Column Post by Lisa Easterling
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
Rom. 8:26, 27
There are just those moments when I’ve got nothing. No words, no cohesive thoughts, no reasoning ability. Just groans. Moments like these.
I’m glad there’s the Holy Spirit waiting in the wings to speak on my behalf. Seems the Spirit is the only way to make sense of chaos and confusion, misunderstanding and meltdown.
Because words, they just seem empty tonight.
I’ve been trying for a few days to word it without much success. I tried again tonight but all that came out was the hurt. Writing where it hurts isn’t much fun right now. Sometimes writing is like that. We ache, but we keep writing. We write on, knowing the story won’t go away just because we hurt.
And isn’t it the stories that hurt us most that most need telling? The ones we weep over, the ones that punch us in the gut and leave us spitting blood and wondering what just happened? The ones that offer us no other option but to cry out to God?
It’s okay to pray in print. It’s actually rather healing to pour our heart-cries onto the pages of our journals. Where else can we beg like children and scream out the whys and force the ugly questions out through gritted teeth so we can see how we feel?
It’s also okay to write down what you think God is saying in answer. I invite you to try this, perhaps using a different color pen when you feel it’s God responding. I will warn you, though: this can be a little bit unnerving. The first time I did this type of journaling and went back and read it later, I freaked out. I had no recollection of writing the God parts. True story.
It helps to read and re-read the “conversation” between you and God later. It’s amazing how He speaks directly to our hearts through our pens and goes right to the core of what is troubling us. It’s like reading a love-letter from him that I wrote myself but can’t remember writing. To be truthful, it’s a little bit addictive.
Are you up for it? And let me know how it goes, if you don’t mind. I’ve gotten some pretty amazing feedback on this writing exercise from workshop participants. You might just form a habit of journal-keeping and prayer intertwined that is so fulfilling you never want to stop.
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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 women’s, marriage, and family ministry for most of her life. Lisa is a lifelong writer and editor, and has taught life story, poetry, and other creative writing skills in classrooms and workshops for over 25 years. Her writings have appeared in such publications as Homeschool Alliance magazine, Heartbeat the Magazine, The Family Corner, and Home EdVenture. Lisa currently serves as Ministry Director and weekly columnist for Write Where It Hurts, where she enjoys inspiring and equipping women to write through their pain to healing and hope.