shining light: writing poetry to reveal truth

I was surprised when it didn’t resonate–the line, a single sentence that woke me in the morning: “The world is heavy, and I am heavy with disappointment.” I felt like I needed to write about it, dig in a little deeper, do some investigating. 

Because the sentence didn’t ring true. 

Yes, the world is heavy. Heavy with need. And with expectation. Heavy with pain. And with hope. There is much I could ruminate on, explore, process. And I was curious about whether or not this was the path down which I would go. 

For when I wake up with a heaviness upon me, most often from a dream that needs sorting out, but sometimes from something else I can’t quite name, I want to plunge in to see what is underneath that heaviness. What is triggering it, if I can. Or, at least, what I think and feel about it. I have found that the alternative–leaving it there, pushing it down, without investigating what it is that I am feeling–is a wasted opportunity for deeper awareness and personal growth. For there is one thing I have learned for certain over these last ten years of running hard after God’s heart for me: He uses everything to speak to us. And just because it is unpleasant or uncomfortable or confusing doesn’t mean I shouldn’t put in some effort, with His guidance, to try to figure out what is going on.

Afraid I was going to forget the sentence before I pulled back the bedcovers and my feet hit the floor, I began repeating it over and over in my mind. “The world is heavy, and I am heavy with disappointment…The world is heavy, and I am heavy with disappointment.” Wow, this just didn’t sound right. It didn’t feel true. 

I wasn’t planning on writing this morning. It was going to be a busy day, with an appointment that was going to take a little more effort to bike to after the kids got off at school, and I needed to jump in the shower and be dressed and ready to go for the day earlier than usual. But I was too darn curious about that perplexing sentence to not sit down for a few minutes with my notebook and try to figure it out. 

So I did. And drafted a poem.

And what I learned–through using poetry to process that single sentence–spoke deeply to my heart. In a single sentence, I found the lie I’ve believed for most of my life. A lie I had lived out as true. 

But not today. Not today. Not today.

What is fascinating to me is that I can’t name for you the moment when I started disbelieving that lie. But I think chunks of its credibility were wearing off this past year. It has taken a lot of time. And persistence. And fortitude. And help from people, wise counselors. There have been many battles. Much heartache. Much pain. All things able to be used by God.

After the richness of my experience processing through that single sentence–a sentence I didn’t know the meaning of until after I stumbled around with it a bit with God–I now invite you, this week, to use the tool of poetry to process through a lie you are either (1) now believing or (2) have believed in the past.

Use the poem to look at the lie, examine it, dissect it, understand it, deflate it. Consider how it makes (or has made) you feel–maybe even using metaphor to compare it to something different than it really is–something it reminds you of–to help you understand the deeper role it has been playing in your life. Or have a conversation with is. Or tell a story about it. You could even use the poem to represent the lie’s legacy–the damage it has done–or to speak to the new life that will be (or has been) born in you after the lie has been named for what it truly is.

Another idea is to do what I did and name the lie right in the beginning of the poem–start the poem with it–and then let your feelings (God will lead you) uncover the relationship you’ve had with it, how you feel about it, what more there is for you now that the lie is thrust into the light.When you’ve written your poem, consider sharing it with us on social media using the hashtag #looppoetryproject. Click here to see past poetry prompts and here for poems written by the Loop Poetry Project community that I’ve posted on my Instagram Story Highlights.

This is going to be an exercise filled with richness and life. I believe it.

love to you,

jennifer

This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com

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