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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Heart Chocolate

Isn't that title a cool phrase? I have to give credit where it's due though because I didn't birth that saying. My dear friend Heather used those words in a recent blog comment. I've been thinking about heart chocolate ever since.

It’s a pretty neat way to describe something that nourishes the heart with a sweetness that makes you long for more. This past week and a half was so full of heart chocolate that I’m only now starting to really process through it.

Right on the heels of my awesome beach vacation I attended a writer’s conference in Nashville. It was my third one with ACFW. I learned so much from the awesome teaching. Even more from the incredible people that make up this neat organization.

My first inkling that God was doing something big came on Friday morning. There was a special time of prayer and I was on my feet before I could think. I ended up in a line with two incredible authors praying for the people who came forward. One of them was a dear friend who knows my story and has prayed for me throughout my desert journey. The other was a lady I had the privilege of praying for, along with many other ACFW authors, years ago. (Her miraculous story of healing from Lyme Disease is worth your time to read. Here’s a link to Brandilyn’s story.)

I thought I was up there to pray with Deb and was calm knowing I didn’t have to explain anything about my life, because she already knew. But God had me there to pray with Brandilyn. I so wanted to ask her to pray for my healing from diabetes. But I knew my husband had been praying for this and he wanted to be a part of God doing this particular miracle in my life. So I stumbled through asking for prayer for my marriage and that God would use me to touch people’s hearts through my writing.

Brandilyn did pray for a miraculous healing in my marriage~ which God has most definitely been doing and continues to do. But she also prayed something that struck me as very odd at the time. She prayed I would make friendships at the conference. Why was that odd to me? Well, because I’d come to Nashville with two wonderful new friends, was rooming with my best friend, and I had other established friendships there.

Little did I know God was going to stretch my heart to include even more. Sort of like chocolate does to my thighs. But it's all good.

Later that same day I talked with Brandilyn, in the restroom of all places, and explained why I hesitated with my prayer request to her that morning. I told her about my diabetes and my husband’s prayers. She prayed for me again, not only that God would heal me, but also that this healing would be used for even deeper healing in my marriage. She spoke about walking in faith that God will answer this prayer and that my husband will be a part of it.

If you read my last blog post, you have to know I struggled to receive this. What if it wasn’t God’s will for my healing? What if it didn’t happen? I talked that over with God and left those questions with Him.

The conference continued with its typical ups and downs. Excitement for the many God appointments He had for me. Sadness that what I’d hoped would happen with my writing career didn’t happen. Joy over a new direction and deep growth in my relationship with my best friend. Physical exhaustion. God kisses.

Amid all the ups and downs, Brandilyn’s prayer for friendships became a reality. I quickly connected with two amazing people. And one of them offered me a bite of her very special imported dark chocolate. ;-) These were totally unexpected and a clear reminder from God that He knows exactly what I need and He has a very good plan for me.

I also got to hang out with my amazing crit partners who make me a far better writer and person than I would ever become on my own. And I spent one evening talking with the author who got me started in ACFW. Connecting with her was a time of real encouragement both for my heart and for my writing.

Then came the closing time of prayer. After an amazing testimony by another precious author friend of mine about her healing, Brandilyn invited people to come up front and she would pray for them. I kept my behind on the seat knowing that for me to go forward was not an act of faith. For me to sit in my seat, believing God had already answered the prayers prayed for me, was my walk of faith. So I sat. Then God nudged me to pray for another lady still sitting at my table. One of the precious new friends God had given me. I prayed for her and we cried together as Brandilyn, totally not knowing her situation, prayed specifically for her. God is so good!

After that it was time to go home. I thought I’d received all the heart chocolate my mind could conceive. But God had even more.

My wonderful mentor talks often about asking God to give you others who you can “pull up.” Those that God speaks of in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” I’ve been praying for someone who I could pull up and encourage. I thought it would be another writer after I had a little more writing experience, so I wasn’t really looking for that person.

Well, she found me. Just before I left Nashville, I got to talk with another author whose life journey is much like mine. We’ve emailed often ever since. Not only do I have the privilege of walking this journey of healing with her and sharing my experiences that she is now going through, but she is also a great encouragement to my heart. I get to relive the amazing things God has done for me as I share with her. And I get to hear amazing things God is doing in her life as we email and pray for one another.

I went to Nashville with the hope of loving others well, of praying for people and encouraging them. I also went hoping for clear direction in my writing journey. What I received was so God… heart chocolate. In such abundance that I’m still overwhelmed at the thought of it all. Sweet stuff that doesn’t hug my thighs, but that makes my heart and my capacity to love grow even greater.

God is so good. In giving myself in honest transparency, I received far more than I asked or imagined. Heart chocolate… bar upon scrumptious bar to be savored for a lifetime to come.

How about you? How’s your chocolate stash? Wherever it stands, I encourage you to ask God to show you where He can use you. Not what you can do for Him, but what He wants to do through you. In so doing, I know you’ll find what He’s promised. That the plans He has for you are so good and so over and above what you can dream.

I’d like to close with my favorite scripture prayer from Ephesians 3. I often personalize this with my name and the names of those I love. Prayer is such an awesome way to love well and see God do amazing things through you!

I pray that out of Your glorious riches You may strengthen (my hubby and precious daughters) with power through Your Spirit in their inner being, so that Christ may dwell in (my husband’s and girls’) hearts through faith. And I pray that (my husband and daughters), being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that they would each be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to You who are able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to Your power that is at work within us, to You, Daddy, be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.


upwords said...

This was heart chocolate to me!
Mary G.

Heather said...

I'm honored that such a word weaver would use MY humble words!


Amy Wallace said...

Mary and Heather,

You two are so good for my heart! Thanks so much for your kind words.


HeyJules said...

Heart chocolate...great tasting, less fattening!

Wonderful Amy. Your life just keeps getting better and better, doesn't it? He's pushing you down those train tracks as fast as your heart will carry you, shooting you out to care for all those new people in your life.

You're so blessed. Take another bite of that chocolate bar. You deserve it.

Amy Wallace said...


I'm enjoying that chocolate bar to the fullest! But truth be told, not every day is this good. I just stay off the computer and hang out with God until He gives me something to say worth the time to read.

Thanks so much for posting. Your words encourage my heart every time.


HeyJules said...

And your words encourage me every time I read them.

Yours was one of the very first blogs I ever read Amy and will probably be one of the very last. You make me want to know God more and more by what you write. Keep at it girl.

Amy Wallace said...


Your post is exactly why I keep writing! In fact, I printed your post and put it in my encouragement file. The writing life is tough, but to read that my words make you want to know God more makes it all worth it!

Thank you!

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