While attending the small-group writing session on the Saturday of Relevant, we were asked to write on a few prompts and share with our small group.
One of the prompts was to write on a memory and my heart flopped.
I could have chosen a safe and fluffy memory involving my children and I wanted to do so – at least that was my plan.
But what God laid upon my heart were a few memories of being a little girl with a raging-alcoholic father in 1976. Oh, what fun.
Be very, very careful when God calls you to select the word “obedience” for your yearly focus. Phooey.
So I obeyed and I cried and I resist and I shake my fists in the air because for crying out loud, haven’t I already worked through this stuff?
I hear a still small voice that says, “There is more healing yet to come.”
You may have noticed that my “Life Story” series ended before I got into too much about my father because, if I may be honest with you, I don’t really want to write about it.
But I know that this is how God has made me – to write through the pain and the joy and the things I don’t understand.
Couldn’t He have made me a painter? Umph.
A small glimpse into what I wrote on Saturday for one of our Five Minute Writing Prompts…
Only A Memory
A brand new house for a brand new start. Maybe the slick counters and shiny cabinets will be just the answer for this young family on a broken path.
A toe-headed three year old little girl wanders through the vast hallways, marveling at the expansive space waiting to be filled with more toys. More crayons. Maybe even a baby brother or a sister.
Things will be better you know, so that could possibly become a reality.
But then strong-smelling drinks behind plants. The loud shouting after bedtime while a scared little girl pretends to be asleep.
A tired mother at the end of her rope yet too scared to do anything but survive.
Nights forced to sleep at a hotel because Daddy needed to be alone since he was so “sick”.
And he was – but not the kind of sick that makes him vomit. Or sneeze. The kind of sick that breaks hearts and tramples dreams…
So as this new layer is peeled, I’ll write through it and it may not be very Pollyanna. But it’ll be real.
Thanks for sticking with me on this journey of healing.
Linking up with a sweet sister of mine – Michelle from Some Girl’s Website for “Thought-Provoking Thursday”…
Real works, Natalie. We all need real.
Thank you so much, Gaby. Once again, a wellspring of encouragement you are…
Real is all there needs to be. It is enough. It is life and everything. If the prompt was for a fictional tale, then real wouldn’t work. We need to write from our hearts. That’s real. Hard stuff but it’s all you my friend.
I completely agree with you, Dawn – but for some reason, I have kept this bear of a cross in my closet for a long time. I’ll casually mention this part of my history but I will rarely reveal the pain or even acknowledge it myself. Now I see it and I see the impact it has on how I function now and it’s time to undo it and heal in only a way that Jesus can heal. Thank you so much for your encouragement, sweet lady. So thankful you made it home!!! FINALLY!!!
You know how I feel about this (((hugs)))
and p.s. God made me a painter only AFTER I dealt with my issues through writing. just sayin. ;)
OH, Michelle…You completely crack me up – what hope you give me! OF COURSE you are a beautiful and beyond gifted writer but then yes, you are a beautiful and beyond gifted painter! There is hope for me yet!!!! Thanks for the encouragement!!!
real can be very difficult to write about. it is always vulnerable. often scary. isn’t it great we have God in us for this journey?
You know, Martha, yes it is. I really think it’s the only way we can ever be healed somewhat on this side of heaven and then full restoration happens when we meet Him face to face. Love your wisdom, Martha.
Praying for you as you prepare to bare your heart and soul to the One who loves you most through writing and working through this. (visiting from TPT)
Thank you, Lauren. Praise God for the gift of words. Or whatever way He gifts us to get it out and point it to Him.
Real is always good. I find writing very therapeutic, because there’s a lot of emotions you just can’t express verbally, for what ever reason. There’s also the notion that (I get) you might push people away because of your ‘issues’. If you write them, people can choose to read into your soul and heart, and that fear of laying out your troubles on someone’s shoulder no longer rests on you to fret upon. Plus it’s so liberating to let it all out in writing, and in our case out into the blog-sphere. I write about my fears and emotions a lot. Nobody reads about it because I haven’t really gone around saying ‘hey, read my post about such and such’, only because of my fear that people will. Isn’t that strange? Somewhat contradictory, I know. Someone out there may read it, and maybe no one will. And then, someone may actually respond. Whatever results from releasing emotions in writing can only be good. It’s OK to go to ‘that place’ Natalie. I go to it often, unfortunately more than I’d like, simply because you can’t sweep the dirt under the rug and act like it’s not there. It is there. Because it’s real.
Lots of love to you! You know God has blessed you in so many ways. Thanks for sharing your pain. I’m with you friend. xoxo
Such wisdom here, Lena. And no, it’s not strange that you don’t advertise your posts. I really think our writing should be focused on an audience of one – Him. But if it touches someone else who has walked a similar path and makes them feel like they are not so alone? Fantastic. I look forward to talking to you more about this and please know that I am FERVENTLY praying for you right now.
Oh my! So hard but I am so sure it will be good for you. I wish I could write and share the ugly stuff-maybe some day. Just came over here to take a break before I have to share my hard stuff from Relevant…about how I am still more prideful than I thought. And now grateful that that is all I have to share about. Wish things could have been different for you but I am sure your story will help someone else. To quote, I think you(?), when you helped me out “He’s good like that.” Praying for you my now IRL friend!
Yep, He is so good like that. Ah, pride. Tough stuff. He’s called me to the mat a lot on that issue this year. Pride and Humility are the twin sons of obedience.
Blessings to you as you seek His face to reveal the next layer of healing that will make you more like His son.
Hey Miss Natalie,
I am so glad I got to visit with you and friends last night! I sooooo admire your courage to ‘lay it out there’ and allow the deep, deep wound to begin the healing process! You are my hero! I am learning about courage and deepening my faith through your posts. God bless you dear friend!
Praying for you as you follow through courageously with obedience…you are an inspiration!
Melissa, thank you so much. You encourage me so and I TOTALLY missed you at Relevant this year. How are things?