Column Post by Lisa Easterling
Frequently in Scripture we see where God told His people to build memorials to His work, to set up stones commemorating what He’d done, how He’d delivered, how He’d provided. He wanted His people and those who came after them to remember His matchless power and limitless love for His children.
God also told His people to write down what He had done, so that no one would forget His deeds.
Imagine it: Words as memorial stones.
Isn’t that what we are doing here–setting up memorials in writing, telling of where we were then and where we are now and how it’s only His grace that could’ve brought us through?
If our words are that important, our stories so worth wording, then shouldn’t we embrace the task with joy?
Memorials live on after those who built them have gone. So do our words after they are written.
Builders of memorials chose specific materials. The results would stand for many long years and the stories behind them would go on.
Wording our lives allows them to go on.
Aren’t we always searching for that Fountain of Youth, that magic pill or perfect diet that will stretch our lives into the future? Don’t we seek immortality?
As writers we get to board a time machine—or perhaps more accurately a machine that removes time and affords us the ability to create (we were made in the image of the Creator, after all) something that will outlive our earthly shell.
Journals become time capsules that can be opened and reopened by generation after generation, spelling out our thoughts and dreams and fears and questions for an indefinite audience.
Even now I reread old journal entries and God leaps out from the pages with one miracle after another: a grief endured, hunger satisfied, a prayer answered, a need provided.
This is why I teach life story writing. This is why I plead with people I meet to seek the words and write them down and immortalize life. It’s why I’m always on the lookout for more and better ways to inspire and equip others to put their stories into words.
We buried Daddy in the Pine Grove cemetery. I wore a blue dress with white lace and tulips embroidered below the collar. I clutched the tiny white handkerchief with blue stitching Mama had tucked into my hand in the back seat of the hearse. I heard someone whisper that Daddy had died of heart failure. I would spend the next 20 years carrying sole blame for his death.
And you, friend? What of your story? If you don’t tell it, who will? Be assured of this: No one can tell it like you can!
I am wording my story, and I would love to have you along for the ride as you word your own. Will you join me in this building process? It isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think.
And know this: you won’t be alone.
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Lisa Easterling is a lifelong resident of the Tampa Bay area alongside her husband Steve, five children, and two grandchildren. A pioneer for home education in Florida, she has served in various areas of Christian ministry for the past 32 years. Lisa is a lifelong writer, editor, creative writing coach, and Site Director for Write Where It Hurts. Her favorite place to write is near the ocean, and she particularly loves helping others to fall in love with words. Lisa blogs at www.lisaeasterling.com and can be reached by following @writepraylove on Twitter or emailing email@example.com.
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2 thoughts on “How a story worded never dies”
Lisa, you are so right! Where would we be without words and written stories? We raised our kids to write what they are feeling, especially when angry or hurt. It really helps get that nasty stuff out :-/ I delight in found old letters that give me a peek into family history. I encourage writing about special, touching events and experiences. How fun to re-read them and be reminded of details lost to time!
So true, my friend. What a gift we give our children when we encourage them to write!