes in the carpet.

He wasn’t going to make it. Not for this tour. Not without supernatural help, and it didn’t seem to be coming. Used to being the harbinger of doom, I sat him down on July 5 and said, “Following the Lord means your just as willing to stay as you are ready to leave.”

9-16 Dear Boy and his mission team on the road to another village.

Dear Boy and his mission team on the road to another village.
Yes, he’s the one that stands out just a tad.

That didn’t go over so well. Took him 3 days to pray through the frustration and anger and let his dream of mission work in Côte d’Ivoire go. “I don’t know what God thinks I can do here for a whole year, but if He wants me to just stay here, I’m ready to stay.” Dear Boy surrendered like I’ve never seen before.

And then the money started pouring in. So quickly that he couldn’t keep up with it all. He ended up raising all he needed a week before his deadline. He’s now been two weeks at his mission. Has projects that he’s finishing and is learning French and acclimating to the culture.

Here’s a verse to chew on: “‘I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper and not to harm you, so that you might have hope and a future.'” Jeremiah 29:11

The Father said it right there. “I have the plans for you.” He declared Himself the Author and weaver of our dreams.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or imagine … be glory …” Ephesians 3:20-21

Your turn: What was the last unexpected blessing God poured into your lap?

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

6 thoughts on “Inspiration from ACFW Conference

  1. This writing journey sure is filled with possibilities to let God take control. Actually, I need to say it gives us many opportunities to confess that God is in control of it all.
    Thanks for the reminder, Marji.


  2. I stumbled onto your blog in an “archetype” search. What a neat, expressive domain you have here! I am currently working with the Heroine Archetype within myself. A few months ago I found the courage to begin posting my own blog, called be ye whole (.com).

    I want to say, you inspire me to create more!


  3. Hi Marji,
    Robin was definitely inspiring this weekend. I’ve started her Grace book now.
    Thanks for sharing Dear Boy’s story. What an inspiration when we sit back and tell God we’re willing to go or stay as long as it’s His plan.