In these next few paragraphs, I will attempt to describe to you my journey into beginning to lay these words on paper.
When I first started to write, I had no intention of sharing my words. I was writing from a place of need, I was writing to satisfy the desire I had to calm my mind. The gift I have was born out of pain.
During primary school, I loved to write creatively, I loved to imagine things and then describe them. I would tend to be a little bit of a perfectionist when I was choosing adjectives, I would sit and just take time to think of words to describe the situation that I had imagined for whatever story I was writing. I loved to read as a child and I think that having my head stuck in various books has been hugely instrumental in building my vocabulary bank.
Over the course of my secondary school years, I started to journal. I remember getting a gift of a little book in which I could write, and so I did. For a time, I filled reams of paper with words, channeling everything I was onto a page. I laid continuous scrawls, sometimes indiscernible, onto notebook pages, to help with the ever-raging conflict warring in my mind. When things are written down, they seem less scary. When things are written, they can be remembered, problems are not in vain and will not be forgotten. When things are written, they are held by the pages and when they are read, the recipient of those inked messages is given a little taste of you, of your struggle, of your dreams, of your humour. It’s quite delightful really.
It was during these years where I poured my very self onto pages of various journals that I would say my passion to write was born, or maybe, was realized. Throughout this space of time, I attended counselling. I was a hurting girl. I was getting to know God and His goodness and in the space of this, I was allowing myself to be unravelled, to be torn apart a little, to take time to look at the events and people I had collided with and what effect they’d had on me. I won’t lie, it was a scary time. There was so much newness, I was dealing with things and in turn, making room for myself to act differently, to be able to change and not be the same as the people around me. It was refreshing but also painful.
For a good long time, I just wrote for me, never really sharing with anybody, but one day I was writing a piece describing some toast cooking in the kitchen. I was exercising my writing muscles and I sent it to a friend who also liked to write. Her insight that my humble words were like a poem was inspirational. I wouldn’t have thought of it as poetry, but someone else did. So I kept writing and writing and writing.
After Pulse 2016, a week-long camp filled with Christian youth, I came home and was spending time in worship and I started to write a piece of praise. This piece was the first I showed to anybody other then my closest friend. Up until then, nobody really knew that I wrote. The couple of people I showed were extremely encouraging. They told me that my writing was good. And so I wrote some more. A while later I was blessed to be able to share one of my works in our Sunday services. This was the widest audience I’d ever shared to and it was a big deal for me. I was thankful that maybe my words describing the situation that encapsulated me could impact the life of another.
The piece I shared, I had actually penned one evening after our youth service; I had arrived home feeling less then secure and confident and my feelings and knowledge splayed themselves on the paper. At this stage, I had come to learn to trust God and so my writing displayed that; there was an underlying tune of hope in the midst of despair. Such is David’s attitude in Psalms. He struggles quite frequently and expresses that to God, but noticeably in the middle of his troubles, he declares God’s goodness. David praises God because of who God is and that is a solid foundation for him, so that come what may, it is his closeness to the Father, his intimacy with the One who created him that evidently pulls him through.
I just love that. Come what may, it will be our intimacy with the One who created us that will pull us through, that will turn the storm into an experience of succulent surrender. In the moments when our minds wage war and our thoughts hold us captive, we will grow, we will be strengthened and while we may hurt, we will be healed. Sometimes, the pieces that I create, are no more than a declaration of this, a declaration of this knowledge of Him that is sinking deep into my very bones. A declaration of His goodness, of His work in our lives. It is a way for me to praise Him, to remind me of who He is, when my mind is tempted to be drawn to circumstantial facts and it is of utmost importance that I declare His promises over me, over my loved ones.
The sweetness and satisfaction I get from writing, from fueling these syllables with my hearts cry is unrivalled. I love it. I love how God uses the times that I struggle to strengthen something that He in turn uses to glorify Him. Our God is incredible. I’m only starting to get a glimpse of his magnificence, and I’m in awe. Completely in awe of how he has knitted everything together, how as humans our existence seems to be linked together intricately, how our lives overlap and God can use you in the life of another, without you even knowing.
The Christian life is not a boring one. If you allow Him to carefully craft you, if you hold up your hurts to Him so they can be healed, you will have a rawness about you, a realness to your core. I encourage you to do this. Get with God and talk to Him, whisper to Him, yell if you need to, or maybe write Him a letter. Be honest, be vulnerable. That was where my journey to discovering a gift he placed inside of me began.
So as I finish telling you about these words, I want you to know that they were born out of hardship. I want you to see how beautiful something that is born during a time of brokenness can be. I want you to see His goodness written all over my life, all over my pain, to see His goodness written all over your life, all over your pain. I believe that you will.
Lots of love, Laura.