Turning our Mess into Message

I’ve recently received a lot of feedback on my writing. Though this may sound strange, I was most thrilled by the negative feedback, because it gave me direction to move forward. Before I knew there was something wrong with my work…it was a good story, had a great message, but something wasn’t right. The typical, “Wow, that was great!” comment is always wonderful to hear – but not always helpful when you know otherwise.

One lady in particular just took a hammer to my work, uncovering my point-of-view problems, pointing out the tiny stumbling blocks in my sentences, and exposing my secret addiction to adverbs. Her critique looked like a rainbow – red for delete, blue for change, etc. My husband’s eyebrows shot up into his hairline as he watched it scooting out of the printer. “This is good?” he questioned.

Sure, to the outward observer, it might look like my writing potential was little to none. But I know the end goal – a story that has a beautiful and powerful message. Right now my story is not strong enough to transport that message…but with a little work, with a little correction, and a lot of hammering, it can carry this message to the hearts of hundreds of women.

This whole process got me thinking about how God takes a hammer to our hearts, reveals our point-of-view problems, shines a light on our stumbling blocks, and uproots our secret addictions. I know at times, I have felt His hammer swing, seen what He has exposed, and have felt discouraged to continue on in a ministry He has called me to. “With all this mess, how can I possibly…” How often those words have tumbled from my lips.

But if we allow him, He will take our mess and turn it into message. He knows the end goal – He sees the final product, and He knows how to get us there. It might take some hammering, some weeding, some exposing…but the end is a beautiful message that we get to carry.



  1. Kudos to you for being so willing to submit yourself to constructive criticism! The objectivity of others is one of the best ways we can grow as authors, but it's not always easy to accept. When you've poured yourself into a story, it's hard not to take correction a little too personally sometimes.

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