For four years I wrote.
Bled my heart out in red-inked words handwritten on pads of pristine white-lined paper.
Searched for my story as I fingered letters on my keyboard, and prayed a melody would emerge from the chaos of my life.
I wrestled with my story, my words, myself.
I fought. I faltered. I failed.
For years I felt my prayers went unanswered.
The pain. Would not. Go away.
Then ever so slowly, it began to ebb. I kept writing, but no instant miracle came. It was one agonizingly plodding word after another—like climbing the very last, steepest section of a mountain. Exhausted, barely breathing in the thin air, and only able to focus on the ground beneath my feet . . .
When I started to catch glimpses of healing, I became more afraid of the life that lay ahead than the pain I was living in. I knew my pain so well, and found a deep intimacy with my creator within the pain. As crazy as it sounds, I struggled to embrace the healing changes.
But I couldn’t stop what I had put in motion. What started as a desire to find some validation for my insecure, “I’m never good enough” writer self became, sometime in the process, less about a story for others to read and more about writing for the redemption of the deepest, most holy, and sacred sufferings of my life.
Words that flowed like a flood for years gradually ebbed over time to become puddles of less and less tears.
One day in my writing the sun came out. Full in my face sun. Sun that woke me to the beauty of what my life could be beyond the pain, and beyond my writing about it.
I stopped writing and went outside in the sun to play. And I’ve had no pain for the last six months.
I honestly never imagined in those four years of agony that it would be possible.
Sometimes miracles happen in slow-motion.
In slow, very slow, writing. In slow tears, slow prayers, and slow-to-come joys.
Now, every day, I’m slowly living again.
Sacred, holy, beautiful, joyful, messy, imperfect, failure-filled, redemptive, miraculous living. Authored by the one who took all the words I wrote and rewrote each and every one–in red–redemption red.
With slow dripping . . . His lifeblood, poured out–A greater love had no one than this.
Now your drink offering (Phil 2:14!) sacrificed to be set free,
and to set free those captive with you,
bound in this covenant to the One whose red words cover, purify and save.
Drawn to communion, by His radiant red life,
Bright and bonded, pooling spirit, split and covenanted, dead to all else,
and held within this terrible beauty,
Of his holy blood.
Dear beautiful friend, fellow story-liver, slow writer, tear puddler, pain and shame sufferer, and messy, joyful, abundant life seeker —
Please write your story. Even if no one ever reads it.
Because who you really are—healed and whole-hearted and living in the sacred space of you—must be given to you.
Sometimes it’s a slow, holy process, but exploring the darkness to discover the light is so worth it.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown
Dare, brave ones. I’m praying for you–for the courage to own your story, to embrace slow writing and slow healing as you allow every word of your beautiful, messy, imperfectly perfect, painful yet glorious, story to be rewritten. In red.
I can’t begin to tell you how beautiful life becomes in the slowly dawning light. 🙂
(The beautiful poem above was a gift of words given to me in the midst of my suffering by my friend, writing coach, and fellow holy wonderer, Mick Silva)