It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted a blog post or written anything meaningful. Granted, last month was filled with putting up the show I was directing all summer, The Sound of Music, as well as prepping for the start of a new school year. But I knew that wasn’t the real reason I wasn’t writing.
I had become afraid to write.
I don’t know how or why, but my writerly soul had quietly shut down. Normally, ideas for writing come naturally and regularly as I think about and process the world around me. But I had entered a season where I would open my notebook or stare at the computer screen, and nothing would come.
I know this is commonly referred to as writer’s block. But it wasn’t just that I couldn’t think of anything to write about. I would consider a few possibilities, and then I would become afraid. I would overthink it and fear that I wouldn’t be good enough or that others would reject it—things I thought I had worked through as a writer years ago.
But recently I realized that I’d also become afraid to dream. I’d trained myself not to hope for my dreams too much because they’ve been shattered in the past. And because I had become afraid to dream, I’d become afraid to write.
But the writer’s soul has to dream. It has to imagine, it has to hope and create things out of a vision in her head. If she doesn’t have that, she has nothing to give to the world.
And yet, this season of drought persisted.
I knew I had to do something about it. My calling as a writer has been pressed into my heart since I was 19 years old. God has not given me this gift to hide it away due to my fears. So a week ago, I bought a new writer’s notebook. And I committed to praying and writing through the drought. Because don’t I know enough about writing by now to know the only way out of it is to write? And don’t I know that the only thing that will satiate my dry and thirsty soul is drawing near to the Well of Living Water?
I have to stop avoiding that which I’m afraid of and step forward into the dark. I have to write every day, even if I think it’s trash. I have to pray daily about this dusty place I’m in, even if I think it’s hopeless. Even if I’m exhausted and emotional, I must write through it if I’m ever to write anything worthwhile again.
And sometimes writing about our brokenness is the road that leads to our healing. The very night I started my commitment to my new writing journal, the prompt was write what was broken. And the words started tumbling out of my pen.
Write what was broken.
She stepped out of the grocery store to a few soft raindrops hitting her face, and she breathed a sigh of relief. The overcast, smoky skies; the close, warm air turning into frisky breezes—they begged for a storm, and with the raindrops falling, there was relief.
Her soul needed this storm today. Hadn’t it felt weighted and restless the past few days—turbulent and grayish-brown like the sky overhead? The tears had spilled over more than once, and now it felt like the skies were weeping with her. She was grateful for a God who allowed the very weather to reflect the moods and emotions of his people—that when she felt broken, she was sent a reminder of the God whose heart was breaking with hers.
But just because her heart felt broken, her hopes and dreams felt shattered, and her expectations denied, it didn’t mean she was permanently broken. God had a way of restoring the lost parts, redeeming the aching parts, and making art out of what had been broken. He delighted in restoration—his entire love story of sending his Son to the cross was one of restoring lost and ruined sinners to himself. He knew those sinners couldn’t save themselves, so he lovingly did it for them.
So on the days when she felt the brokenness of her soul, she saw the heavens break open to remind her of the One whose heart broke open for her. She was not alone. This weight could be carried by her Redeemer. He would make her new, and all her scars would one day be mended.
The broken and bruised heart would bloom and bear fruit once again. She just had to be patient.
“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him” (Psalm 37:5-7a).