I had such a struggle with a class assignment a day ago. I was required to share a single vivid moment in my life and explain how it has shaped my experience as a Christian.
To be honest, the writer’s block lately has been brutal, and that’s not just referring to academic papers but also to creative writing. I haven’t shared much on my blog nor have I written any poetry in the last few weeks.
As I was working on the paper, I sat and stared at the crumbs between the keys of my grubby keyboard. I realized that in the past few years, writer’s block seems to correlate with seasons where I feel a heavy heart. Thus far, the month for me has been rather bleak. It has been a season of transition, of questions, of loss, of feelings of betrayal, and of uncertainty.
There is nothing I despise more than finding myself in a creative rut. Even if everything else in my life doesn’t seem to be flowing smoothly, I always have managed to cope by expressing myself in writing. Not only that, in the past things like pain, indecision, depression, and other difficult emotions have all been powerful muses for writing.
As I sat with the empty, white screen of my word-processor reflecting off my glasses, I began to question why I was not having a surge in creativity with my current dark mood. To be honest, I think it is because in recent years I have changed.
I have had a shift in my desire for what I want to write about. Gloomy times were once a full-on inspiration, yes, however, this was during a time when I was not concerned with spreading a message of hope.
Back in the day, I would sit and drink a whole bottle of wine and write about how mopey and depressed I was over some guy or some unfair treatment. I would delight in my own self-loathing and fixate on the injustice of life.
Now don’t get me wrong, many great pieces come from raw, painful experiences. We find many beautiful works that capture the reality of life through dark times.
But just speaking for myself, it has been awhile now that I felt a calling to use creativity to help uplift people. No matter how sad something I write can become, I feel a desire to always include at least the tiniest message of assurance.
So what about the assignment I had to write? Indeed, it was an opportunity to share a positive message of faith; however, my mood did not match what I wanted to do.
It is hard to truly explain the feelings I have lately, but in the moments when the clock was ticking away and that assignment was due, I sat and wondered:
- How do I write about hope when I am suffering from feelings that seem hopeless?
- How do I write about Christian living during a season when my feelings seem to be keeping me far from Christ?
- How do I write a narrative meant to direct people towards Christ when I myself am feeling lost?
- How do I offer a message of strength when I feel weak?
These weighty, difficult questions seem nearly impossible to tackle alone–but wait, WE AREN’T ALONE!
In a broken world we may find ourselves in the midst of times where it is a struggle to hold on to God’s promises. Sometimes it is an even greater struggle to share His message. He knows this, but we can be assured that even if we are too weak to hold on He continues to hold on to us.
Romans 8:38 says:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (NIV).
That’s quite the revelation. There are so many things in this life fighting to tear us down and to keep us there. There are things that distract us and keep us from our God-given creative potential. In those times we have to remember that nothing can separate us from God’s love.
Even if we feel alone, betrayed, hurt and we feel like we don’t have a way to express these feelings to others, we can trust that God knows every little murmur and creak coming from every single heart. There is always and forever a message of hope in the Gospel that we can share with others. His grace is sufficient. When we are weak, he makes us strong.
If you are wondering what I ended up writing about for class, well I simply wrote about having writer’s block and how even something like that can make me realize the help I get from God. It worked out just fine.