The lights are already dim as I weave between tables in search of an empty space. Music floats overhead, an undercurrent of melody carrying the excited chatter of 800 women.

I tug self-consciously at my clothes. Moments ago I felt so confident strolling into this room, but walking amongst hundreds of strangers has a way of making you fully aware of yourself and your insecurities. I find an empty seat and set down my things. The woman settled in to my left compliments me on my teal leather bag, I laugh as I eye her bag, an identical twin to my own. I begin to relax.




Insecurities fade into oblivion as we get to know one another around the table. The same purpose has called us all to this place. And as we will become keenly aware of over the next couple of days, not only is the playing field level, but there really isn’t a playing field at all, because we are all on the same side. We will hear it in song and speech and the written word–“There is no competition in the Kingdom of God.”

We all claim the same mission—to know God and make Him known–we are simply carrying out that mission through our unique stories and perspectives. That is what this weekend is about—stories, and how God composes each one with such intricacy and grace. We gather around a joint calling to share those stories in such a way to help others see their own journey more clearly, and to understand what God wants to do with those stories.




Stories wind their way around every microscopic piece of life and history. There is a story behind every discovery, built into every sand castle, woven into every bird’s nest, and painted across the portrait of each sun-kissed horizon. Underneath all that has ever been seen, touched, tasted, heard, or experienced–there is a story to unearth from beneath the surface of the obvious.

I sit around that table with six women, just strangers a moment ago. We eye with curiosity the small scrolls laid at each table setting. They are tied delicately together with thin twine. I begin to reach for mine, and then think otherwise and draw my hand back to my side. I suppress my curiosity and will myself to wait as we rise to worship together.




Later that evening, when our time of worship and study in the Word is through, we’ll receive an explanation for the scrolls.

“Each scroll has a verse on it that has been prayed over for you.” Volume rises around the room as women reach to unravel the small beige papers. I finger the twine and slip it gently off; unraveling truth within my hands, I read:

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” {Proverbs 16:3}

I read and reread, beckoning the truth to settle deep within my soul. I read them once more as salt stings my eyes and slips softly down my cheek. I slip the scroll into my bag. Throughout the weekend I will pull it back out time and time again. I will clutch that verse in shaking hands, praying over the words before I meet with book publishers to share my story with them. I will read it when I am overwhelmed with a wealth of new knowledge and ideas for this ministry the Lord has called us to. I will recite it to myself as I share sandwiches, coffee, fears, and life stories with new friends.




When at first I had unraveled that scroll with its simple yet weighty message, the words had seemed so familiar. I would not realize why until three days later, as I sit alone in a hotel room processing all that took place over the last few days. I set my Bible down on the coffee table, pull myself into an Indian-sit on the red chaise lounge, and set my journal on my lap. I flip through the pages, not quite sure what I am in search of– not until I find it. The page opens to an entry from five months ago.

“Yes,” My script looked determined and confident. “Yes, I would like to meet with a publisher.” 

I recorded the brave step that had led me on the journey to this whole weekend and its vast opportunities. Yet the only real confidence laid in the words that preceded this statement in my journal. And there they were:

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” {Proverbs 16:3}

His truth sank deep down five months ago, setting into motion the telling of the story He is etching into my soul, and they remain just as true now, typed out on that little scroll tucked within my Bible.

This weekend was about stories, and I heard so many of them painted in the Savior’s blood. Stories of struggle, triumph, heartache, and hope, all of them wrapped up in words of grace bestowed by a sovereign God.




You have a story too, we all do, and the world is much richer when we share those journeys with one another. Whether through pen on a page, fingers on a keyboard, voice to a microphone, or over a cup of coffee in a corner booth–stories beg to be told.

But first, before we share them, let us find ourselves kneeling before the cross with these words wetting our lips and forever aligning our hearts with His purpose, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” Because once we commit our stories to His way of writing, that is when our narrative rises from the depths of despair to the heights of a tale greater than we could ever have imagined.


Eryn Lynum is a speaker and the author of 936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting. (Bethany House Publishers, 2018) She lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and three boys, where they spend their time hiking, camping, and exploring the Rocky Mountains. She loves to travel and share at conferences, churches, and writers’ groups. Every opportunity she gets, she is out exploring God’s creation with her family.