There is a book on the craft of writing called, “Writing Tools” that my dear friend and fellow writer, Meaghan Dawson from Beauty from Burnt Toast, suggested to me during a spell of discouragement, a season the writer knows well. In it, Roy Peter Clark talks about how even in serious stories, we can use language creatively to share an important message.
The author states:
Just as a sculptor works with clay, a writer shapes a world with words. In fact, the earliest English poets were called shapers, artists who molded the stuff of language to create stories the way that God, the Great Shaper, formed heaven and earth.
When we receive the gift of a changed life, it’s tough to keep it to ourselves. We want to share our stories with others. Just check out Instagram today. It is flooded with women and men who want to tell you their stories of healing from trauma and addiction and disaster. The very nature of recovery is that it is something we give away in order to keep. I’ve had mentors and friends remind me of this over the years and share the light of their own lives with me.
The word “shine” can mean different things, but I like the meaning: to be bright by reflecting or casting light. When we journey together on this road of recovery from addiction and other mental health challenges, we can reflect light to one another and share not just the joys but the sorrows and troubles of life, too. All of it—the good, bad, and not so Instagram-worthy—ALL OF IT—can be shared as experience to help another person journeying on their own path.
One of the ways that I’ve been giving back is by writing. As I’ve shared with you before, writing has been a part of my life for a long time. Today, sharing my writing in community with others has been a new journey and one that I’m excited to be on. I can share parts of my story with you and reflect back to you some of the things I’ve learned, some of the things I’ve struggled with, and some of the things I continue to struggle with and learn today. I can shine in the way that God has created me to.
And so can you.
We can be witnesses of one another’s shining.
Let’s explore what it means to shine together. Let’s share our stories and listen to the stories of other women who have shined their own light into our lives. Let’s search out some of the things (like shame, isolation, fear) that keep us from shining. Finally, I’d like to encourage you with these timeless words of scripture so that hopefully they will melt and light your soul the way that they have moved my own.
The prophet Isaiah shares this about the Glory of Zion:
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.[i]
Arise and shine, lovelies.
The days are short and there are many who need to hear your chain-free song.
I'd love to share my story with you, too. Click here to learn more.
[i] Isaiah 60:1-2