Then God said, "No".

It’s not even summer yet, but I’m already thinking about the annual American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference in September. Last year was my first ACFW Conference, and I loved it (even though I was recovering from bronchitis and had to miss almost an entire day of events).

Me and Mary Connealy – woo hoo!
Over the years I’ve attended a few different conferences: ACFW, Write-to-Publish, and the American Christian Writers. Each time I learned something invaluable, but I confess that if I could pick any conference to attend again, I’d go back to ACFW. My heart is in fiction, and it’s a phenomenal place to mingle with the best of the make-believe world. Plus, I got to meet some of my favorite authors.
My goal every year is to attend at least one conference, and I really want to go to St. Louis this year – the home of the 2011 ACFW Conference. People are already talking about it and making plans. I started looking at my checkbook, anticipating expenses, and figuring out how I could make it work. In the back of my mind, however, I hear “no”.
My new friends from last year’s conference started talking about whether or not we’d all be attending this year. We swapped emails and I mentioned my financial planning. Again, I had this hesitation, but I really want to reconnect with the people I met last year.
It’s been a couple of weeks now, and I’m really getting serious about my conference planning. My goal is always to attend one conference every year. There are a lot of options, some of which I’ve not yet researched (dozens of which I’m probably still unaware). I would love nothing more than to join my friends in Missouri, but this nagging feeling won’t leave me alone.
Well, just FINE then!
I don’t know why I won’t be going to the ACFW conference, but I know that I’m not supposed to go. Maybe at that time I’ll be finalizing plans on my first book contract, so I won’t have time for the conference. Maybe I’ll be around town performing fantastic interviews for the local paper. Or maybe I’m just supposed to stay home to save money and rest. Who know? 
All I know for sure is that I won’t be seeing St. Louis in September, and I’m okay with that. My life isn’t about me, it’s about God. I don’t want to live life my way, I want to live it God’s way, and this year God’s way includes me staying home. I can handle that.
QUESTION: I’d still like to attend a conference, but I’m not sure where/when. Which conferences do you recommend? Why?

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