Friday, July 5, 2019

We Write in a Different Time by Melinda V. Inman

Meme - When we write for others, we participate in God's restorative work

We Write in a Different Time

My father’s life experiences would send most of us to therapy. No such services were available then in rural Kansas, and if they were, stigma was attached. People born in 1935 pressed on, stoic as they internalized their grief and pain, all while doing their duty, serving their country, raising their families, and performing their jobs with excellence. It was a hardscrabble life.

Meanwhile, deep wounds festered for decades, his trauma shaping my fears. When he entered his eighties, all of a sudden, he began speaking about experiences he’d never discussed openly in the past. One by one, the Lord resurfaced the life-altering events that had shaped his life.

First, he talked his way through his naval service. We honored him for his valor during long swims through shark-infested waters, enemy fire in turbulent oceans, hearing loss from his role as gunner’s mate, and swabbing decks covered in radioactive fallout after watching nuclear bombs tested in the Pacific. He spent much time in this place of reminiscence.

Then, seeming to have come to peace with his military experiences, he shut that door, moving on to consider the tragic death of his brother, which he had witnessed as a thirteen-year-old. My sister and I sat breathless, barely moving, as he described in detail the car accident that changed his life. We’d never before heard these facts. Gently, the Lord enabled him to come to peace, to see that as the little brother in the backseat, he was not to blame. More healing.

There were other harms. One by one, the Lord surfaced these. This inner work allowed my father to be at peace at last, more at rest in the Lord than I’ve ever before seen him. Now his prayers are spontaneous and sweet, his love more tender.

Watching the Lord gently guide this process of personal growth, bringing wounds to the surface, and then applying the balm of comfort and grace has been a great encouragement. My mother says we’re watching God prepare my father for heaven. I’m deeply reassured and comforted by the love God has shown by patiently and lovingly bringing healing into his life.

Though we live and write in a different time than my father experienced as a young man, the Lord’s help has existed for generations, and it continues. He works in the lives of each generation according to our needs, our cognition, and our current technology, or lack thereof.

Nowadays, we sift and sort through our traumas more readily, resurfacing them and getting professional help if necessary. We’ve realized that talking through issues with encouragement from God’s Word can help greatly. We more readily seek input from our pastors and friends as we wrestle with the Lord during hardships. We reach out for community support when needed. We discuss topics that were avoided in previous generations.

We can now research online. We need not bear these experiences in silence for an entire lifetime. Anyone can find Bible study help, assistance with original languages, and guidance for practically any situation, because of the ready tools at our fingertips. We are a new generation in a new era, with more access to the written word than ever before, now available on our gadgets, computers, and phones.

At this unique time, the Lord has gifted us to be writers. Us! What a privilege!

As Christian writers, God can use our words to give encouragement to the suffering, providing a source of help to turn them toward God’s Word. Given the pain my father experienced and that we, his family, suffered as he struggled for decades, I feel particularly blessed to be used by the Lord right now as a writer of encouragement.

Writers, our mission is from God, for this time and in this season. When we pray, seek God’s wisdom and inspiration, and write to uplift others, we participate in God’s restorative work. The words he gives can transform lives, apply salve to heartache, and begin the healing of families.

This work is holy. Lean into your holy calling. The Lord uses your gifting for good.


When we pray, seek God’s wisdom and inspiration, and write to uplift others, we participate in God’s restorative work. This work is holy. #seriouslywrite #encouragementforwriters via @MelindaVInman



Melinda V. Inman, author of Refuge; Fallen; and No Longer Alone

Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda Viergever Inman now spins tales from her writer’s cave in the Midwest. Her faith-filled fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives. Find her weekly at http://MelindaInman.com/blog/. To find her work and to be notified of future published novels, follow her at http://bit.ly/MelindasBooks/.

Connections:

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelindaVInman
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Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MelindaViergeverInman/posts/p/pub




8 comments:

  1. Melinda, I love this post. It's so sweet actually getting to see God at work in your father's life. I can't imagine all that he's dealt with, keeping it all inside for that many years. Thanks for sharing! I've always said, Write and See. Write what God tells you and see where it goes. You never know who might need to hear the words you've written and when they'll read them, but they'll need them just the way you wrote them when you follow God's leading.

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    1. That’s beautiful, Sally, “Write what God gives you, and see where it goes.” So true! You’re right about his journey! It’s been a gift to watch him work through all of his pain and be at peace!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this story, and for the reminder of our purpose as writers.

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  3. II enjoy reading about the lives of my relatives. Having their stories written gives our family a glimpse into the things they experienced and learned.

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    1. That’s really true, Melissa! It does! We learn so much from them!

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  4. Melinda, thanks for sharing your sweet father's memories with us. So awesome how he has found his voice to share his story, which no doubt helped bring his soul healing. And it's exactly the point of the article you beautifully connect. As writers, we continue to find our voice and share our stories and God's story. Not only because it fosters a needed release and healing for us, but also because it speaks into the lives of others. Isn't that what we aim for in writing? Hoping our words change the way our readers think or live, adding value to their lives!

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  5. You surfaced a point I hadn’t even considered, Karen: “He has found his voice to share his story, which no doubt helped bring his soul healing. And it's exactly the point of the article you beautifully connect. As writers, we continue to find our voice and share our stories and God's story. Not only because it fosters a needed release and healing for us, but also because it speaks into the lives of others. Isn't that what we aim for in writing?” Yes! Yes, it is! Thanks for pointing this out!

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