confident: gaining the courage to write by faith

confident - gaining the courage to write by faith @poetryjoy.comCan I tell you a secret, friend? Listen close and I’ll whisper it to you: I’m not a confident person. Not. At. All. Just ask my family. Although I wrote reams of poetry in my late teens and 20s, shared them in church magazines and had a few published, any belief in myself vanished soon after.

Because I splintered inside after a major mental health breakdown. It took years of cooperating with God and counsellors to slowly piece myself back together again. But some things went missing. Including my ability to write like I used to.

My creativity became diverted into mothering and making a home. The writer inside lost her voice. She died for years. And it wasn’t until one of my sons began to write poetry himself and started a blog that my poetic fire was reawakened, if not the courage to begin again.

Thankfully, God (and family) gave me the impetus, courage and confidence to make a start. Now I can write about personal stuff in a public sphere and don’t get too anxious before I press publish. Because I’ve learnt to trust. To believe words will come as and when they need to. To rest my shaky confidence in God alone, while seeking to exercise the gift He has given me to share.

And I want to encourage you too. Especially if you’re at the hesitant stage of wondering if you dare release your words. If timid old me can do that quite happily, manage two blogs, write a book and be working on my next, then so can you. Or something similar, of course.

As we ask for God’s help, and trust it to come, we’re enabled to take the first step forward and so on. Your calling might look very different from mine, and that’s okay. Our part is to stay faithful to the unique-to-us gifting we have been given.

Courage to write

Thank you for the gift and grace
of newly formed words
taking shape in my head,
for the wisdom you give to decide
which to retain or reject,
what to discard or include
in a future work.

Thank you for these fledgling things,
these tiny chicks
with tender covering and barely
formed wings, these baby steps
towards a mature offering
and the joy they already bring.

Thank you for providing insight
and inspiration to my mind
and the courage to write,
the confidence that comes
from knowing you are on my side,
giving grace and giving light.

Thank you for the community
of fellow wordsmiths, who dip
their toes into the water with mine,
and for the love and concern we share,
the hopes, dreams and prayers.

Thank you for reminding me
of my place
in this vast ocean of creativity,
the smallness of it,
but how each tiny offering is
magnified and reaches all
who need to see and receive.

Thank you, too, for the dry seasons
when I lack energy, strength
or inspiration to create,
because then I sense you holding
me closer than before, while I rest,
become refreshed and restored.
Β© joylenton

confident - courage to write poem excerpt (C)joylenton

PS: Another little secret: I wrote this poem a while back. It took more than five minutes but I’m sharing it in response to this week’sΒ five-minute-friday prompt of “confident”. You’re welcome to join in here and read the great variety of posts being shared.Β  πŸ™‚

22 thoughts on “confident: gaining the courage to write by faith

  1. This is one of those times when I wish we had a “love” button. Your poetry is lyrical and sings to my heart. I’m a poet too, but the words have come sparsely these past few months, so I especially appreciate your final stanza, the words about the dry seasons…
    “because then I sense You holding
    me closer than before, while I rest,
    become refreshed and restored.”
    To everything there is a purpose—even dry spells. πŸ™‚
    Your neighbor at FMF #25

    • How sweet of you, Angela. I’m so glad these words resonated with you. That’s what we hope for when we write, isn’t it? We want our words to sing to others of God’s love and grace, and to find a home in their hearts as they read and respond. I’ve been through a fair few dry seasons myself, some lasting several months, and it feels like we might never write another word. Yet God always finds a way to refresh a weary writer with a fresh stream, one that flows just when He wants it to. We might have to wait a while for the water we want, but we really appreciate it when it comes! The words are often better than we imagined for being delayed a bit or marinated in our hearts. May you soon receive again and take pleasure in the pouring out. Blessed you stopped by. 😊

  2. Dear Joy,
    Oh what sweet inspiration you bring here! You have been that voice of encouragement for me, to take those risks and to share my own shaky words. I feel so incredibly blessed that the Lord directed our paths to cross, and that He prompted me to purchase your book just when I needed to read it. And I join with you in praying, “Thank you for these fledgling things,” as so often I have offered my words and felt they were indeed so small. You remain in my prayers, Dear Friend, as I ask the Lord to multiply your words along with your energy to be able to share your next book! Much Love and hugs to you! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, it’s been a joy to watch you grow as a writer and poet, especially in terms of courage, confidence and expertise. I’ve loved having the opportunity to encourage and support you in your journey. And you have greatly inspired me as well. It’s definitely been a mutual thing. We learn from one another and gain strength and resilience in the prayers we offer too. I’m so thankful for yours! Energy is rather depleted these days, so a multiplication sounds marvellous. Much love and hugs to you too, dear friend! xoxo πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

    • Oh, Laurie, what a beautiful encourager you are! I don’t see that kind of courage in myself but I am grateful if you do. Thank you, dear friend. Any courage or confidence I possess is God-given and hard fought for. It’s my hope and prayer to continue to write, as I am given the grace, strength and ability to do so. May you keep on keeping on as well. I love to read your words. Your gift is truly amazing. Hope you’re feeling much better now and recovering your energy and strength. Blessings and love. xo πŸ’œ

    • Thank you, Michael! How kind of you. My physical voice, (and sadly my singing voice) has weakened over the years due to having M.E and chronic illness. Hopefully, my writing voice possesses an energy and power that is otherwise naturally lacking! God supplies in mysterious ways, right? πŸ˜‰ Bless you, dear friend. πŸ’œβ€

    • Oh, Jenny, you made me teary and you made me smile! Thank you so much for joining me here. It means a lot to have your sweet companionship, dear friend. I’ve lost count of the number of times your beautiful comments on my Facebook page have been so timely and helped me to stay encouraged. What a lovely gift you have for cheering on others! Have a blessed weekend. Love and hugs! xo πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

  3. Beautiful, Joy! I love that line abut “fledgling things.” I wonder how many writers are really confident beings. I think that vulnerability, uncertainty, even timidity behind the act of writing, when we write despite all that, makes some of the most powerful writing.

    • Deborah, I’ve certainly seen the powerful writing you’ve described emerging from your own openness about vulnerable experiences. Maybe we write with greater authenticity when it stems from a deep place within, a wound that still hurts sometimes or a scar that reminds us what we’ve been through. And though the sharing may be scary, it helps build connection points with those who read our words. Feeling the fear but doing it anyway can be quite cathartic as well. Thank you for adding your valuable insights here! x πŸ’œ

  4. I did the word confident as well for the #Write28Days challenge, I wrote poetry for family and people I went to church with. I often felt very overlooked and misunderstood because of my creativity, but we have such a good Father. He is our confidence.

    • Becky, I appreciate your honesty here. It’s true that some will be mystified when we have an urge to write. They may not understand who we are as writers, because they will see a different side to us they didn’t expect or might feel uncomfortable with. Even if we quake or waver, we can commit to the work God calls us to and seek to be faithful as we place our hope, faith and confidence in Him. Although it’s hard to keep it in mind sometimes, pleasing God is our primary task. If others are blessed and encouraged by what we share, then it’s a lovely bonus! πŸ˜ŠπŸ’œ

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