Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 NIV
But what if your mind is already full of a lifetime of pain and injustice?
A major part of my own healing was years of letters to Jesus. A lot of my filling has been Scripture and songs that remind me of His love and strength and faithfulness. As my trust in Him grew, I realized nothing can happen to me unless He lets it, and if He lets it, He has a good reason. A long time later, I realized it really didn’t matter what had been done to me in the past, because those were the very things that brought me to the end of myself—and to Him. Jesus knows exactly the lessons I needed—and still need—and loves me enough to allow them. But, He loves me so much that He won’t let even one unnecessary pain slip past His guard.
I still get down—that’s the nature of this world we travel through—but He still lifts me up. Letters to Him still help. And, music is a major part of that lifting.
I walk our long driveway with my dogs at night. It’s my best God-time of the day, alone with Him under the stars. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I enjoy His companionable silence. Often I listen to music on my small recorder. Lately it’s been You Raise Me Up.
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on Your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.
That reminds me of a Saint Patrick quote: “Belong to God and become a wonder to yourself.” True. The who-I-was could never have imagined the who-I-am-now—in Jesus. The writer-I-dreamed-of-being could never have imagined what comes from my pen at His direction.
In his book Friendship, Jim Conway suggested I write myself a letter from God, telling myself how much He loves me. That letter seemed to come not from me, but through me. “I like that you want to write; I like that you want to write letters to Me.”
I’ve had my share of discouraging words because I write fiction—but Jesus Himself made up stories to get his point across. In Finding God in The Lord of the Rings, one of the authors said (paraphrase mine) that when someone has closed the front door of his heart to God’s message, a good story can find a way in through the unguarded back.
He, the Word, gives words to we who are made in His image. Don’t deny that part of yourself. DO NOT LISTEN TO YOUR DETRACTOR, EVEN IN MEMORY. His stinky words, if you eat them, leave a scent for that hungry prowling lion of I Peter 5:8 to track you by.
Listen to the Word who has gifted you, not the words of the enemy.
Happy Writing—in Him!