We sit in a booth at the Cup and Saucer in Portland, snatching a few bites of breakfast between words tumbling out fast, back and forth. I'm more hungry for conversation than the food sitting on my plate, because I've been waiting for this for nine months. This friend I met only one time before but have grown to love through our exchange of words and hearts, we lean in close and speak of transitions and journeys of healing, home and family, friendships and marriage - and of course, writing.
She looks me in the eyes and admits she needs to dig deeper to the Why of her writing, beyond the "call" to write or the "I write because I must." And I nod my head while my heart breathes, Yes.
It's so easy to consider giving up when we don't know why our words matter.
As we continue to share our journeys, our stories, I see we are passing these balls of yarn back and forth, in and out, lines and weaves of color forming, outlines of Whys spread between us. The more I share my story with her, the more the weave emerges, until the words string color from my mouth.
I know I write to tell the whole story, not just the "I used to be here but look! Now I'm here and I overcame all that!" I write the I'm-in-the-midst-of-the-cave-right-now story, the dark and the cloudy story, the tears in my eyes and heavy wrestling for hope, even when - no, especially when - I can't see traces of beauty yet.
I tell her the story of how, just the other day, I'm driving in Seattle with a view of the Olympic mountains rising on my left, the sky alive in the crisp blue and bursts of sun. How in that moment, it hits me so clear: I'm happy to be alive again. I've been flying through a dark, dark cloud for so long and I've finally emerged into daylight, and as the sun hits my eyes, I tell her, it's even more beautiful than I remember. Coming from dark to light is this way, isn't it?
And here, it comes tumbling out. I write this way because the light of hope, the beauty of redemption, is more glorious when it's birthed from the dark. When we see the fuller picture, not chopped into pieces, but one seamless, messy, wondrous story.
To inspire hope, that nothing is beyond the grasp of redemption when our stories are not our own, but his.
Yes, it's tucked right here: I write to lay the trail of God's fingerprints across my life. And that is enough for me.
. . . . . . . .
Linking up with Lisa-Jo for a (not) Five-minute Friday post. Today's prompt: "Why your words matter."