Writing To Safety: When You Don’t Know What To Do
What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Where is safety — where you can be you and Jesus can meet you there?
I don’t know what to do.
“You don’t know what to do,” Dr. P. echoed.
My therapist just returned from vacation this week and he asked me how I’ve been doing. I sat across from him, on the oversized green sofa. It feels like a puffy marshmallow, so I have to sit on the edge a bit, so I don’t fall back and disappear under the cushions.
I told him about the confusion I’ve been experiencing. I’ve been trying to reconcile the reality of the past with who I am today. I never struggled with it really. It just was. You know? But because my body has been telling me, “No. It wasn’t just was.” — I’ve gone down this road of really discovering how much of myself was lost to being strong and surviving.
Dr. P says it’s completely standard for the healing process to feel confused.
In fact, he assures me that it is good for me to feel this way.
A Good Thing
Really? How can feeling confused be a good thing? That statement definitely ranks as one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever heard. I bookmarked it in my mind to figure out later, to find what God has to say about the goodness of confusion in the Scriptures.
“It means you’re finally facing the truth of what’s happened.” Dr. P continues. ”…how you were forced to cope with the trauma you’ve lived. And how much life you’ve lost because you’ve had to survive.”
He tells me I will move through this place of confusion, as I grapple with the reality of how I really feel about how much I’ve lost. And as I converse with Jesus about all this, I’ll come to a place of acceptance. And that ongoing conversation with Jesus about my confusion will bring me to that place of acceptance.
It’s called grieving. Acceptance of what — and how much — I’ve lost. Acceptance is where I’m heading.
But, first there is confusion — because I’m no longer looking away or trying to escape the harsh reality of the messy. And the hurt.
It turns out confusion is a necessary place to enter into — and travel through — in healing.
It means I am coming to terms with the truth. It means I am facing the truth — truth that is setting me free.
What To Do
What do I do — with all these questions — about not knowing what to do? I ask. (Are you following the logic of my question? Are you still with me?)
Write. Dr. P. says.
That’s all I know to do right now. That’s all I’ve ever done — when I haven’t known what to do.
Writing. It’s the safest place Jesus has for me.
It’s where I meet with Him. Just Him and me.
From the very beginning. For as far as I can remember.
Writing. It’s where I go for safety.
“Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God” Jer. 15:16
If you’re also someone who finds writing — journaling — to be your safe place, I want to invite you to join me Thursday tomorrow 8/16/12.
If you have a blog – write a post with me on a given topic (a writing prompt I give below) and link up.
If you don’t have a blog – you can journal it with pen and paper. Then type it directly in the comments tomorrow.
You read the post before yours. Share a comment to let that person know you were there. We blog to say to each other, “I hear your voice.”
This blogging together — it’s called a Faith Jam.
There’s a community of bloggers who link up here at Faith Barista for the Faith Jam. Some of them opt to receive email reminders whenever there’s a Faith Jam coming up (you’ll get a chance to opt for it, once you link up).
I usually send out a quick reminder out to them whenever there’s a Faith Jam
But, this week, I wrote them a letter.
And I’d like to share it with you below — in case you inspires to write and join in tomorrow too.
The last Faith Jam we had was on March 15, 2012. That was five months ago. I thought I was going to just take a break for a month to go heads down to finish the manuscript for my book. But, as you may have already read in my blog post last month, that was when I had my first panic attack. You’d think that writing would be therapeutic to process old wounds. But, in fact, writing opened up childhood trauma that I never imagined existed as an adult.
I wrote for the first time on my blog last month. Now, I’m taking the next step to host our Faith Jam tomorrow.
I want you to know that I understand if blogging has led you in a different direction on Thursdays — and the faith jam may not be a part of your blogging rhythm any longer.
But, if you happen to want to continue joining me to blog. Then, I want you to know -- blogging together means more to me than you may know.
Blogging in community isn’t simply about getting everybody together to write. For me, writing has been my only safe place while growing up, surviving and living. It’s been the place that has given me strength, allowed me to fully exist. And until our Faith Jams, it has been a solitary place.
Writing. I love that solitary place. There will always be that solitary place for me. It is also where Jesus and I meet. And it’s a part of how my soul breathes.
But, because of you — because of our faith community — I have found others who also share this same, safe place. Writing is where we wrestle with the questions and also triumph in our discoveries: the answers we’ve lived, the ones we’re exploring, and the nuggets we’ve dug out of the soil of our daily lives.
Even if we’re not sitting at our desk, we are writing in our minds and hearts — during our time in God’s word and in random places — while we’re driving, digging the dirt in our gardens, doing the dishes at the sink, or sitting with our families at the table, watching TV or hanging out with our friends around a coffee table or at the bbq grill.
Writing is where things begin, where our hearts travel, and where thoughts find a place to rest.
And because of our Faith Jams, it gives me courage to speak out in the open in that voice. And I truly believe, that is where our writing enters an entirely new journey — they journey into hearts of others. And this is where I have found such amazing, amazing comfort and deep, deep joy.
Finding myself in the heart of your stories — and your faith journey — I discovered I was no longer alone.
Many of you know I always talk about serving up tips for writing. And although I’ve been interruppted in doing it consistently, it’s still a continuous desire for me to share our journey around the path to writing and words. I don’t have a short tip for you today. But, I’m trusting somewhere in my sharing, your heart has caught an inspiration to keep writing and to write in new ways.
Even though I haven’t been blogging these past months — know with confidence I’ve missed you every Thursday — even as I was laying on my bed with a pounding heart unable to even read — or sitting at the park on days I had the strength to journal. I’ve been remembering you in prayer — imagining with a smile how God is using your lives and your words – the ones that are written and the ones that are lived.
I hope this week’s faith prompt inspires you to write and blog — and if so, I can’t wait to read all about it.
This Thursday’s 8/16/12 Writing Prompt:
“What I I Know Now”
Write a letter to yourself at an earlier time in your life. Sharewhat you know now about the faith journey with your younger self. Your younger self can be any age you feel prompted to address. e.g. “Dear Jane, ….”.
Use the Updated Faith Jam badge!
Please link & place the Fath Jam badge in your post to build the community. Thanks!
Insert the HTML for the badge:
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Giveaway For Faith Jam this Thursday:
This week’s faith jam — I’m doing a giveaway! It’s the perfect way to celebrate our first faith jam in months — it’s a “God Plans For You” Art Print — new from DaySpring, inspired by Jeremiah 29:11.
Okay, CJ and TJ are now storming my desk now.. and I must go.
I can’t imagine all you’ve been been living and all the different paths you’ve been walkgin since I’ve been away. But, I know the God who has been faithful to watch over me — is also guiding you.
Tweeting & Facebooking
If you are on Twitter -- tweet out your post & use the hashtag #faithjam in your tweet. People can see the faith jam posts in our community in one stream.
If you are on Facebook – post your link & tag me “@Bonnie Gray – Faith Barista”. Your post will show up on my wall — so when people visit my wall, they will see your post.
Do you like to write?
How has writing played a role in your life?
Writing isn’t the only outlet for safety. What do you do — where do you go — to be in that safe place? Where you are just you. And it’s just you and Jesus?
Yes, stay for a while. Click to share a comment.
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