How Writing Can Heal Us

In the busyness and noise of life, it’s easy to become unaware of our inner thoughts and feelings;  a result of this disconnect is a loss of integrity. We don’t follow through on a commitment yet are clueless of the cause; we block out feelings of anger, fear, discouragement, anxiety, and guilt and have no idea why we are depressed. In my post today, I’m talking about a process that has helped me get in touch with and evaluate the thoughts and and feelings of my heart. I call this process prayer-journaling.

It’s been my practice for many years to put my anger, fears, pain, other emotions, questions, and thoughts into words, place them on paper and give them to God. Placing these matters on paper makes me aware of what is going on in my heart and mind. The second part of prayer-journaling is listening to God, hearing his response to my concerns, receiving wisdom, correction, resolution to issues, and peace. His responses are always in line with the principles and truths of Scripture.

Journaling without the  help of the Holy Spirit and the study of Scripture is dangerous because we end up in endless self-examination and confusion. This is what Leanne Payne, in her book The Healing Presence, calls “the disease of introspection.”

Prayer-journaling is not my invention. David’s psalms are wonderful examples of this, and studying them is the very best way to learn how to proceed. Other resources are Listening Prayer: Learning To Hear God’s Voice And Keep A Prayer Journal by Leanne Payne and Dialogue With God by Mark Virkler.

Much of my poetry writing is directly connected with prayer-journaling and practicing the presence of God. The following poem became my inspiration for today’s post.

Writing reveals the pain
That our hearts contain—
Shame, guilt, and fear.
Why should we go there?

“The past is the past,”
We claim—but it masks
Our passion and kills
Our resolve . . . makes us ill.

We feel like a fake,
Hide every mistake—
Become addicted,
Confused, and conflicted.

Writing could help us heal,
Allow us to feel
What we have suppressed
And deceivingly dressed

As healthy and good.
Through writing we could
Uncover the facts,
Discover our lacks,

Stop blaming others—
Our fathers, our mothers,
Our neighbors, our friends.
Could writing heal? That depends

On how we proceed.
When we humbly concede
We need help from above—
Ask that heavenly Dove

To open our eyes
And do not despise
Our Creator and Friend,
He will graciously send

Truth, wisdom, and grace.
We will find our place,
Be productive, have peace;
Joy will greatly increase.

But when we insist
We need no assist,
God lets us ramble;
We try to unscramble

Our inexplicable riddle
Until, stuck in the middle,
We cry out for mercy.
He comes in a hurry—

His love has not stopped;
It’s only been blocked
By our blind rejection
Of boundless affection.

6 thoughts on “How Writing Can Heal Us

  1. Hello, my precious sister! I didn’t know that you had a blog. I’ve truly enjoyed what I’ve read so far. You and your husband had a major role in my early years as a disciple and follower of Jesus. I’m so glad that I once again have access to your wisdom and experience. Grace and peace.

    • David, what a delightful surprise to find your comment. Thank you so much for your encouraging words! I well remember the songs you shared with us in the early days of the church and treasure those memories.

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