I know something about writing. I studied writing for six years. I taught college writing for four. I’ve written (by my calculations) more than 2 million words.
I am an advocate for writing. Through it God has shaped me, challenged me, led me, and healed me.
When I’m worried about a friend in a failing marriage, when I’m concerned about a destructive voice I’m hearing, concerned I might start listening, when I’m scared or nervous, anxious, tired, mad, or overwhelmed—I write.
I write the things I’m feeling, all of them. I dump them on the page. I spread them out like Scrabble tiles, pushing them apart, trying to see. I read and re-read them, listening, trying to understand myself and my/your/our problems. I look at the sentences one by one—not in the mound but alone—brushed of the dust of problem proximity.
And as I read the words I wrote but often didn’t know I felt, I come to understand my self, my situation, and my context.
Next, I pray. I read. Perhaps I have a conversation or two with wise people.
And I return to the writing. To talk myself down. To give advice. To offer perspective. To tell myself a story.
I pour God’s wisdom into my hungry heart.
In writing, I see my life from a thousand feet and place this experience or this new question within the narrative of a full, God-led life.
By the time I close my laptop or wrap the rubber band around my notebook, I’m already healing.
Joyce Carol Oates says of writing about her husband’s death, “The act of writing is an act of attempted comprehension.”
Studies consistently show that people who write—in a diary, on a blog, in a memoir or poem—have a much higher ability to contextualize their experiences and recover from trauma.
I imagine that’s what made King David so resilient.
Writing’s not just for the hurting though. It’s an avenue for praise, a help in focused prayer, an opportunity for testimony.
Writing is a way we understand and share the love of God.
At this point it’s likely you’re thinking, “That sounds great Jennifer, but I’m not a writer.”
I understand. But I promise, you could be.
This summer I’m offering a workshop designed to help women find everyday healing, hope and help in the act of writing.
This is NOT a workshop for writers. It’s an opportunity for women who might be interested in writing as a spiritual discipline, an opportunity to be shaped into the image of Christ through the act of journaling, blogging, or writing poetry.
Over the course of this half day experience I’ll help you…
- Listen to the voices in your head and heart.
- Process your questions, doubts, temptations, struggles, joys, blessings, and victories.
- See the big picture, understanding your present situation and emotions through a whole-life lens.
- Seek God and the hope He provides.
- Find your place in God’s ultimate story of redemption.
I’ll talk. You’ll talk. We’ll all write. And, by the grace of God, we’ll change the way we see and live.
If you think you might be interested in a workshop like this contact me via Facebook or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll keep the fee low (under 60 bucks) and (depending on interest) try to plan a location close to you. Right now I’m considering Nashville, TN, Huntsville, AL, and/or Austin, TX.
I’ll post more details as summer nears.
I pray God uses this opportunity to bless you richly!