For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord,
my confidence since my youth.
We all go through hard times. When we feel crushed in spirit and it seems we can’t go on, writing becomes the last thing we might want to do.
But how do we write through our pain? How do we find it within ourselves to sit down and write when the problems in life have become such a distraction to us?
I was given some great encouragement this week from some of my friends:
“When I can’t concentrate on my writing because of emotional turmoil, I grab a fresh sheet of paper and scribble out a letter to God. It helps me to clear my head. It’s stream-of-conscious and not at all pretty, but sometimes there are passages that I can later pull out and share. Seeing my thoughts down on paper also helps me recognize where I’m not thinking biblically about something. (Rom. 12:2: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…) Usually after pouring out what’s been troubling me, and perhaps making a plan of action to address the problem (a necessary conversation, appointment, etc.) I’m ready to return to the writing task at hand.” ~ Jenny Leo
“I tell myself I need to do just one page. One page is doable and often becomes more. This is my writing verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:24, ‘The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.’” ~Patricia Beal
“I remember that others suffer and struggle too. They can benefit from our trials and we can mutually uplift each other. Then I pray, asking God to fill my mind with His thoughts for me and see what He gives me as I begin to write. It always blesses me. “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 receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.’” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 ~Norma Gail Holtman
“The first word that comes to mind is “grace”. Following that is the thought, “obedience to my calling.” I have been called to minister to Christian women who are struggling with their faith because of life’s hardships. The Lord has required me to use the spoken word of my mouth and the written word of my heart to encourage and strengthen them. It’s very difficult to be transparent and vulnerable about my struggles, weaknesses, and failures, but I believe the Lord is magnified when I do because it leads others to the foot of the cross where they, too, can find hope, healing, and restoration. The more transparent and authentic I am, the deeper God’s two-edged sword can go to cut out their wounds. I keep my reader before the eyes of my heart and write to her like no one else is listening. That gives me courage to stay the course. A verse I think of often is: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble [tribulation], with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4” ~Nan Jones
When times are hard and our hearts are breaking it can be so easy to let the world go by and not stay engaged in our work. Especially for us as writers where we are often by ourselves much of the time.
A few years ago a friend of mine found herself in a heartbreak so deep I didn’t think she’d ever come back up for air. She already had her book under contract and because of what type of book it was, she was not sure she could complete it. However, when she approached her publisher about getting out of the contract his advice to her was this: write through this pain. Write while it is fresh. Write through the hurt. And she did. Not only did she write through it, the last chapter in her book is about as honest as it gets and wraps up the book quite nicely.
So dear friends, as you go through the pain, pick up your pen and write whatever is on your heart. You never know how God will use it. Don’t quit writing your novel, your devotions, your poems or whatever creative work God is placing in you.
Author Care Rep. of LPC