Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Writing the ugly

I'm reading a friend's book called Beyond the Scars. It isn't my typical book but after reading a blurb she posted on Facebook, I knew I had to buy it.

I've known Elaine for many years. Oh, we've never met in person, almost, but our lives seem to criss-cross and so we remain email/Facebook/Blogger friends. One time she offered to call me when I was having a pretty low day. I turned her down. I was too afraid to share how I felt with a pastor's wife. I was afraid she'd tell me what someone else told me--I lacked faith to get through my battle.

Today I read Chapter 11. Making an Apology to Suffering. She writes about how she wanted to help someone who was suffering but the woman kept her at arm's length. (Kind of how I did to her.) But when she went through her own season of pain, she understood her friend better. She also said she thought she knew God before her cancer. She was wrong there too.

So was I. I figured I was a good Christian--attended church, tithed, helped others. You know the list. But when my time to suffer arrived, I fell apart. I remember the moment I finally got mad at God. It wasn't a pretty day.

So why am I writing this particular post? Because Elaine's words made me understand my life in a new way. Because she took the time in her darkest days to pour on paper what she learned about her suffering and God's love through it.

We don't always want to share the hard facts. The ugly secrets kept behind closed doors. The deep emotions that might chase others away. It's too risky.

But is there value?

Most certainly.

I applaud writers who write from their guts. I applaud writers who aren't afraid to reveal their humanity and vulnerability so someone else can benefit.

Today I challenge you as a writer, or as a friend or neighbor, not to be afraid to share your truth, your trials, your something like Elaine did.

You just might change a life.



12 comments:

Joyce Ackley said...

I've read writers like your friend, who are not afraid to bare their souls. I've identified with many of them, but I keep my pain to myself. I feel I could probably help someone else, but I'm just too private a person. I don't know if that will ever change or not.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

For such a time as this - these words are for you. Now. How grateful I am to share my heart with you.

peace~elaine

Stacy Henrie said...

Beautiful post! Thanks for the reminder to share our hearts.

Carol Riggs said...

Wonderful. Thanks for pointing this out! Hugs, too. A good challenge as writers (and livers of life).

Savannah Rose said...

Such a wonderful and helpful post. Thank you for sharing.

Lynda R Young said...

I don't know why we often think of vulnerability as a bad thing. I know I'm guilty of it, sharing very little of what's really going on. I think we all need to share more, to not be afraid to reach out to both help others and to ask for help.

Lin Floyd said...

that's why I journal...

Carol J. Garvin said...

I love your new header, Terri!

Like Joyce, I'm a very private person. Just getting myself out into the blogosphere was a huge challenge! That experience has taught me a lot... I write with honesty, and I can share my vulnerabilities and respond to others', but a lot of things that I feel are private will always remain private. It's just the way I am.

Deb Shucka said...

I've been away from blogs for a while. I love your header! Thank you for this message. I'm at a place with my own writing where your words are the third or fourth or fifth time I'm hearing the same exact thing. It might be time to listen. :-)

Deb Shucka said...

I've been away from blogs for a while. I love your header! Thank you for this message. I'm at a place with my own writing where your words are the third or fourth or fifth time I'm hearing the same exact thing. It might be time to listen. :-)

Deb Shucka said...

I've been away from blogs for a while. I love your header! Thank you for this message. I'm at a place with my own writing where your words are the third or fourth or fifth time I'm hearing the same exact thing. It might be time to listen. :-)

Deb Shucka said...

I've been away from blogs for a while. I love your header! Thank you for this message. I'm at a place with my own writing where your words are the third or fourth or fifth time I'm hearing the same exact thing. It might be time to listen. :-)