5 Reasons to Write
Writing can foster healing. It can allow us to sort through emotions, bring clarity to circumstances, discover appropriate solutions, reduce stress and anxiety, and comfort others.
God used writing as a means to communicate truth to us through the Bible. When we use writing as a means to search for truth in our own lives, we can properly process thoughts and feelings, compare our belief with the truth found in God’s Word, and eliminate exaggerated memories or emotions that keep us in bondage to fear, hurt, sin, and shame.
I began writing when God allowed me to reach a breaking point. I remember the moment vividly, and I talk about it in chapter one of my book, Courage For Life, when, through writing, God gave me the insight and strength to take my first two courage steps.
“I have never been compelled to write down my feelings. Not as a girl when I was given a little gold-clasped diary with a teeny-tiny key that never really worked, and certainly not as an adult when a Christian counselor advised me to journal as a way to sort through my mixed-up emotions. Writing has never been a place I aspired to go. Yet writing was a catalyst God used to help me take a stand and recover my lost identity, to force my hand toward honesty and, ultimately, toward healing.
And it was in God’s Holy Land where He began to exert that pressure.”
Just a few months later, a counselor instructed me to begin journaling. I still found it hard to accept that writing would actually help me heal. Fortunately, I agreed to begin journaling and soon discovered how writing not only fostered my healing, it also strengthened my courage muscles and allowed me to break free from painful memories. Not right away mind you –– over two years and 260 pages later – I took a break from journaling and I thought I was done. Until God encouraged me to start writing a book that is. My writing started a process that allowed me to begin sharing memories with my counselor, my husband, and safe friends, memories I had never shared with anyone before. As a result, I began to put those memories into proper perspective and deal with them in ways that allowed me to finally heal and move on.
From a note –– to a journal, I discovered writing was a vehicle God was using to help me make peace with my past and prepare for my future. Ultimately, God encouraged me to write my courage journey in the pages of my very first book, 7 Steps to Courage. By doing this, I’ve experienced another reason to write, to comfort and encourage others.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NASB)
Not only has writing been a vehicle God uses to help me grow both spiritually and emotionally, it has allowed me to share my story with many people. My greatest prayer is that, by sharing my journey from fear to faith and frozen to freedom, others will be inspired to take the courageous step of committing to change and embrace the abundant life God desires us all to embrace, one of freedom, peace, contentment, and joy, no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in.
“To tap writing's healing power, people must use it to better understand and learn from their emotions…” Joshua Smyth, PhD
An important component to remember is to take a positive approach to write and avoid the act of simply reliving hurtful situations and/or painful memories. Often, the act of putting feelings into words helps us realize times we are over or under-reacting to a situation. This alone helps us view our circumstances more objectively, which in turn generally leads to better solutions, allowing us freedom from issues that often keep us trapped in unhealthy life patterns.
"By writing, you put some structure and organization to those anxious feelings. It helps you to get past them." James Pennebaker, PhD
Remember, writing down our feelings and situations can ––
- Help sort through emotions.
- Bring clarity to circumstances.
- Promote discovery of appropriate solutions.
- Reduce stress and anxiety.
- Comfort others.
Begin a positive writing assignment by implementing the following steps.
- Journal your feelings, write down experiences that have hurt, confused, or challenged you, and then ask God to reveal scripture that speaks to your very situation.
- Journal the names of people you are struggling to forgive, along with the reasons you are holding onto un-forgiveness, then look at the situation objectively and ask God to help you determine what steps you need to take to forgive your offender and move on.
- Find at least one safe friend to share your journal entries with and experience the healing power of bringing your struggles into the light where they can be healed.
How has writing helped you?
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