Saturday, May 4, 2013

Writing to Heal - Spiritually

I’ve always been a writer.  Ever since I was little, words have fascinated me.  And it’s not by chance, or by accident, that my mind is wired to creatively express itself through the use of written language.  I can’t thank God enough for this gift, this talent, He’s given me.  I think it has literally saved my life. 

I love words and I love writing.  Writing has been my pain reliever.  My journal has always been my best friend.  When hard times overwhelmed me, pen and paper comforted me.  They gave me someone to talk to, someone to confide in.  Someone who wouldn’t judge me but would listen willingly and allow me to pour out my soul with no inhibition.  I felt safe in the confines of the pages.  Books transported me to other worlds where I could focus on other people who were facing problems other than my own.  Problems I sometimes wished were my own.  But writing now allows me to see that problems in my own story are worth facing and sharing, too.  It’s in the process of sharing them that I’m healing.

I can’t number the times I’ve been hurt (who can?) but several times were enough to leave lasting scars – scars that haven’t seen the light of day yet.  They’ve been allowed to sit and fester; to linger and haunt me; to affect my life years beyond what’s good for me.  But I don’t want them anymore.  They’re about to be cast out of the dark shadows of my soul and, through writing, I’m going to heal.

Just like every sinner alive, I’ve been hurt in every way you can imagine.  I’m not going to sugarcoat anything for you.  This is real life, and there are real people out there struggling with the same things.  They need to know, like I wish I’d known, that they are not alone.  They are not unloved.  They are not worthless.  They are not an accident.  Their struggles are not in vain.  Their problems are not without a purpose.  This post will focus on the first category.  

1.  I’ve been hurt spiritually
-Poor spiritual foundation due to a lack of sound doctrine teaching in my old church.  I truly believe that had there been a stronger focus on teaching sound doctrine to the congregation, my spiritual life would not have been as neglected as it was.  As it happened, I did not receive a formal or thorough spiritual education until after I graduated from high school.  As you will see later, this delay had a detrimental impact on my spiritual, mental, and physical well-being.

-Lack of encouragement to pursue Christ as my own.  He was always my parents’ Savior, but never mine.  I was told He was a personal God, but I had no comprehension of what that meant or looked like, so I settled into the motions of pretending to be a Christian.  I wore a mask and lived a double life: the happy, Christian mask covered the face of a lost sinner ensnared in her own sin.   

-Too much emphasis on my own works and behavior for God’s favor in my life.  It was always up to me to look in the mirror, see what was wrong, and fix it.  God was just there to forgive me; to put a spiritual Band-aid on my sin.  But I needed MORE than that.  I needed a new heart…a new LIFE.  I was dead, living in perpetual sin, believing it was all up to me to live the life God wanted me to live.  But I couldn’t live that life because I was a walking dead man, alienated from the will of God.

-Lack of knowledge of God’s true character led to vulnerability, especially to lies.  Because I did not know who God truly was, or what He was truly like, it was very easy for Satan to, in the midst of my suffering, fill my head with lies about God’s nature.  I did not really know how loving, faithful, patience, gracious, and merciful God was, so Satan's deception led me to believe that He was impersonal, far away, uncaring, angry, and uninterested in my worthless little soul.  My heart was entangled in a web that could only be dispelled by the light of the Word, which did not reach me until after high school.

Through my love for creative writing, I have taken on the task of incorporating bits and pieces of my personal life into my stories.  I hope that these stories, and the characters within them, can reach out and touch the readers in a real way, right where they are.  Time and time again, I have witnessed the power of God at work in the smallest of ways, which amazingly enough, are the most personal of ways.  It is the reminder of those personal touches, as I like to think of them, that the God who made me, saved me, and loves me, is the God who delights in reaching out and touching me right where I am.  It is through those touches that I have started on the path to healing spiritually and I have faith to bring the rest of these scars to the surface.   

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