Sunday, April 14, 2013

Of Words and Fear

I’m a writer by choice and a novelist by trade. A wannabe poet and an artist at heart. Reading that first line, you would think I have no problems using my tongue, my mind, and my words to communicate with the people around me.

Well, Dear Reader, think again.

It happens unexpectedly, in the middle of a deep, philosophical or otherwise important conversation. I feel the need to respond, to speak my mind, to say something moving or relevant – but nothing comes. My jaw locks. My tongue seizes. Any sound that could have been made lodges in my throat and refuses to budge. At first it seems as though it is my mouth that refuses to work, but there are no words, no thoughts that coherently form in my mind. The link from my mind to my mouth seems cut, and I remain silent. My face takes on a blank, uninterested look and people assume I am distant and not listening.

Oh, how untrue that is!

But when I write, my thoughts flow like a stream. They bump and slide and twist through my mind, eager to be realized and manifested into words, phrases, poems, stories. They are alive and well and itching to be brought to fruition. I can speak my mind freely with a pencil in my fingers or a keyboard under my hands. Sometimes it becomes impossible to contain myself, and I must write or draw to express the emotions and feelings threatening to burst through my excited self.

I become alive with my thoughts, flowing with them, letting myself be pulled along the dreams and ideas like a branch being pulled down a stream. Sometimes, I forget my place and let them carry me too far. Other times, I become afraid, and I pull myself onto the shore before the stream takes me into unknown, uncharted territories. It is a journey, and an adventure, just to write and dream.

Then how can I have such an issue, making my thoughts known? How can it be so hard just to say a few words?


I am afraid, to step off the known path of my thoughts and to share them with another person. To bare my soul, my essence, and leave it open for prying and prodding, for inspection and observation. I worry about what may be thought of me, of how I could be ridiculed and shamed for being myself. Of how my soul could be battered by some unthinking words.

But I should not be ashamed, because of that man who loved me so unreservedly as to let his life be ended for my sake. And how can I learn, if I do not subject myself to some form of pain from which to grow and learn? Without sacrifice, there can be little gain. Without falling, you can never pick yourself back up. You cannot be made stronger if you do not realize your weaknesses.

Perhaps if I am a bit more willing to fall, to fail, to be shown weak, I shall grow. My Savior will prove Himself strong in my weakness and failures, and to be used to show His glory in such a way is my heart’s greatest desire.