I am excited to share with you today a little bit about my writing process. I am honored to be able to participate in a blog tour at the invitation of my sweet friend Rachel Grant. Rachel writes as she lives, boldly and honestly. She uses her many talents, including writing, to bring awareness to the problem of child sexual abuse and speaks strongly and clearly about the hope for healing in her blog and her book, Beyond Surviving.
Why do I write? I might well ask, why do I breathe? I write because I am alive. And I am alive because I write.
I began writing as a wounded and confused teenager at 15. I attended a summer camp where I was encouraged to journal about my experiences, and my feelings about those experiences. My first story was about my battle with the desire to commit suicide, and I preformed it for the whole camp at the end of the week. The words rushed from my mind to my pen like a dam that had just crumbled. As I spoke, every fiber in my being came alive. I knew I had found part of my purpose in life. My mentor came to me afterwards and told me that my writing and speaking would bring great hope to others and encouraged me not to stop. Nearly 4 decades later, I could not stop writing if I wanted to.
Throughout my high school and college years, I poured out my heart into journal after journal. I was trying to make sense out of my life, like any teenager. I was also trying to survive a crazy family life. Though I had no vocabulary for it at the time, I can tell you now that addiction, mental illness, verbal, physical, sexual, and spiritual abuse are what characterized my family of origin. My journal was my only safe place, my confidant and the depository of my hopes and confusion, inspiration and pain. No matter how difficult things became, I could breathe if I had paper and a pen. And if I could breathe, if I could write, I could live. My writing became my prayer and my prayer was the only string that kept me attached to hope…the hope that somewhere there was the love I deeply longed for. It is that hope that has fueled these 40 years of my recovery. Through my writing and my speaking I have been able to capture the promise of healing and the reality of a thriving life after severe childhood abuse.
One of the ways my writing is utilized is on my podcast, Beyond Abuse Radio. I write as I speak, from the heart. Words become the expression of my passions and burdens, my longings and deepest desires. One of my desires is help people find the tools to heal from abuse. Another is to inspire those on the healing journey to embrace the love of God as the ultimate power of transformation.
I have written free verse, children’s stories, articles, and am currently working on a guide for living in authentic, life-giving relationship with self, others and God called Living from the Heart. I have published a book called the Covenant of the Beloved which chronicles the covenant that I made publicly with Yeshua, the One responsible for saving my life and leading me into wholeness. It combines brilliant color, beautiful photography, and the Christian scriptures in the dialogue between my God and me. I loved not only the writing process but the artistic design as well. The book ends with this poem:
I inhale the salty-fresh scent
Of Your nearness
And feel the fine sand-smoothness
Of Your touch upon my skin
The sweet tendrils of Your desire
Beckon me to come
And be surrounded
With the spacious sea
That is Your heart for me
Your soft rolling voice
Bids me nearer
I shed my skin and dive
Into the cool liquid longing
Of Your passion
Swimming, swimming, swimming
Into the ocean
Of Your perfect love.
Writing for me is not an activity I engage in. It is the way I live. In the last few years I have also begun to explore art journaling and painting as a part of my life’s expression. I have never written or painted for any audience, but as part of my own healing journey and discipline of self-care. I have come to realize that these expressions bring others hope and inspiration and am endeavoring to share them as a wounded healer with a passion to encourage others on their journeys into wholeness.