I Hate Writing

Here’s a little confession. Despite the fact that I write a blog, a weekly message,  magazine articles and am currently finishing up my second book I really don’t enjoy writing all that much.

Writing doesn’t really come natural to me. It’s a lot of work and forces me to spend more time alone then I really like.

What I do love is life change.

What I do love is personal growth.

What I do love is watching how God can take words on a page and heal wounds, overcome fears, and breathe life into dreams.

I received this email this week from a young lady who read Plan B . I’ve read it every day this week just so I would be motivated to keep writing and humbly begging God to use these words to impact His children.

I’m a 20 year old Junior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro hoping to get my bachelors in English with a focus in creative writing. I grew up in church world, but I wasn’t saved until April of 2009.

My road to Christ has been a deeply painful struggle. At thirteen I began a painful struggle with self-harm and cutting. When I was sixteen I became involved in an abusive relationship. This boy completely tore me down. Emotionally he shattered my self worth. He would call me names, belittle me, and make me feel completely worthless. Physically, after dating for a few months, I was beat on a regular basis. In march of 2006 I was raped by this person who I thought I loved. This was not a one time event and occurred several times until I was able to get out of the relationship. However, the incident in march had the most lasting consequences. I became pregnant after that first time with a little boy (who I named Micah Rhys.) Though it is painful for me to even type this, at 14 weeks pregnant I was beaten so severely that I miscarried. I was confused and hurt. Why would God allow me to be raped, get pregnant, and once I had decided to keep the child (and love him) rip him from me?

Flash forward 4 years. In July of this year I was raped by an exboyfriend. I found myself 20 and possibly pregnant, again, from a rape. It was at the same time that God prompted me to read your book. My relationship with God had become stale and I was still dealing with the pain from my past, not to mention the recent tragedy. Of course, there were numerous other things going on in my life at the time that were causing me great distress. Although I was a Christian, I was struggling in a major way. At this point I was completely convinced that God was punishing me for a reason I was struggling to understand.

I had seen tweets about your book but I didn’t pay too much attention at the time. I always thought, “Sounds good, but maybe later.” Until one night when I was laying in bed unable to sleep. I couldn’t get the title of your book of my mind and that night I got out of my, got on amazon, and bought a copy.

I wish I could write you and tell you, such and such part of the book changed my life, but I can’t.

I can, however, say the book as a whole saved my life.

It quite literally saved me. I was headed on a trip for a week right after I received the book and at the time did not plan on returning from this trip. I had every intention of finding some way to end my life. I was scared, confused, hurt, and convinced I was being punished. God couldn’t possibly love me.

Even when I began reading, I had no intention of sticking around to even finish the book. If I could finish before the trip was over, great. If not? I was still going to go through with ending my life. But, something inside of me nagged at me to hold on until I finished.

Somewhere between page one and the end of the book, I heard God’s gentle voice calling me back. Through the stories I was reminded that I was not alone in my pain. I was reminded that God did love me.

Pete, God used your book to restore my hope. Though I feel as though I am, and have been for many years, stuck in a Saturday… I know Sunday is coming. I don’t know when, and I certainly don’t “feel” like it is going to happen. But, as I’ve spent the weeks after reading the book immersing myself in learning God’s character, I know God will follow through with his promises to me.

There was so much more I wanted to say, but my only thoughts at the moment are to thank you for writing the book and allowing God to use you. I know my life has been changed. And, I feel like this may be a book I’ll pull out and reread through out my life.

So for all you writers, bloggers, speakers, and pastors. Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep writing the words God puts on your heart. You never know how God may use them to impact a life.

67 Responses to “I Hate Writing”

  1. Andie says:

    Wow! Simply, wow! What a beautiful reminder of how God can use you in amazing ways beyond what you realize.

  2. Jessica says:

    The part of her letter that speaks so loudly, “I feel as though I am…stuck in a Saturday… I know Sunday is coming.”

    I think that’s a statement we can all claim.

    May God continue to affirm you in all your writings, Pete. Praying for this young woman as she stands on the promises of God. He is good and every decision we make to step closer to Him is worth it. He is always worth it.

  3. Jason says:

    Wow. This has been such a powerful week for your book, Pete. I know a guy who read your book who accepted Christ earlier this week in large part because of what you had written.

  4. becky says:

    “But, as I’ve spent the weeks after reading the book immersing myself in learning God’s character, I know God will follow through with his promises to me.”
    i love that your book did this in and for her….stories….His and ours praying for ears to hear…for people to see theirs and find someone to listen

  5. Wow, Pete. This is amazing. If you ever ever ever doubt how God is using your writing, return to that email again and again!

  6. Ed Cyzewski says:

    Thanks for sharing. That is the kind of letter that not only keeps us writing, but helps us take our writing very seriously. There is a lot at stake!

  7. Hal Thomas says:

    Someone famous (I forget who) once said writers don’t really love writing; writers love to have written.

  8. Thanks for this!
    I’m a writer, but struggling with it right now … not sure if it’s worth the ‘blood, sweat and tears.’ Recently told my husband I think I’ll just go work at a bookstore the rest of my life instead of trying to write.

  9. kevin says:

    started off a Friday covered in tears. and encouraged. He is good.

  10. Makeda says:

    Wow! I cried reading that letter. I would like to find that girl and just wrap my arms around her and love on her. So grateful that your book and the words in there was able to do that for her. Keep at it Pete because you are definitely making a difference.

  11. umm, yea….keep writing

    love to you Pastor Pete!

  12. Beth says:

    It’ll be a while til I recover from the goosebumps. Amazing story. God is using you in a powerful way – keep it up!

  13. Dedra says:

    Ditto on the wow. If this doesn’t encourage us all to persevere and do the things He has called us to do… in spite of ourselves.. well, i just dunno.

    I do know.. you (and we all are) are changing lives. The beauty? You are doing it authentically and with much grace.

    Thanks for that Pete.

  14. None of us has ANY idea how God will use and redeem and minister through the words he gives us to encourage others.

    This, I know about you: you affect others. Great blessing A N D responsibility. I’m prayin’ for you! :)

  15. Regina says:

    Such an amazing story! I have people in my life that are really struggling and I always recommend or give them your book. I read it initially because I have such respect for what you do but while reading it I was so blessed and believe it can really impact people in a positive way. Keep doing what you are doing… I have always beleived that God has a special plan for you and your ministry…and this is just one indication that I was right!

  16. Michael says:

    That just gave me chills. Thank you for the encouragement.

  17. Megan says:

    Wow. That’s amazing! Love when God uses our gifts to heal and touch others! Way to go Pete! Keep writing!!

  18. Amy says:

    That is AWESOME. God is good!

  19. Karen Duncan says:

    Everyone has a story and it is the pages that you add to them that create improvements in the chapters ahead. We are all writing expecially when we don’t realize it.

  20. lorelei says:

    i can only say, “Wow!” (as tears flow down my cheeks.)

  21. david says:

    That is just what I needed to hear today.
    Thanks :)

  22. Praise God!

    I HAVE to get back to writing too. I feel the same way as far as not enjoying writing all the time, but it is such an important piece of impacting the Kingdom.

    Thanks for this encouragement and great story of restoration.

  23. Amanda Sims says:

    How powerful! God is so good!

    Thanks for the reminder that words have power. Some days I don’t want to put pen to paper – or in my case fingers to keyboard – but this clearly shows that God uses the written word to minister to people.

  24. Nick says:

    Phenomenal story. That’s the kind of life change we hope for as we do the Plan B series in October.

    Reading this, I thought, God uses your pain (of writing) to bring others out of their pain. It’s a great portrait of Christ.

  25. Jenny says:

    so cool Pete… thank you so much for sharing and encouraging us with it… wow

  26. Melissa says:

    Wow. So glad she shared that with you, and in turn, you with us. Thanks for the encouragement and motivation to do the hard things even when we may not enjoy it or think we are not good enough (speaking for myself).

  27. Amy says:

    What an encouraging letter you received, Pete. I am thankful that God used you to save a life and the letter writer heeded God’s beckoning. I do love to write. It’s a coping mechanism for me, it’s how I sort through the “stuff” and it’s how I grow closer to God. Sometimes I wonder why I bother. I don’t get nearly as many comments as other people do and I start to wonder if anyone is really reading what I write. Then I get a private message telling me how one single blog post really made that person stop and think. It’s for that one person (who is constantly changing) that I continue to make my private life/ feelings and struggles public.

    You are an inspiration.

  28. Joyce says:

    I love that God can take something we dislike or struggle with and turn it on its head into something amazing.

    This post also reminded me of the enormous power of words…how we really don’t know what’s behind a persons smile or frown, and that I want to be more like a honeycomb, less like a bee.

  29. amanda says:

    Well Pete, one person can change the world. You certainly have changed hers, mine, and countless others. Thanks for your commitment, your dedication, and your honesty.

  30. Ally says:

    I don’t know if the girl that wrote you that amazing email reads your blog Pete, but if she does i pray she knows how courageous she is for sharing her story of survival and HOPE. She very likely has now done the same thing for others that she graciously thanked you for – saved a life.

    I’m in awe of God’s grace often, but this is just beautiful. Simply beautiful.

  31. Libby says:

    In tears…

    Amazing.

  32. Laura Anne says:

    Wow.

    Just….wow. The strength of this woman has floored me.

    The beauty of God’s anointing in your obedience to write is inspiring…

    Thank you Pete for sharing, and to the writer of that letter, thank you even more.

  33. Kevin says:

    Wow….powerful story. What a great reminded to you to just keep doing what you are doing. God used that message series Plan B over 2 years ago to change me, my plan and my life, and now this Sunday it is like it will come full circle and then some. Thanks for being you…for being faithful, humble and a man of God willing to be used by Him to change the world. Keep writing! Love ya bro.

  34. Brooke says:

    We currently have Plan B on order from Amazon. Can’t wait to read it! What an amazing letter of affirmation for you, Pete.
    Thank you for being a willing vessel to be used by God for his glory. Thumbs up!

  35. Mike in Milwaukee says:

    I love this so much Pete. Right writing can right the world!

  36. gitz says:

    To the sweet girl who wrote this email:

    I promise you, starting today, I will pray for you every single day. I think Pete knows me well enough to know that I don’t say things, or make promises, I won’t keep. Just know, in the back of your mind, that daily you are loved and remembered. And never ever alone.

  37. Rodney says:

    Did you ever doubt that what you were writing is worth the time that you put into it? If so I’m sure just by this letter all that has vanished. Everything that’s is touched and changed by this girl will be because you persevered through those days you didn’t want to write. God is truly working through you.

  38. Tiffany says:

    Pete,

    All I have to say is WOW!!! Your book and your sermons have really changed me too! Keep on listening to the Lord and obeying him! God has a way of working through you in your writing and speaking and meeting people right where they are!

  39. Wow, that is an amazing story and I’m so happy she is around to tell it!!! I love her and haven’t even met her!

    Your book DOES change lives, as Jason Wert said, there is a young man who it helped bring to Christ this week. It also changed mine. I, too, wanted to end my life and escape the pain. A friend wanted me to read it. I told her I didn’t want another self-help book. But the second she placed it in my hand I found myself tuning her out and smoothing my hand over the cover and studying it. Then an overwhelming feeling came over me and for the very FIRST time in my life I said, “Can I go to church with you tomorrow?” Between Plan B and beginning a life at Cross Point, I know God led me there. He knew I needed each to find Him again. Thank you for writing such an amazing book from your heart, Pete!

  40. Adam S. says:

    What an AMAZING testimony for how God used you personally to minister to someone whom you’ve never met thru the written words that He implanted int your brain!…just finished PlanB and am soooooo looking forward to your next one!..God Bless you and your family abundantly!

  41. Ian says:

    Wow, Pete what an amazing endorsement & God’s power in using someone’s words to change a life! To God be the glory!

  42. Jenn says:

    That’s awesome. Praise God!

  43. britt says:

    That is SO amazing. WOW

  44. Patricia says:

    Wow! I teared up reading this. It’s amazing how the written word can give encouragement and strength to sooo many. This girl is special and with your help will do wonderful things in her life. It’s only just begun. My daughter is struggling right now ~ living on her own and finding the pressures of life overwhelming at times. She has taken up reading (never really took the time before) and in the last year has been doing more and more. I know she’s looking for answers in these books. Maybe they were helping to take her mind off of her struggles. But the books she was choosing were shallow and very artificial (not choosing the right words here, I’m certainly not a writer) I’ve just noticed that the ones she’s choosing now are different. She’s reading more reflective books now and not “American Dream” type. After reading your book “Plan B”, I knew I wanted to share it with her. I haven’t given it to her yet, but I know it’s destined to fall into her hands and the words into her heart…You have impacted many people with this book and will continue to do so. Can’t wait to buy your next one.

  45. Ryan Detzel says:

    Hey Pete – Awesome story to be sure. Those are the letters that keep me going strong as a pastor.

    I received your book in the Catalyst Leader pack recently and it’s on my bookshelf in my office. I’ve had nearly no time to read lately and it’s been frustrating.

    Last Tuesday I was in a pretty serious motorcycle accident and I’m going to be out of commission for a while. Looks like I’ll have time to do some reading! I’ve wanted to read this book in particular just because the couple of times that I met you…you struck me as completely present in our conversation. You weren’t looking to get past me (as I am guilty of doing sometimes) and you treated me as a friend immediately.

    Looking forward to reading Plan B this week.

    Bless you brother.

  46. Pete A. says:

    What wonderful encouragement for those of us who have a book we feel God wants us to write – or who have written it but have confronted the realities of finding a publisher. Pete, that’s one of the most powerful examples of what a book can do I, for one, have ever seen. God bless you!

  47. Gayle Terry says:

    Pete, please don’t ever stop writing. Your book, Plan B, saved my life. It has brought light when there has been much darkness in my life. I just finished reading it tonight and using it in my journaling. Last year my mom died from a long journey with Alzhimers. Two weeks ago my dad, after being married to my mom for 64 years, decided to join her. I was laid off my job 22 months ago. Yes, I’ve been able to oversee my parents care and have been more hands on with them. But you talk about a Plan B. I think i’m into a Plan D and F by now. I don’t know what God has for me but I put my full trust in Him. My parents knew the Lord and it was because of them coming to know the Lord early in their marriage that us 3 kids also are following the Lord. I can’t wait until your next book comes out. Thank you again and never stop writing. My pastor reads tons of books and I type in his notes and highlights. This was one of his recent books. I’m ordering my own to mark it up as much if not more than he did. You are blessed of God.

  48. Gabe Taviano says:

    Thanks for being honest, and willing to do something you hate. Keep pressing on Pete!

  49. James Cohen says:

    Heartfelt thanks for posting this Pete.

    Somedays I am in awe of how the words flow and know it is God providing the information. Your post and the impact of your writing is a great reminder of the responsibility we have to each other and why we should keep going. Blessings

  50. […] series this weekend at Cross Point. Stephanie sent me her story a couple weeks ago after reading this post and wanting to reach out to help this young […]

  51. Hi Pete, I just wanted to circle back and tell you how much Plan B spoke to me. I didn’t expect to be “ministered” to in reading your book. I felt I had processed my “Plan B” fallout in an earlier season in my life – and was reading it to review it on the blog. Little did I know, God wanted me to know that He knew the fears, left over from years back. The biggest fear lurking in the back of my mind – that I would lose my husband and end up like single mom like I grew up – it jumped out in between the pages. And I had to surrender even that, once again to trust God. Even if that should happen.

    Keep writing — and most importantly, thank you for going through the pain in your own life and others, in order to pour out the words.

    You HAVE, are, and will continue to make a difference.

    I loved this post from earlier this year. And it’s stayed with me.

  52. […] 1.  Pete Wislon @Without Wax:  I Hate Writing […]

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