The act of writing is the act of discovering what you believe.” – David Hare
This quote holds true for me, regardless of whether I’m writing articles, journaling or writing notes on an academic piece. I discover what I don’t believe as much as I discover what I do believe.
The best is when I rediscover how much I believe in art that inspires and uplifts. Other times, it’s a less comfortable experience when I am confronting thoughts on paper that I hadn’t realised were in my heart.
Writing is belief
I also believe that the act of writing is a statement of belief in itself, because you cannot write without having something to say, and it’s not worth saying if it’s only a lie. It takes courage to writing something real and true. You have to write all the rubbish out of the way to find the gold – the stuff that’s underneath all the doubts, the random thoughts and insecurities. When you find that gold, you need to take it out and share it. Yes, share it. Even if it rips your heart out of your chest and you can’t see the keyboard or the page for the tears. Share it even if your shirt gets soaked from perspiration. Write it down, even if it takes some concentration to get the words out between typos.
Why? Because it’s important. While you may not be busy writing a new Bill of Rights or constitutional legislation, articulating what you believe can power up the rest of your life. You are setting up boundaries that determine how you will live your life, no matter what. You are setting up markers that help you find the way when you are convinced you don’t have a clue what you are doing. You are pinning down something definite. In a world that changes all the time, steadfast beliefs are an anchor.
Do you know what you believe? Do you know why you believe as you do? Have you ever questioned it?
Here’s what I believe:
I believe in right and wrong as determined by God and His Word.
I believe in mercy, because without it, I wouldn’t be alive to write this after all the screw-ups in my life.
I believe in grace, because it enables me to keep going when I’ve made mistakes. It empowers me to hope that I can do better and gives me the courage to keep trying.
I believe in forgiveness because I need it just as much as others do and I am no one’s judge.
I believe that God created beauty for us to respect, enjoy and share – beauty in the world, in ourselves and in God Himself.
I believe that life is worth living because I have a purpose, determined and ordained by God. God’s plan holds both obvious purposes (such as family) and seasons of other purposes that I discover as I go along.
I believe that there is hope even when I can’t see or feel it or even say it. I believe it even when I don’t want to. The reason I can, is because this world is not all there is. Beyond this temporary world, there is eternity with God in heaven, where everything that is wrong will be made right.
I believe that truth is valuable and powerful to both destroy and raise up. It can build a future, bring healing, set someone free from a heavy burden of guilt, and it can provide strength when the criticism of the world bears down on our dreams.
I believe that God is in control. People have free will to make their own decisions, but there is nothing God doesn’t know. Jesus’ redemption power exceeds anything I can conceive of and I am grateful that God is bigger than my understanding.
I believe that there will be an end to pain, tears, slavery, trafficking, rape, abortion, injustice, abuse, lying and deceit, corruption, murder, drought, sickness and disease because God says so in His Word. Believing this is what keeps me sane when the media portrays brutality, death and violence.
Do it. Write it. Say it. Share it.
I also believe that writing is an important and helpful tool to find your way, your words, your voice.
You need to find your voice to be able to share your story.
Your story matters.
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