Hey, I hope it was a great Monday for you today.
If not, hang in there – it’s almost over and tomorrow will be better. Remember, God’s mercies are new every morning.
God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out,
his merciful love couldn’t have dried up.
They’re created new every morning.
How great your faithfulness!
Lamentations 3:22-23 (The Message)
Right now, I’m bobbing my head like an idiot, listening to Andy Grammer, because you can’t not move, listening to Andy Grammar and I’m staring at the rain drizzling down the window at Starbucks and – – – oh my gosh, I forgot to tell you, Starbucks moved in like a mile from my house.
Ba-bam! There it is, proof that there is a God and he soooooo loves me! I am one happy girl slurping on my PSL (that’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte, for those of you not yet fluent in Starbucks speak).
At any rate, I thought I’d share an excerpt from Chapter 1 of my book, Scattered: Finding God In Your Story. I’ve had several people tell me recently that they have always wanted to write their story. Maybe you’re one of those people, harboring the dream of becoming a story-teller and sharing your life with the world. If so, then this is for you tonight. . .
Throwing Up with Words
The thing about writing is – there really are no rules in the beginning, except one.
The temptation is to overanalyze or criticize.
You’re not in it for anyone but you at this point.
The idea is to just get the raw emotion out.
It’s a lot like throwing up.
After my husband and I first got married, we went to a fondue restaurant.
It was awesome, except when it wasn’t.
Which was about an hour after we got home.
We both had gotten food poisoning.
For the next 24 hours we took turns tossing our cookies, – – er, fondue.
We would roll over and gently rub one another’s backs and say encouraging things like, “I’m sorry babe, it’ll be o – o –ohhhhhh no, Where’s the bucket?”
That’s kinda what I had in mind when I started writing.
Throwing up that is, not romance.
I had been poisoned by some things that had happened to me as a child and I just needed to get it out.
Hence, the figurative “Bleh” all over my laptop.
I would have Oscar-winning rants; all while sipping joe and jamming out to Goo Goo Dolls. It was messy, it was painful, and in the end – it was healing.
I would look up new words to express things like sad and mad. And later, I expanded my writing to include phrases that expressed deeper emotions . . . like – “really sad” and “really mad”.
And there was a beautiful clarity that began to form as I wrote. . . I was a hot mess.
When I started writing ten years ago, I was really emotionally damaged.
As in, I made train wrecks look good.
But I heard God speak to me. It was only one word at the time, “write”.
I think I responded dumbly with an “uh, okay.”
Really though, what are you supposed to say when God tells you something like that?
And so began my journey of Bleh.
I cried and bled for the art of it all.
Facing painful memories and hoping for answers.
After a couple of years, it was there – my art of “Bleh” in black and white. And it looked something like a Van Gogh.
My life splashed on a typeset canvas.
Except no one liked me well enough to buy my art of “Bleh”, but on the other hand I didn’t hate it enough to cut off any body parts – you know, like an ear or something.
More years passed and I began to value what had been slowly happening to my life through something as simple as writing.
Old wounds that never seemed to heal were finally beginning to scar over.
I wasn’t as scared of letting my walls down and letting people in to see me in all of my vulnerability. My relationships with others began to heal, I began to value myself, and my perception of God took on new lenses.
So this is my story, and I hope that by the end of this journey, you’ll find that it’s okay to share yours.
Because your story is worth telling.
To help heal your own heart as much as lend courage to someone else, who may just be in the very place that you have once been.
(taken from Chapter 1 of Scattered: Finding God In Your Story by Joyce Ackermann)
Photo Credit: “Woman” by Unsplash permissions through C.C. by 2.0