Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Writing about Painful Experiences

Touching People’s Lives

By Debbie Roome

Trauma and suffering are an integral part of everyone’s life. Writers often find they are able to record their sorrows and victories to encourage others. For this to be effective, it is important to deal with what has happened and move on and find healing and restoration.

Identify the Pain
My first experience of New Zealand was the inside of Auckland Airport. My husband was already in Christchurch and the children and I were spending the night with friends before continuing on to join him. We were exhausted after a total of thirty hours flying and desperately homesick for South Africa, our family, friends and pets. I perceived Auckland Airport as grey, grim and dull.

Making New Memories
Although I travel to Auckland fairly frequently, I never revisited the international terminal. That changed two weeks ago when I caught the shuttle from the domestic terminal to the international and retraced the steps I took three years ago. It was quite an emotional experience. To begin with, I realized it’s actually not grey, grim and dull. It’s alive with activity, and brightly-lit shops line the concourse. As I walked around, I thought on how our lives have changed since that day; of how New Zealand feels like home; of the amazing opportunities that have come our way. While I will never forget the pain of my first visit to Auckland International Airport, that sorrow is now tempered by new memories.

Ask God to Help You
All of us have lived through painful experiences. Sometimes we come out victorious; other times we’re tempted to hang onto pain and bitter memories. Why not let God deal with unresolved sorrows? Bring them to Him and ask Him to change your perspective. Let Him bring healing so you can share your victories with people going through similar situations.

How can I Write about Painful Experiences
It can be as simple as a note to a woman who has just miscarried a child or a family man facing redundancy. Maybe you could write your testimony to be printed in your church bulletin. Members of Faithwriters are able to submit articles to be used free or they can put them up for sale. Many people have written books on their experiences of childhood abuse, lives of prostitution or overcoming OCD.

God is in the business of bringing good from bad, victory from defeat, joy from sorrow and new memories from old. As writers, we have the privilege of being able to record these experiences to encourage others. Let God do something in your life this week. Let Him pull out dusty old memories and put a new slant on them. Then write about them and send your words out to those who need them.

I’ll be praying for you.

Debbie Roome works as a freelance writer from her home in New Zealand. Visit her at Debbie Roome or read some of her work at Suite 101 , Take Root and Write and Faithwriters.

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1 comment:

Maria I. Morgan said...

This is so true, Debbie! I'm encouraged that God is faithful to comfort us during our times of need, so we, in turn, will comfort others when they go through a similar experience.(my paraphrase of 2 Cor. 1:4)Thanks for the reminder!
Maria I. Morgan