Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Stories.

I realized while attending Relevant that I am a writer.  In fact, I have always written out things ever since I can remember. I had my first "diary" in second grade. With entries like: "We went to the zoo. It was fun. I am spending the night with Laura." Then up through my middle school years where I waxed poetic about the challenges I faced in the middle years. Through high school where I tried to figure out who I was. Through college where I learned to get my thoughts on paper so I could process things--where I learned to write my prayers out to the Lord. To meeting my now husband, and all of my feelings and emotions during that time period. (I'm so thankful I have those words!) Then there is a long period  where I did no writing.  In 2005, I discovered blogs. I knew it was the forum just for me. And it has rekindled my love for expressing myself through writing.
So, I guess I always knew I was a writer. But Relevant showed me just how much I enjoy expressing myself through writing, whether it is in my own personal journal, through blogging, through letter writing...anything! 

Ann talked about telling stories in her keynote address: 

I am a mess and you are a mess. But I hope you will keep telling your stories in the middle of your messiness. ~Ann Voskamp

I have to tell stories because in telling stories I not only heal myself but someone else.
Jesus told stories. It was how he taught his disciples.
I am a writer. So I must keep writing in some form, to tell my stories, so I can heal and others can heal. 
We must share our stories in some form with others. We must be authentic and real about ourselves. We all have a story, written by God. We should have the freedom within ourselves to tell it.

The things that can change eternal lives are the things no one wants to talk about. Serena Woods

when we submit our lives to what we read
in Scripture, we find that we are not being
led to see God in our stories,
but our stories in God’s.

God is the larger context and plot
in which our stories find themselves.

-eugene peterson

9 comments:

Stacy said...

Andrea~ When I was reading your first paragraph, I was saying: "Me, too!"

I have shelves and shelves of journals... dating from back in elementary school to... now.

It's how I best process and regularly communicate with God. And I love it.

Glad you're writing!

Kristen said...

I think this is so true and in so many ways this is the way the gospel manifests in us. That we can write...and discover our own aspects of healing and reconciliation with God and encourage others, through story, to be in that process and move forward into a redeemed area of their life. So glad you have the courage to share your words here!

Linda said...

I just finished listening to the first part of Ann's address at the conference. This is such a nice compliment to it Andrea.
When I discovered blogging, my purpose was to use writing to glorify the Lord - and, above all, to be real in the process.
We, each of us, have so much we can give to one another.
You've blessed me and encouraged me with this post and so many others.

Famaddict said...

Andrea, I have to correct you. You are not just a writer. You are an honest, soul-bearing, comforting, challenging writer. You are the best. Love to you, sister. ~L

Grace said...

Andrea, thank you so much for writing. For many years I visited blogs/forums/sites that had a rigid and legalistic approach to Christian mothering. They left me feeling that I could be the mom I wanted to be if I just WORKED HARDER, TRIED MORE, DID BETTER. Even when they talked about prayer or giving our mothering to Jesus, the overwhelming message was that good mothering came by our own efforts. And the formulas never worked.

Blogs like yours are so refreshing, because instead of feeling like being a good mom is based on my performance, I'm encouraged and inspired to draw close to Jesus and let Him make me the mom he wants me to be, resting in Him for the outcome. So--thanks. I'm encouraged. :)

tonia said...

yes, you are a writer.

write, my friend.

and thank you for the grace and the truth which you spread around.

Cheryl said...

Wasn't it an amazing weekend? I learned so much about myself and I truly felt God's presence!

Sandi said...

So appreciate you. Write on!

I have journals going all the way back also. I still battle at times with if what I would contribute really makes any difference, yet I long to write :o)

sandy said...

Wow! I love this post! Just 2 weeks ago, I was thinking to myself...why do I blog and do facebook? I, again, was encouraged by a dear friend, to 'keep writing'. You said it perfect...'help heal ourselves and others'...and that IS why I write. It just helps me work through things and yes, it has helped others as well. People today don't get enough of the 'real'...we need to show others that things aren't always perfect. Thank you again :)! Blessings!