Monday, July 27, 2015

Letters to God

Do you know why I write this blog?

Is it so anyone else can see what I have to "say"? No.

Is it so I can garner any level of attention? HAHAHAHA. No.

I write this blog because it is cathartic for me. Whenever I have thoughts, feelings, etc to work through or reflect upon, I find it therapeutic to write about them.

I love to talk. I'm not afraid to share stories about myself. Not even a little. But, I'm not the best at expressing my honest emotions in a verbal and constructive way. It is easier to diffuse situations with humor or snark. It it easier to be mad than sad or upset. When I write, though, I have time to choose my words carefully (and sometimes I do, others, well, not so much). I can think through how I'm feeling. I can make sense of it. I can back up, hit delete, undo things I've written. It feels different than talking it over.

I'm not afraid of public speaking, in fact sometimes the thought of facing a bigger group is less scary than the prospect of trying to not let there be uncomfortable silences with just one or two people. What can I say? I'm awkward. This isn't new information. Anyway, I sometimes stumble over what I want to say because my brain has a tendency to move faster than my tongue and leave it behind. My train of thought has a way of derailing and abandoning the natural course of a conversation. And when having a conversation out loud, it's really hard to back track and get back to the original thought, even when I know it would be better to do so.

So I write.

I was thinking just last night about how some people keep prayer journals. They write down their prayers, or at least the things they are praying about. Since I've never done that I wondered, why do they do that? Is it easier to organize their thoughts before talking to God if they write it all down? Does it make it less emotionally draining to try to sort through emotionally charged situations if they essentially write letters to God?

And then that thought really struck. Letters to God. All these years I've thought about prayer as this spoken conversation, or really, like a phone call. It should be a two-way communication, but let's be real, sometimes God doesn't answer immediately. Sometimes we have to wait and listen for what He is telling us. You know, little like waiting for a response to a letter. Maybe prayer has more in common with letter writing than I thought. Maybe it is sort of like a spoken letter. So why not write it down? Especially if that helps.

So maybe I should start giving that a shot. God knows my heart. He fills in the gaps that my awkwardness and strained silence creates because He knows what it is my very soul is crying out for, even when I'm not sure how to say it. I don't HAVE TO write it down and sort it out. But maybe I need to do it for me; to help my little, human, finite brain make sense of what my heart and my soul already know.

I'm nowhere near an expert, but that's never stopped me before so I'm going to follow my thought train. My heart knows what it feels. My soul knows what it needs. It's my brain that can't process or accept things. It's my brain that feels more comfortable with anger than sorrow. It's my brain that makes a joke of a situation rather than actually get caught in my emotions and ugly cry in front of people. And I do. I'm an ugly crier. Blotchy face, puffy eyes, swollen lips, heaving sobs that you can't even speak through. I don't like doing it. Unless it's during a movie that I know will end happily. And even then, I like to watch alone.

But when I write, I'm forced to consider why I react the way I do. Why am I angry? Oh, I'm not. I'm devastated. Why am I making a joke right now when I should be having a serious conversation? Because stuff just got real and I'm uncomfortable so let's change the tone. And maybe if I make myself examine my reactions, my real emotions about things, I'll better understand the answers God gives me. Because maybe I'll understand His answers better if I understand my own questions better. You know, the ones my heart is asking. The ones my soul cries out.

Huh. Maybe it's time I start writing a few letters to God.