Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Scribotherapy: From the Pages of One Woman's Journal

Guest Blogger: Katie Madsen is a co-worker, insatiable writer and constant journaler. I invited her to write on "Scribotherapy" (the process of using words as a conduit to understanding and feeling relief from any life difficulty) and fortunately for me, but not so for Katie, she was in the thick of it.

We write in order to heal. We hope to find solace somewhere within the lines of our journals.

In my particular case, my consolation was given before I knew I was in need of it. It was within some quiet moments one morning while listening to my friend play worship music that I penned these sporadic truths: “At the cross you beckon me, draw me gently to my knees, Lord. I am lost for words so lost in love, I’m sweetly broken, wholly surrendered... There’s no place I’d rather be than here in your arms, Lord, here in your arms... Set a fire down in my soul, Lord, that I can’t contain, that I can’t control... I want more of you... so I wait for you, so I wait for you... I’m falling on my knees offering all of me. Jesus, you’re all this heart is living for.” Have you ever been so moved by the simple truths in worship songs that you just can’t help but write them down over and over in hopes that they penetrate your soul as deep as the journal you’re carving into?

This time my soul was penetrated. My God was healing my heart on paper before I [ever] knew it was going to be broken.

That same evening, life as I knew it had turned upside down. The man I thought I was going to marry walked out on me. My heart was shattered to pieces and left [brutally] exposed. My soul had now turned to sleepless sorrow. I wrote, “Abba, I curl up in your lap now, please wrap your loving arms around me with peace and keep my gaze on you. You are my prize, my end goal, and nothing else satisfies.”

And that’s where the healing began.

It was in the days that followed that I truly began to notice the Lord wooing me to His loving gaze. He continually brought me back to the words scribbled in my journal that wretched evening.

He reminded me of His name, Abba, our intimate Father. He reminded me that he has not only rescued me but carried me through those moments where I couldn't stand on my own two feet. He reminded me that he is the true lover of my soul.

Not only that, but God reminded me of truth embedded within the pages of my journal—the truth that he so lovingly put on my heart to jot down mere hours before I realized my brokenness.

Am I unique in my journaling experience?


Jamie Jo said...

Yes! That is it exactly. Thank you for sharing your heart and your experiences with us. Sorry you had to go through such agonizing heart-ache, Katie.

Another perhaps related topic is when God reveals something about Himself just before you need it to share with a friend in a difficult situation. Either way, journaling is greatly therapeutic.

Wandering words said...

Writing definitely is as much therapy to the writer as when we use it for an intended audience. But I also resonate with Ellie's note on the previous post that sometimes we need to "scribe" to a real person. Over the last two decades I've had a trusted friend many miles away with whom I can share my soul, and she hers. We've walked dark valleys together on email. Our face to face times are extremely rare, but without her listening spirit on the other end, my walk with the Lord would be far less than it is. We "talk" and listen, and challenge, and hold each other accountable. No topic is untouchable.

Ellie said...

I also have such a friend, Wandering Words, and that friend is one of the most precious things I have.


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