Learning to write

Rich Dixon on the power of writing:


Last time I surrendered to the journal process as an opportunity to dump the trash of my soul.

In retrospect, I said could see God at work.

Another crazy thing. A decade after Pete prodded me into pouring the chaos of my broken life onto the pages of a journal, people started making a ridiculous suggestion.

You should write a book.

So, I did. At least that how the inspirational movie script would go. But Jesus doesn’t do Hallmark movies.

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As Pete and I talked, as darkness receded, the journal became more lucid. I didn’t write only in circles. I explored, probed, searched for sense in the flood of emotions and thoughts that poured out over the weeks and months. Life gradually calmed a bit. The clamoring jumble seemed a bit less noisy, the pursuit less desperate. A faint but clear trail began to materialize.

As with every bit of progress, no miraculous leap bridged confusion to clarity. The track wasn’t clear or easy to follow, but its unmistakable direction slowly became apparent.

I could feel it as the writing turned in an unanticipated direction. No longer merely a tool with which to banish the demons, my words assumed a deeper purpose. Finally I began to understand at heart-level what it meant to believe that Jesus had been with me throughout this entire horrific experience. I needed to express the meaning and character of that inner voice and the journey on which it guided me.

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Do you see it?

Jesus’ gentle hand guiding me through chaos. To Pete. To a journal.

And then to a hard-won love of writing as I understood how unraveling my story, making sense of it, and eventually sharing it, helped me – and perhaps others – make sense of apparent senselessness.

You should write a book.

To be continued…

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