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{This is a follow-up to my last post: I Don’t Sleep. You can click here to read it}1000 words edit.jpg

13,973. That’s how many words I wrote over a period of two weeks in November. Not for a blog. Not for a book. Not for anything to publish and no…not even for you.

One thousand words. Every night. About Dad. For me.

It wasn’t my idea. It was hers; the friend who shines glittery Jesus love to everyone (even in the mornings). The one who calls me Velveteen and reminds me to be real until all my furs rubs off. And she is also the one who listened about my sleepless nights over the loss of my Dad and then offered this challenge: Write one thousand words every night before bed for the remainder of November.

I don’t remember liking the idea at first. In fact this friend was treading on thin ice at even making the suggestion. After all, just minutes early in our conversation I told her I didn’t want anything to do with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) a way to encourage people to write the novel they always dreamed of. I’ve never dreamed of a novel, so that was easy. But really whether it is fiction or non-fiction the last thing I wanted to do was write a thousand plus words a day for a month. Ick. I was so over it. I really was.

 “I think you need to do it.”

I knew she was right.

The idea was to write my memories of my Dad to ward of the fear of forgetting him. Perhaps if memories were documented each night my obsession of remembering him would give me peace and rest. I really needed rest.

And so I did what anyone would do with a challenge. I procrastinated. I let days go by and then I dragged an innocent soul along with me to pen her own thousand words—because life challenges are always better in community. But allow me to be radically honest with you.

I hated it.  Every. Single. Time.

Nearly every night started the same way:

I hate this. I don’t want to do this. Let’s get this over with so I can go to bed.

Truth: Writing hurts. It just does.

I intentionally engaged with each and every thought and traveled the road of favorite and forgotten memories. Consequently these memories set off triggers which led me to unchartered emotions. It was a painful process. And with deep sobs and hot tears I wrote all of it.

Truth: Writing heals. It really does.

And I slept. I finally slept. It was a miracle. But I knew better to think this was only about sleeping. God wanted me to trust my soul in His hands. Because He knows grief doesn’t stand alone. It’s messy. So very messy. Grief knows no boundaries. It touches every part of life: past, present, future. Unfortunately for friends and family members, I’ve misunderstood grief for years. Grief is not just about missing someone; it’s about discovering who you are without them.

And so this is my journey right now—discovering who I am. It’s part of the grief process, part of the inspiration behind the Sharpie Tattoos and it’s part of becoming whole.Sharpie Tattoo

Truth: Writing ushers hope. Thank God it does.

Come, join me on this journey of becoming whole. You are not alone—He is with you. Always.


Relevant Worship {music to soak in before, after and during your one thousand words}

Closer by Bethel Music featuring Steffany Frizzell-Gretzinger