This past weekend we commemorated the 2nd anniversary of Destined 4 the Dub!
Two years ago, while in the middle of a painful and uncertain time, I made the decision to document the journey of faith I had been unexpectedly thrust into. Earlier that year, I attended a publishing conference for spiritual writers of color, and a seed to start a blog had been planted.
I knew I had a ministry inside of me. I received Christ in my life at age six and learned about Him my entire life. But it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I transitioned from just knowing about Him to developing a close and intimate relationship with God.
And knowing the difference that change made in my life, I desired to share encouragement through the word of God with individuals who were going through difficult times. It was on my heart to write a book about the nature and promises of God to inspire people to never give up while going through tough times.
But I had no idea where to start, and I was not in a community of writers. I had been working in the IT field for over 20 years and did not fit the normal profile of a writer. But I knew what God had put on my heart. So, when I learned that the Publishing in Color conference was coming to New Jersey, I decided to take the first step and register.
At the conference I truly felt out of place. It seemed as if everyone around me had experience and connections, loved writing, and had kept mountains of journals. I felt embarrassed every time someone would ask about my writing background. My story just didn’t seem like one that belonged with the rest of the attendees.
Still, I was there for a reason, so I strategically selected my classes, networked with other participants, took pages of notes, and left the event with a defined road map. First, I needed to build my audience, or platform as it was commonly referred to at the conference.
I returned home and shared my plans to start a blog with my daughters. I wanted to center it around their athletic pursuits, as we always seemed to be facing some sort of challenge or difficulty. I thought this would be a great opportunity to share our faith, and we started discussing possible blog names about living a victorious life. After considering different suggestions, we eventually chose Destined 4 the Dub by a unanimous family decision.
Just weeks later, the girls were competing to qualify for the USA Track and Field Junior Olympics. That morning while admiring the clear blue sky, I decided that my first blog would be about the events of that day, as I was sure my oldest daughter would have a spectacular performance after overcoming confidence challenges from the previous season.
For those not familiar with our story, my daughter Kennedi was…is an exceptional athlete. As we watched her athleticism develop as she grew, we were excited about kicking off her high school sports career. While competing that day, she experienced a severe knee injury and her life took a sudden and abrupt detour.
As she completed the 1st month of a projected twelve-month rehabilitation period during her freshman year, I decided to blog about our journey of faith and healing as a way to encourage others. I told God that I would continue to share our story and prayed for Him to open doors so that we could inspire others that were facing difficult situations.
I also began writing a book for my daughters. After this experience, I knew how important it was for them to have a strong spiritual foundation and relationship with God before they went off to college, as I wouldn’t always be right there to guide them through their struggles.
I completed my book proposal and in 2019 returned to the same Publishing in Color conference. I was prepared to submit my proposal to the big publishing houses scheduled to attend that I normally would not have access to.
As I reviewed the agenda, I once again coordinated my schedule so that I could attend each of the sessions with major publishers. On the first day of the conference, I was drawn to a session that conflicted with a major publisher that I wanted to connect with. In what I can only describe as an encounter with the Holy Spirit, I was challenged with discounting a smaller publisher in favor of a major one. “Don’t you always advocate for the support of small and minority owned businesses? Why not here?” I knew that I would be just as successful with a smaller publisher as with a major one, as long as God was in it.
In that moment, I decided to attend the Vine Publishing session with Taneki Dacres, which was so impactful as I felt a spiritual connection to everything she presented. I spoke with her after the session and obtained her contact information so that I could submit my book proposal. A few months later she contacted me and offered me a publishing contract. I have been so blessed through our relationship, and could have never imagined the support she has given me over this past year through the loss and challenges that I’ve experienced while finishing my book. God knew exactly what He was doing when He changed my schedule that day.
On the final day of that same conference, in what I can only describe as another divine connection, I met Celeste McCauley from Guideposts. After a friendly hello, she offered leftover Guideposts magazines and books that were on her table, as she could not take them back on the train with her. I gladly obliged, and that led to us talking about my personal story.
We stayed connected after the conference, and I submitted the story about my transformation through Kennedi’s injury. My first published article appeared in the March 2020 edition of Guideposts magazine. Earlier this year, Celeste also encouraged me to enter the Guideposts’ Writers Workshop contest, and out of thousands of submissions, I was recently notified that I was one of the winners! The usual all-expenses-paid retreat in New York, will be held virtually instead due to the coronavirus, but I’m still looking forward to the experience, training, and opportunities I’ll have for inspirational storytelling.
As I begin the next chapter of Destined 4 the Dub, I’m excited about publishing my first book and additional writing opportunities. I’m kicking it off by attending my 3rd Publishing in Color conference virtually next week.
I know that God has something BIG in store for me. All because this techie girl had the courage to step out on faith.
Do you have a dream for your future, but don’t quite know how to get there? I encourage you to talk to God about your heart’s desire and ask Him to guide your steps.
Don’t be afraid to step out on faith, even when the path is unfamiliar or uncomfortable. God will be with you the entire way.