I recently submitted a poem to a local community blog, which was curated by a spoken word artist. I personally am NOT a spoken word artist – at all.
I’m a very shy and private person, who likes writing poems to express my faith and encourage others. Since I’m writing more consistently now, I’m at a point of realizing I should probably put myself out there more and market my work, but I’m dragging my heels because it will be such an uncomfortable step for me, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for it.
Writing is the fruit of my prayer life, which is private between me and God. I feel that it’s fruitful in and of itself because I believe wholeheartedly in the power of prayer to effect change in the world. But I also feel that God is preparing me to share my work with others. As a baby step in that direction and a major stretch of my comfort zone, I decided to attend the open mic night with the intention of hopefully being brave enough to read my poem.
I thought it was so cool! When I got there, people were already performing spoken word poetry. It was a safe environment to share and some topics were pretty intense including suicidal depression, sexual assault and abuse, but there was also humor and encouragement. It was a wide range of authentic expressions of human experiences – I loved the poetry and the supportive atmosphere, especially the snaps people used to show approval of each other.
I am a huge advocate of expressing feelings. I think it’s an important part of our faith journey to authentically process and work through the emotional side of our human experience. Even in studying the mind-body-spirit connection, I’ve learned how lodging emotions inside our bodies can negatively impact our physical not to mention spiritual health. In recent years, I’ve come to understand the poetry of the psalms as being God’s gift to us as role modelling how to express every human emotion in right relationship to faith-that’s a powerful thing and I believe the antidote to legalistic religion, which can be so harmful.
Though the topic of the community blog was faith, everyone who submitted to the blog approached that topic from a different angle with varying degrees of relationship to God – since I’m usually in a church environment where we’re all on the same page for the most part, it was refreshing to hear varying thought processes.
I was nervous, but I was so touched by the supportive atmosphere that got up and read my own short poem and was received with plenty of encouragement from the little coffee shop crowd – I’m giving myself snaps just thinking about it. Go me for being brave!
I have no idea where this writing journey will lead me, and I can’t really control it. But I can choose to be courageous and put myself out there one step at a time! One thing’s for sure: I have a LONG way to go!
How about you? Where are you at in your faith journey? Do you need prayers for courage to step outside your comfort zone into a new opportunity or experience? Comment below, and I’ll lift you up in prayer!
God bless anyone reading this with the courage to step out on faith in the direction of God’s plan for your life!