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Jennifer Johnson says, “Prepare to Be Blessed!”

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hello, Faithful Kaye Dacus Blog Readers! I am thrilled to share some of my feelings on the spiritual aspects of the ACFW conference.

First, prepare to be blessed!

I don’t know how He’ll touch you. I don’t know where He’ll touch you. God knows, and He is not stingy with His blessings. He may touch your heart in worship. He may tickle your soul at a meal. He may whisper in your ear in the quiet of your hotel room. He may even nudge your spirit in the confines of a public restroom with other attendees all around. Isn’t it amazing that God can touch us anywhere! With so many men and women longing to do his will and fellowshipping in one place, He Will Bless You!

“But Jennifer, how do I prepare for this blessing?”

Give up on your will!

It’s a simple as that.

“That’s not simple!”

Yes, it is! Once I truly surrendered my whole being, my every desire, my yearnings, my cravings, my lusts to Him, it was that simple.

Now, am I saying to not prepare? Am I suggesting you not purchase a new outfit or get some new nail tips or a new trim on the locks if you can? Am I implying you should go without one-liners and business cards and all that jazz?

Well, heavens NO! Being prepared really has little to do with the will of a person. I get up each morning, get bodily ready for school (I’m a teacher), and make sure my lessons are prepared so that I can teach my students. But I allow God to nudge my heart when I see a child needs an extra word, allow Him to show me if my class needs a different route, and so on. I am always ready, but He, my Abba, holds my will.

Allow Him to have control of your will.

I’ll share a couple little stories with you. I attended the first conference, then ACRW, in 2001. I went expecting to “wow” editors with my story. I was excited, but I was prepared. God had told me I would see my words in print. I believed Him, and I believed He would do His work at that conference. While there, God used the book of Esther in my own personal quiet time to show me that I still had some beauty treatments (lessons in humility and faith) that needed to be applied before I could go before the king (be published).

Talk about a big, fat bummer!

Three years later…I think it was three, maybe it was two…I could get up and look, but nah, I’m too wrapped up in the writing. Anyway, I went to the conference again. This time my spirit was broken. I’d received rejection after rejection. I was a wife and mom (to three very active, exhausting, but wonderful girls). I was a fulltime student, trying to become a teacher, and writing…well, I didn’t have time for it and it was getting me nowhere.

I begged God to take the desire away from me. I cried at the meetings, fought through the worship services, sobbed in the prayer room. I told God to take it away. Just take away the desire. Take away my wants. Take “me” away.

And the last request was what He did.

I can’t fully describe it. Me, a writer, cannot explain in words the transformation God did within my spirit. I was truly no longer my own. I had been bought with a price. And I belonged heart, body, mind, soul, and fingertips-on-the-keyboard to Him.

It was at that conference, in the midst of my utter brokenness, that God brought Cathy Marie Hake to me. She’d asked Jim Peterson at Heartsong Presents if there was an almost-ready-for-publication author whom she could mentor. He sent her to me. Within months, I had my first contract. Two days, yes, two days later, I received an additional contract for a novella that had been proposed nearly two years before. Two contracts in two days.

Amazing, isn’t He!

So, what can you expect spiritually at the conference?

Expect GOD! Oh, sweet brother and sister, EXPECT AND ACCEPT GOD!


JENNIFER JOHNSON is married to the world’s most amazing, supportive man, Albert. They are the proud parents of the three loveliest young ladies on the planet, Brooke, Hayley, and Allie. Jennifer enjoys being a 7th grade language arts teacher, where she learns as much from the kids as they learn from her. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and loves to read, write, and figure her checkbook – when the numbers match. Blessed beyond measure by her heavenly Father, Jennifer hopes to always think like a child – bigger than she can imagine and with complete faith. She invites you to stop by and see her at

  1. Thursday, August 28, 2008 2:45 am

    Jennifer, yes yes and yes…what a wonderfully inspiring post. I’m tearing up right now. Thank you for your words.

    May I share how I was recently blessed at a conference?

    On the last morning of the GPCWC conference earlier this month, I prayed fervently for direction on my next project. Then I heard an author speak, and her words prompted me to accept God’s call: to write that which I told Him, in my audacity, I would never write. God asked me otherwise, and I can see that He’s going to use this book to bring me long-overdue healing. Whether it brings other readers healing is not for me to worry over. I shall write–He will use as He sees fit.

    I fervently believe He will speak to all attendees, every one, if only hearts are open. Oh, I wish I could attend ACFW…next year for sure. 🙂


  2. Thursday, August 28, 2008 11:30 am

    Great post! Thank you so much, Jennifer!


  3. Jess permalink
    Thursday, August 28, 2008 12:37 pm

    This is such a good reminder. Thanks for putting it in the context of writing.


  4. Thursday, August 28, 2008 1:42 pm

    Amen to everything Jennifer wrote. As her crit partner and conference roomie, I have heard much of this over the years, but it has an even stonger impact when you get to see it all written out like that. See you soon, Jen!


  5. Thursday, August 28, 2008 3:55 pm

    Such excellent reminders that God has wonderful things in store for us every day, and that more of Him/less of us is always best.


  6. Tuesday, September 2, 2008 12:45 pm

    Lovely post, Jennifer. I’ve prayed and asked God to take the writing desire away from me if it wasn’t His will. I was becoming very frustrated with trying to juggle so much at one time. He answered my prayer and I didn’t write for six months. Then He started nudging me to get back in the game. If I surrender my writing to Him, I’m so much more confident in how to do things. He is in control.


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