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Letters We Never Send

There are conversations that can’t be had in this life. Maybe the person is no longer in your world and it would be awkward to call them up after 15 years. Maybe the individual refuses to have a conversation with you for selfish reasons. Maybe they passed away before you had the chance to speak. Maybe you see them every week but are afraid to speak what’s on your heart because you aren’t really sure what you’re trying to say. Or maybe you don’t even know them yet but you still have the desire to express yourself. Whatever the reason, I find that I often yearn to speak from my soul in order to process my thoughts.

There’s something cathartic about getting concerns, emotions, hopes, fears and love out in the open even if it’s just on a piece of paper. I also find that most of the things that unsettle us are often obscure and that makes them harder to handle. I once heard someone discuss how people have an irrational fear of death because it’s not really death that concerns them but rather it’s the consequences of death. It’s the pain, unknown and loss of opportunities that truly worry us. If we can put into words what we truly fear we can better handle the situation because we now know what we’re facing. In the case of death, understanding the root cause of your fear gives you the opportunity to prepare, clear up confusions and make your wishes known. You are no longer against this faceless cloud of a concept but rather you can put a name to your issues. I believe this concept applies to a lot of other situations, good and bad, that we face in life.

Many lifetimes ago I started the habit of writing letters to mentally work through my thoughts and within this activity I found peace and comfort. I know that most of these letters will never be sent or read but there’s something about having to put a swirl of feelings into physical words that can really help clarify a situation. I’ve had some of my best “aha” moments through these lines and let me add that I view my prayer journal as a letter to God. Having to put my prayers into words often requires me to be bold before the Lord and it actually requires me to view my sin, needs and desires specifically. It’s easy to pray about something in a fluffy way, like a checklist, but when you sit down to put those words to paper you can’t be so ambiguous. It’s harder to hide in the written word.

So, if you’re having some overwhelming feelings surrounding a person or situation right now why not try writing a letter…even to God. I highly recommend giving it a shot maybe while you unplug one day. Perhaps away from the distractions of life you will find clarity and direction for you soul.


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