WRITING YOUR STORY AND CHANGING THE ENDING

Your story needs to be told

Image of person writing

Everyone has a “I don’t believe this is happening to me” story. The story that makes you feel as if you are drowning, not even sure if you will survive. The experience that has sucked the air out of you and made you feel as if you are going under. This is your journey.

YOU NEED TO FIND YOUR STORY

Sandra Marinella writes: “When things happen that are unexpected, unwelcome, challenging, disorienting, or traumatic, we survive, but the storyline we were following is shattered. Untold stories don’t go away; they morph into volatile emotions, into flashbacks and anxiety, into behaviors we don’t understand in ourselves, things we wish we didn’t do — lash out, hide, avoid, get depressed, become lethargic, unable to go on. Untold stories cause ruptures in relationships, ill health, and spiritual or religious crisis, and contribute to a growing sense that our lives are disintegrating into chaos.” You need to find your story.

WRITING FOR NON-WRITERS

Why not try writing? Maybe you’re not a writer. You don’t have to ever show anyone your writing, and it will still work on your heart and mind to reorganize your life. Maybe you don’t have time for this. Ten minutes a day? Really? That’s way shorter than a Facebook minute. Possibly it’s scary to think of putting your life-breaking moments into words. This is your safety net. Are you ready to live a more resilient story? You can get through a crisis. You can survive grief. Repeat: find your story.

THE SAGA OF JANET

A key is finding the place that lies between our hopes and reality.  For example, let’s share the saga of Janet. She is the parent of 2 adult children, Sandy and John. Janet had always imagined that she would have a close family where her adult children deeply loved Christ and nurtured that same love within their own children, Joyce’s grandchildren. She imagined Sunday dinners, like a scene from the TV series “Bluebloods”.

However, Janet’s reality is that she has 2 adult children, only one of whom she feels even remotely close to. As for sharing a same love for Christ, that isn’t even on the table at this point in her children’s adult lives, let alone if they actually provided Janet with grandchildren. The only Bluebloods family dinners she experiences is if she watches a family of actors on TV. Janet’s heartbreak is daily and drains her from finding any joy. Could Janet rewrite her story?

FIND YOUR PLACE AND STYLE

  • Begin by finding a comfortable spot to write. If you want, bring your water bottle, coffee, or tea.
  • Choose a journal, notebook, or computer.
  • Forget about rules — grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Just plan to write.
  • ​Choose a prompt, put your pen to paper (or your fingers on your keyboard), and write for at least five minutes. If you write more, congratulate yourself! If a prompt fails to connect with you, try the next one.
  • Write as often and as much as you dare. Give it your best.
  • ​Then reread and reflect on what you have written. You may be surprised at the stories or thoughts you hold within.
  • ​Work to develop a personal writing practice that works for you. Every writer is unique, and by finding how you write best, you will grow your words and your voice.

This Week’s Writing Prompt: The Tragic Gap

Start by creating “tragic gap statements.” Do this by writing one or more statements that follow this form: “I want to…but I can’t because…” Here are some examples: I want to move, but I can’t because I don’t make enough money. I want to be an actor, but I can’t because I suffer from anxiety when I try to perform. I want to undertake a new challenge, but I can’t because I believe I am too old. Choose a dilemma you are facing. After you write this statement, answer these questions as best you can: What is your dream? What obstacles are making it hard to accomplish your dream? How can you face this challenge? What can you change? Open and close each writing period in prayer.

Freely borrowed from: Sandra Marinella. “The Story You Need to Tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss” Highly recommend this book!

Author: Jacquelin Stoner

I have had years of walking alongside of individuals, encouraging those who want to change, but need help navigating to the better place God has envisioned for their lives. I believe Christ is central to genuine lasting life change.

Delight in helping women to discover wholeness in their "New Normal".