Friday, August 7, 2009

Only Say the Word

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1-2

God found out that I am in love with words. He caught a glimpse of it while watching me play Scrabble, over and over again, from the age of seven until the present moment. He watched me playing with my children, and noticed how I would take over for them under the guise of helping. He must have smirked when he saw my children sitting around the table watching me play all by myself! No matter which child won the game, I always won!

He was most likely overcome by my constant use of verbal words from the moment I could speak. He should have whispered a word of warning to my siblings that all those quarters they offered me to “please just don’t talk for ten minutes” were better off used to buy popsicles. It’s too hard to talk while slurping on sweets! I guess they learned the hard way that offers of riches could not stop my need to speak.

I’m sure that God held his breath in anticipation while watching every spelling bee that I participated in during grade school. Do you think he was as disappointed as I was when I missed out on “ptomaine” during the State Spelling Bee?

He must have smiled every time I went into the post office to buy more stamps for all those cards and letters I loved to write to my friends and family.


God must have loved it when I read books about Him and His holy friends, the saints. It must have made him so happy to see that I longed to draw closer to him through the words of wise people who knew just the right things to write about Him in their books. I bet He was especially thrilled when I opened His special book of Words, the Bible, and even more so when I spoke those Words as a Lector at Mass.

Then one day he saw me crying, and sobbing, and grieving. Actually it was more than one day. It was weeks, turning to months, verging on years. He cried, and sobbed and grieved too. In my grief I couldn’t speak so I finally had a chance to listen to God speak. God whispered to my heart. He whispered through the voice of my sister. “Write. Write words. Write in journals. Write stories. Write poems. Write lists. Write more letters. Just keep writing. You’ll feel better; trust me.”

So I wrote, and wrote, and wrote. I wrote all of the pain right out of my heart and soul. I filled up journals, I filled up notebooks, and I filled up computer files. And I felt better. Somewhat. I couldn’t feel completely better because my words were buried in binders and computers and journals and no one ever saw them. They were private words between God and me. But I am greedy and I wanted more. I wanted to share my words. I wanted real live people to read my words.

So I entered my stories and poems in contests, but I never won. I sent my stories and poems to magazines and newspapers, but they were all rejected. I asked God “Why do you want me to write if nobody will ever read it? How can my words give you glory if they are buried in a binder?”

I stopped talking again and spent lots of time in silent prayer and adoration so that I might hear God’s voice again, and I did. His beautiful words came from a friend. I heard his voice come from her mouth with the following question: “Why don’t you write a blog?” But I was stubborn and afraid. The internet felt scary to me. So I dug my feet in the ground and continued to complain about all of my hidden words.

Now God had to speak very loudly to catch my attention. This time he spoke through a very wise priest who told me that the words “Do not be afraid” are written 366 times in the bible, one for every day of the year including leap year. DO NOT BE AFRAID. My friend, the priest, spoke these words to me again and again. “Do not be afraid, Anne.” I know that God was speaking through my friend, so I felt that I had better listen.

Those were the words that opened my mind and heart. I took a deep breath and began to release my words in this blog and I found out that I absolutely love blogging! I have never felt so happy and so fulfilled in my lifetime thus far. I write the words that are bubbling over inside of me, and I receive beautiful love letter words via comments in return. I read the words that are bubbling inside of others, and send them beautiful love letter words via comments in exchange. What could possibly be better?

God must be very happy. He must be smiling because I am happy, because I have overcome my fear, and because I use the gift he gave me to bring myself and others joy and this joy gives glory to God! I know that God loves me because he put the love for words within me and then nourished it and encouraged it each day, little by little. He knew there would come a day when I would need those words to lift myself up and hopefully, to lift others up as well. So, I thank God from the bottom of my heart because he only had to say the “Word” and it changed my life!

Word of God, thank You for giving me words to express myself and for nurturing the love of words within my heart and soul. Thank You for Your sacred, holy, wonderful words and for actually being the Most Sacred, Holy and Wonderful Word, Jesus. Amen.

22 comments:

  1. I imagine that God is especially happy because you are using your words for Him.

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  2. Anne,
    I treasure your words. They are beautiful and I am so blessed to have met you in blog world. Your posts are so filled with the Holy Spirit.

    I am thankful to God today for Anne and may she be blessed with an abundance of blessings for bringing a smile to my face.

    Hugs!

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  3. Anne, I got shivers when I read this! All I could think was - This is me! This is me! I have had an affinity for words since I was a young child. Words reach out and grab me! They make me laugh, cry and fill me with joy! I, too
    kept a journal and wrote poetry. I knew 12 years ago that the Lord wanted me to use the computer to write, but I kept procrastinating. When I read the Bible, electricity pours through me, especially when I read certain passages. Anne, the Holy Spirit has given you some awesome gifts! Blog on! May God bless you and continue His Outpouring upon you! That passage in the bible[the beginning of John] is one of my favorites.

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  4. Anne, you really know how to use words well! This post brought tears to my eyes because indeed your words do lighten up my day (as do other beautiful blogs which I follow)and are always full of optimism.
    Write, write whenever you can, never stop writing :)

    The Extraordinary Form of the Mass which I love so much always ends with the beginning chapter of John's Gospel :)

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  5. Anne, I just got off your son's blog. Between the two of you, both your posts have fired up my day! Thank you!

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  6. I love this, Anne! Reading about your journey ... I am a writer (at heart), too. Have been most of my life, writing for my school papers through college and then incorporating it into my career until I had children. I missed it. I am grateful for the opportunity to write again via my blog. When I started I didn't think it would be that type of outlet, more a way to keep in touch with long-distance family and friends. But it has become a real blessing to me, and I do hope it gives glory to the Lord for all that He has done for me. God bless!!

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  7. You have such a gift, Anne! I feel so blessed to be able to read your writing!

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  8. What a wonderful testament Anne! You are using the gifts God has blessed you with to touch our lives with your poetic writings. As I said previously, your writings *blow me away* and I feel blessed to have your friendship in the blog world. Praise God that you *listened* to Him : )

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  9. Anne - thank God you heard the voice that said "write, write my child - and I will speak through you." You have an awesome gift -
    God speaks to us in many ways - and uses our gifts for His good. He is doing this with you now. It is no different than the call Blessed Teresa received on the train to Darjeeling. Be happy to know His will - and to act on it. That is what I am attempting to do - I pray it is a true call. I do not have very good writing skill - but I am learning from you!

    God bless!

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  10. Thank you for sharing this - what an inspiration!!

    And I never heard about :Be not afraid" being in the Bible 366 times - that's great to remember on those rough days.

    I know we are all glad you chose to start and share your writing with us through your blog. You are amazing!!

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  11. Anne,
    This is a beautiful post that shows your God-given gift with words. Keep using them!
    Thank you for all the "love letter words" you leave in my comment boxes.
    May your writing continue to give glory to God and hours of joy to all of us who read them.
    God Bless!

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  12. I so enjoy reading both you and your son's blogs. They have brought some comfort to me during this challenging time. Because of this time, I, too, started my FIRST journal in May (I'm almost 40 yrs old.) I'm not willing to share this, as you said...these words are private between me and God. Thank you for sharing your words.

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  13. Anne,

    Thank you for sharing your words, both in your blogs, and in the comments...they are full of love, hope, and I admire that they are ever-striving to bring you and all readers closer to the Author of Life.

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  14. Thanks, Anne! That was so beautiful to read.

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  15. Words have enormous potential (think of the Epistle of St. James).
    and, of course, God who is So Near !

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  16. Ooh, my favorite line from the Epistle of St. James is "Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your soul." James 1:21bc I went around for a whole summer repeating that prayer over and over again, day after day. Thanks for the flashback. I really do think you must be psychic, or a kindred soul or something! :)

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  17. Anne,

    What a treat to get to know you and your writing history through this blog post. I can totally identify with it all ... the healing power of journaling, the excitement of blogging, and the way that God uses friends to nudge us towards sharing our gifts with others (in my case, her name is Tarn, and she was the one who encouraged me to make my writing public. I'll be forever grateful to her for that).

    And keep blogging! Your willingness to be vulnerable in your writing is so touching. It's a powerful testament to the fact that God believes in our abilities even more than we do ourselves, sometimes. Thank God for that!

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  18. I would like to comment to everyone who commented on this post-thank you so much. I can't begin to express how profoundly humbled I am by your kind and generous words. The world is filled with beautiful people and I never knew it! God has blessed me so much, because you are all so beautiful and you bring me so much joy! Thank you.

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  19. I do not know what caused you such immense pain that brought you to a place where you had no words left...(I have been to that place myself)...But, I PRAISE the good and gracious God of LOVE that SPOKE FOR YOU when you could no longer speak; that you might LISTEN and in turn hear His voice telling you to share your heart with all of us. I am BLESSED by all that you write Anne...truly, I am.
    And I hope that in answering His Call, you have found healing for your pain and suffering.
    Thanks for being who you are.
    xo

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  20. I love this, Anne! You do indeed have a wonderful way with words!
    I'm very glad I get to read them now!

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  21. What a great post! I'm here from Conversion Diary, and I loved the story your words told. Beautifully written! I feel such relief and clarity when I write important things, and my blog has helped me organize those thoughts in ways I never imagined. Thank you for sharing this post with us :)

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  22. Thanks Anne.

    When deciding to go ahead with my blog, I had to first overcome the idea that it needed to be perfect. That it really was enough to know that I was writing because I simply needed to write and to hopefully find some others to share it with. Blogging and reading other's blogs has become a true blessing to me.

    Fr C

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