“There is a desire in you, hidden or already known, to write.” This was a prophetic word, that somebody wrote down for me a few years ago. It continued in the same vein, suggesting I was to express in words what is in my mind and heart.
This didn’t resonate with me; even as I thanked the person who had given me the prophetic word, I doubted whether he had truly heard from God. I tucked the piece of paper away, filing it away in my mind, to be revisited later.
God has a wonderful way of getting my attention. During the past year, I have received a series of unusual confirmations, often from people I hardly know, encouraging me to write.
Healing Takes Courage
What I hadn’t bargained for was the fear. I’m not talking about the usual kind of nervousness about stepping out of a comfort zone. This was a mind numbing, crippling, paralysing fear of writing. Every tiny step forward felt like wading through quicksand.
Oh, I read articles about conquering fears. I pushed myself hard, determined not to be defeated. But no amount of positive thinking or mind over matter helped.
“Healing takes courage, and we all have courage, even if we have to dig a little to find it.” ~ Tori Amos
I had to dig deep to find the courage to write again.
Cry for Help?
My six year old self didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. I was just sharing the thoughts in my head. Keeping it real.
One thing was clear: my Mom was angry, and my stories had caused it.
My schoolteacher had concerns about my welfare, due to the somewhat morbid content of the stories I had written. Did she think I was making a cry for help? Whatever her reasons, she made a mistake in expressing those concerns to my parents; now I was in trouble.
Surviving Not Thriving
It was a logical decision to stop writing stories. Admittedly, it was going to be a challenge, since creative writing was part of the school curriculum. However, I simply couldn’t risk being that vulnerable. I vowed never to keep it real again.
English was my best subject at school. It was relatively easy to bluff my way through, writing technically good pieces of work, minus the emotion. Perhaps I underachieved slightly in English, due to my aversion to creative writing, but I could still enjoy reading and critiquing other people’s stories. No problem. I learned the art of writing without soul.
As a young child, I soon comprehended that anything I wrote down or spoke could be used as evidence and ammunition against me. Creativity was frowned upon. My other outlet, painting, had also been blocked at the age of six, when I was punished, after spilling red paint on my school clothes.
The only private place, where nobody could intrude, trample or destroy, was inside my mind: the secret world of daydreams and imagination. Like a plant positioned in a dark room, I survived, but didn’t thrive.
Today I bear no ill feeling towards my parents. Some wounds were inflicted unintentionally: a strict parenting style clashing with the sensitivity of an imaginative child, causing me to live in fear. I didn’t forgive them overnight; in fact, it was only when I experienced Jesus’ love for me, that I also discovered the liberation in forgiving others.
Emotional healing has been an ongoing process for me. When I received the prophetic word about writing, it was another key to wholeness; I just didn’t realise it back then.
Creativity can be very therapeutic, helping to restore those things which were stolen from us, or which we defensively shut down, in reaction to emotional pain.
Maybe you, too, are feeling led to write, to draw, to paint, to dance, to sing… to follow your own creative path. If you have a personal healing story, I’d love to hear from you.