Roads in our hearts


By Betty Slade | PREVIEW columnist

On Monday mornings, I bring a five-minute spiritual challenge to the writers in our Wolf Creek Christian Writers’ Network. This prompt is designed to motivate and inspire. I challenge them to value their voice and their sacred story, the story the Lord has given them and only they can write.

Their voices are important and need to be heard. But, some are stuck. Only they know what holds them back, fear of exposure or fear of not being good enough. I am familiar with some of their excuses — no time to write, poor education, no one cares what I think or I don’t have anything of value to write. I’ve dealt with those destructive voices in my past, even believed them. But I have found a road that took me out of my own way so I can write.

That road is Jesus. He says He’s the way. He’s not only saying “I am the road,” but “I am the direction,” “I have gone the distance,” and “I will go the distance for you.”

There’s a hurting world that needs our words. Writers are gifted with words to change and influence the world around them. Their paths take them through dark valleys of tears where others only find pain, but they dig deep to find a pleasant pool.

Writers experience their own pain deep in their core. Only they know what it takes to bring them out of darkness. Usually, it takes years of prayer and seeking answers in order to extract pleasant pools from their soul’s deep, dark valleys.

It takes courage to be vulnerable and let strangers know your hurt, your angst and your inability to cope. And it takes more courage to write it down, to put pen to paper, let the ink flow and let others read about you.

I read this Psalm to the group knowing someone needed to hear this. “… Within their hearts are the highways of holiness. Even when their paths wind through the dark valley of tears, they dig deep to find a pleasant pool where others find only pain. He gives to them a brook of blessing filled from the rain of an outpouring.” — Psalm 84:5-7 (TPT).

The scripture literally reads in Hebrew, there are “roads in our hearts to bring us into the presence of God.” Those roads could be forgiveness, love or understanding for those who have committed injury to us or who we have caused injury to. That road in our hearts is designed to lead us out of the slump, or trauma, and back to a loving God.

The Holy Spirit refreshes us in those hard moments, to turn those putrefied places into something beautiful. It’s a mystery. God has chosen us to write. 

“We are a visible display of the infinite, limitless riches of God’s grace and kindness, which was showered upon us in Jesus Christ.” — Ephesians 2:7 (TPT).

I pressed upon the writers to understand the value of that dark valley of tears. When we deal with our pain before God and dig deep, we find a pleasant pool in that low ground of our lives where others only find pain. It is there we make a difference in another person’s life.

Final brushstroke: As writers, we have been given much; we’ve been in the presence of God. We’ve traveled the “road of holiness,” and, yes, the path of darkness and have experienced victory. How can we not to let the ink flow from our pens and give someone else a word of healing, encouragement or comfort?

Send your comment to

Views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN.