Something happened when I went to the beach a couple weeks ago.
I found a little more of my voice.
Or whatever you want to call it.
With the stress and strain of busy schedules 1,000 miles away, I could focus.
And when I inhaled, there it was: my voice. A piece of my voice as Scott Hartman describes in his article in the July/August edition of Poets and Writers:
“Before I could find my voice as a writer, I fought for my voice, period. A voice is not a given; words don’t come easy. Both are worth spending a lifetime trying to find. Both are worth fighting for.”
So, this new, breathing part of my voice rose like the sun over the gulf at the beach.
Oh, God’s been stirring this “new” writing topic in me for a while now . . . in all sorts of fits and starts, crumpled papers and arguments with Him, “Please, God, ask me to write about anything, but not that. Not ‘that thing,’ that painful part of my life so hard to look at and so hard to change.”
But at the beach, the salty, moisture-laden air bathed my heart enough to coax and comfort me to write.
Like Hartman says, deep writing hurts. I fight to write succulent, true, real prose. And no doubt, I’ll spend a lifetime finding all the pieces of a voice shattered long ago.
But I’ll keep seeking.
Because the fight is a gift.
Even though some writing involves peering over the side of a casket onto parts of me that died with abuse, I feel how God loves the shattered pieces and wants to resurrect them. No matter how far those pieces hide. No matter how pulseless they seem. No matter how much they beg me not to shoo them into the light.
No matter how much it costs.
Because folks need to know God still makes dry bones dance–even those in deepest, darkest places.
On the heels of these realizations, my friend Mary DeMuth–an amazing writer and mentor–sent this in part of a message to some writers last week:
It’s time we step out of the shadows of fear as artists. It’s time we view our art not only as art, but as a risky gift. Something that costs us. Something that worries us at night, makes us tremble in the day. Breaking the mold and innovating involves that kind of sacrifice. The question is, are you willing?” ~Mary DeMuth
If you’re a writer, pray with me today?
And if you have a moment, leave a comment on how you press yourself to write about hard stuff.
Stuff which brings hope to a broken world.
Lord, I pray for writers. Broken writers and whole writers. Although I suspect most every writer–like most every person–is broken. I pray You give us courage to tremble and sacrifice and fight for the words Your broken world craves. Thank you, Lord, for words You bathe with Your sea of strength and glory. Thank you for words which You coax from our hearts like the Morning Star rising over us each day. Help us press on toward that end, with each letter–each stroke of our fingers–upon whatever blank canvas You set before us.
Thank you for Your promise to keep us safe from floods of fear and anxiety. Shield us in Your ark of peace as we press on to write for you.
(A double rainbow outside my front door a few days ago.)