I’ve been a member of ACFW for more years than I can remember. I’ve watched it grow from a fledgling organization to the huge and active proponent of Christian literature that it is now. I’ve also sat at the awards banquet at their yearly national conference year after year cheering my writer friends on as they vied for position for the coveted Carol Awards. I hoped, but never really expected, to final in the Carol, myself.
Last week, I cooked at a primitive church camp on an island in Canada. No electricity, no cell phone, no indoor plumbing. Bathing was accomplished by plunging into a body of water named Ice Lake. I was driving home, feeling grungy and sleep deprived, with my oldest son. We stopped for lunch, and I received a phone call I’ll never forget. The caller, who was from ACFW, informed me that my book, An Uncommon Grace, was a finalist in the Carol Award. I started to squeal but she stopped me. “AND,” she said dramatically, “Your historical, A Promise To Love, is ALSO a finalist!”
That’s when my son had to give me a stern look to keep me from jumping on the table and dancing. All I could do the rest of the way home was repeat over and over, “I double finalled in the Carols, Derek!”And he would patiently reply, “I know, Mom.”
A writer fights against self-doubt every day of our lives. Something like this makes me think that maybe, just maybe, by the grace of God, I’m doing a good job after all.
The ACFW conference is in September. I’ll be there, hopefully wearing something fancy if I can find anything that fits. If I win–God be praised. If I lose–God will still be praised. Either way, I am one happy camper!