Writing and Life: A Persevering Pilgrimage

"Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Je...

“Jeremiah Lamenting the Destruction of Jerusalem” by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. (Photo credit: Wikipedia

Jeremiah did not resolve to stick it out for twenty-three years, no matter what; he got up every morning with the sun.  The day was God’s day, not the people’s.  He didn’t get up to face rejection, he got up to meet with God.  He didn’t rise to put up with another round of mockery, he rose to be with his Lord.  That is the secret of his persevering pilgrimage.               Eugene Peterson, Living the Message

Perseverance and Pilgrimage

These two words hold the key to the writing life and the spiritual life.

According to Merriam-Webster, Perseverance  is the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.  Pilgrimage is a journey, especially one to a shrine or a sacred place.

When we begin writing, often we find we cannot stop.  The words in us must find expression or they burn and smolder, causing frustration and sometimes depression.  Same with our spiritual walk. The ideas and stirrings in us toward God must find a way out – an expression of worship.  The result can be connection – or rejection.  That should not be our concern.  Our concern is perseverance .

 But if I say, “I will not mention his word

or speak anymore in his name,”

his word is in my heart like a fire,

a fire shut up in my bones.

I am weary of holding it in;

indeed, I cannot.

Jeremiah 20:9

The result of the perseverance – the striving to express – is continued progress on the journey toward the heart of God. Earthly success is nice and welcomed but we may never see success in our efforts.   We can be encouraged like Jeremiah, that God walks with us on the journey.

 But the Lord is with me like a mighty warrior; Jeremiah 20:11

What an incredible promise.  Are you persevering today? Please share about your journey.

Betsy and Laurie

Writing Sisters

11 Comments on Writing and Life: A Persevering Pilgrimage

  1. sustainabilitea
    June 10, 2013 at 8:33 am (7 years ago)

    What a perfect thought for a rainy Monday morning! Thanks and many blessings on your day.


    • michelle
      June 10, 2013 at 8:40 am (7 years ago)

      Today is my birthday and I’m up before the dawn of a night that didn’t have enough hours of sleep. I need to spend two hours getting my proposal finished before real life begins. Not enough time, not enough ideas, but I press on.

      I’m reminded of my 21st birthday, when I got up before dawn to spend 12 hours in the library writing my Shakespeare final. Hard work. 20 handwritten pages on King Lear. My parents sprang me to take me to dinner. I reread my work afterwards, tore it in half and went to bed, up before dawn the next morning to rewrite.




      God is good and I’m thankful for the task.

      And blessed the circumstances of my life are NOT as challenging as Jeremiah’s.

      Thanks! 🙂

      • Writing Sisters
        June 10, 2013 at 12:33 pm (7 years ago)

        Happy Birthday, Michelle. Good luck on your proposal – it can’t be as hard as the Shakespeare final. Is it?

  2. Chris Malkemes
    June 10, 2013 at 9:23 am (7 years ago)

    I am walking by faith – My angry, disrespectful adult daughter continues to frustrate me. I understand this mental illness but it is hard to handle. I believe he’s going to heal her but for now it keeps me going to His throne of grace. How can that not be a good thing? So just like Jeremiah I wake up to the “day with God” because I need His warrior spirit and protective shield. My power verse through all of this is Ex 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you. You need only be still.”

    • Writing Sisters
      June 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks for that great reminder, Chris. “The Lord will fight for you.” Why is it so hard to be still!

  3. Katie Cross
    June 10, 2013 at 9:44 am (7 years ago)

    beautiful thoughts to start my day! Thank you!

    • Writing Sisters
      June 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks for you comment, Katie. Have a great day!

  4. Ms. Mary
    June 10, 2013 at 10:02 am (7 years ago)

    I attended a Pentecostal church where people danced (still do) in the spirit. “Just like fire shut up in my bones” was always given as a expression of what that meant and felt like. You just couldn’t hold it back. It overtakes you moves you, it compels you to take action, to jump up, shout out loud, pray, weep, change….and today for me it I identify with context of why we write. Feeling the same fire about the words brewing within. The same thing we want people to feel when we write. Thank You Sisters!

    • Writing Sisters
      June 10, 2013 at 12:32 pm (7 years ago)

      Thanks for your comment. My best writing comes from a passion or “burning” to write. I love the fact that God is with us in the work.

  5. Caddo-Jael
    June 15, 2013 at 12:13 am (7 years ago)

    “Why is it so hard to be still?” Because the world shouts, DO! Be! Hustle! Move! Work! The cacophony makes it difficult to hear His still small voice saying, “Rest in Me”, “Wait on Me”, “Abide with Me”. God bless you, Sisters–much love, sis Caddo

    • Writing Sisters
      June 20, 2013 at 8:43 am (7 years ago)

      Yes, the world’s voice screams loudly, but the voice of God is there. May we be faithful to listen.


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