When I share with people that I enjoy writing and I have a small shop where I sell journals to document our everyday adventures with God, they usually respond with a courtesy smile and promptly tell me something along the lines of, “Oh that’s nice…but I’m not a writer…I tried that once.”
I admit, I’ve never had a compelling response for those of you who don’t consider yourself writers, or those of you who tried journaling only to stop the next week. My usual answer for my unenthusiastic friends has been, “Yea, I understand… that’s okay…not all of us are writers.”
But that’s only partly true. Sure, we don’t all have to be writers.
However, all of us can write.
Writing yields the transformation you and I are after, the birthplace of deep change might just be on paper. Please don’t look past the simple habit of picking up a pen or letting your fingers find their rhythm on the computer keys for a few minutes.
Writing, the reflective kind you hope no one will find even when you’re dead, has proven itself to be one of the most beneficial practices in my life.
I always thought I just wrote for myself, and sneaking off to indulge in my inner world even if for 10 minutes while the sun rose, weaving words like yarn as they came to mind, was a selfish hobby. Through the years, I’ve realized writing is so much more.
Writing reveals Jesus.
Now, that can be scary for some of us who don’t like to go spelunking into the dark caverns of our soul. We are afraid of what we will find. We’d rather not let those issues come to the surface, or unearth a past we’ve tried so hard to forget. Sometimes I think I’m over a hurt or an addiction, until I start writing out my ugly-honest thoughts on paper. Suddenly, surprisingly, I come face to face with open wounds and overwhelming fears, I can no longer deny I still need healing and growth. Writing reveals. Alive and thread throughout the entirety of my incessant brokenness and mess, is His redemptive story and my desperate need for a Savior.
Writing is an act admitting my weakness and discovering the Jesus who dwells in the depths of me…and you too. Writing reveals His mysterious presence woven into our imperfect lives.
Writing makes us whole.
When I write, I realize I don’t have it all figured out. I am a creative concoction of emotions and experiences, convictions and conundrums. I am a walking contradiction and it does me good to remember regularly that I am not even close to perfect. The parts of ourselves we expose to others are only a part– usually the casual, cheerful, I’ve-got-it-covered side. Writing breaks through to the hidden beliefs, the tormenting thoughts, and the secrets imaginings we tend to lock away. We can’t forget, these often overlooked pieces of ourselves need a voice and an outlet too, otherwise you and I will never truly become free, become ourselves.
Writing makes us whole. Releasing our truest selves on a blank page is worshipful act, it’s as if we are traveling with God to the untouched, forgotten places within us, shining the light, and allowing life to come forth even from the darkness.
Writing cultivates confidence.
Writing is an invitation to get to know myself. It’s like having tea alone and enjoying our own company. Through the act of writing, I stroll down the streets of my soul, discovering who I am and who I am becoming. In slowing down enough to put a pen to paper, I begin to hear the hurts, unravel the complexities of my soul, and engage in meaningful conversation with my heart, with God. Writing whisks me away into the quiet corner of Starbucks or the upper office room where I reconnect with my lost desires and dreams, hurts and hang-ups.
Writing keeps us in tune with what the Creator is doing through our days, the slow lessons we’re learning through living and loving. Ultimately, writing cultivates a quiet confidence within, enabling us to walk among the chaotic crowds with clear conviction.
Now, some of you might say, that’s great…but I do all that reflective stuff while I knit or garden or drive my kids around town. I take moments here or there to press pause and go deep.
But I think there’s a secret power to writing – our hands are finally free. They aren’t holding the shovel, the baby, the bread loaf, or the steering wheel.
When we write, our hands become the instrument through which God Himself unveils His handiwork. Our hands tell us the story our soul needs to hear. A story of hope, healing, and wholeness. Through writing, even if just for a few minutes, our perspective shifts and Jesus shows up, right beside us, on our roads and in our wanderings. Everyday becomes an adventure, traveling with Him is better than a dreamy trip to Paris, complete with a travel journal exploding with romantic pictures of bikes and bakeries and jotted down memories of all our explorations.
Part of coming alive to our own adventure with Jesus is having the courage to write it down and take note of it, as if we were walking the cobblestone streets of a picturesque European village or hiking a new trail for the first time. It is an adventure we don’t want to forget, his words echoing through our hearts, his voice leading us down the path and around the next corner, his presence more beautiful than we ever imagined it to be.
Pick up the pencil, your hands hold a story, His story. We need you to write down your adventure.
Maybe this month, you decide to rediscover your days through the eyes of an explorer. Check out the travel journals in the shop, pages I put together to encourage us to do just that!