a blog written by Jennifer Lynn
I remember laying in bed, many years ago after I became single again, when I was going through something that was emotionally difficult and frustrating for me. I remember feeling so many things at once. A lot of anger, resentment, bitterness, and hurt had built up over a period of time and as much as I cared about this person at the time, I wanted them to hurt in the same way I was experiencing. I was also mad at myself for allowing it to continue on as long as I did. I was partially to blame for getting myself into this mess and now I wanted out of it, I just didn’t know how. I was laying in bed, sobbing, praying to God. Telling Him how hurt and angry I was. How sick and tired I was about the current situation at the time. How stuck I felt and how I had so much in me that needed to come out, to talk about it, express myself. I just needed to get it all out somehow. That’s when the songs came.
I had always dabbled in writing. Just randomly, here and there growing up. But I always had a knack for it. It wasn’t until after I got married that I took it deeper. When I first got married, we lived with his parents in their 3 bedroom apartment. We had our first son only about 4 1/2 months after we got married. (It was a quickie wedding to “cover up” the fact that I was pregnant.) Four adults and a baby in a small 3 bedroom apartment. I don’t highly recommend it.
The turning point, creatively for me was when my then father in law brought home an acoustic guitar. He had this notion that he was going to learn how to play and sing. A notion that I knew as soon as it came out of his mouth was never going to happen. My ex father in law was many things, a hard worker and provider for his family (who was already retired at the time) and he was always nice to me and had a decent sense of humour but I knew very well that he didn’t have a musical bone in his entire body. Which ended up working out really well for me.
That new acoustic pretty much laid there, leaning up against the wall, relatively untouched for the most part. Just like I figured it would. He would play around on it here and there but nothing that resembled “music”. One day while everyone was out of the house, it was just me and my new baby boy, I picked up the guitar and started fooling around on it. I eventually went out one day and bought a guitar book so that I could learn some proper basic chords. And when you’re at home by yourself a lot with just a baby for company you have to entertain yourself somehow. So that’s what I did. Every time I had the house to myself, just me and my baby boy, I would get out the chord book and the guitar that wasn’t even mine and I taught myself how to play. My oldest son became my very first audience. Thank God he was so young he can’t remember me struggling to go from a G to a D without having to stop to look at where my fingers were.
A couple years later when we were in our own place, again, (we moved 6 times in our 5 1/2 year marriage), my dad bought me my own acoustic for Christmas. It was black and I didn’t have to sneak around to play guitar anymore because it was all mine. (The same one I use today.) It wasn’t until after I became single again that I really started writing on a more regular basis. And going back to that day laying in bed begging God to help me; to give me an outlet to everything that had or was happening, I started to have something to talk about. The songs just kept coming, one after the other. Non stop. And once I felt bold enough to start sharing them on my social media for the first time, and seeing/hearing peoples positive responses to my songs, it gave me an even bigger reason to keep writing. Someone else out there needed to hear it too.
Fast forward to August 2017 and the launch of my website, www.jenniferlynn.net . Which originally started from a conversation with a friend of mine. We somehow got on the subject of her asking me what I’m passionate about. What could I see myself doing if I knew I couldn’t fail? I said “I like to write.” Next thing I knew I was at her house with her and her husband helping me set up and design a website so that I could have a place to write. It’s nothing “fancy” (those websites are expensive) but it’s a start. And that’s what I needed. To start. Little did I know just a few months later when my boys left how much more important my writing would become. How therapeutic and necessary it would be. And not just for me. But for others as well as it turns out.
Everything that has happened in my life has been the fuel that’s been needed to keep my love of writing alive. I haven’t enjoyed everything that I’ve gone through. I’ve paid a heavy price to be able to write what I write and how I write it. I’ve quickly learned that if you want to have something to say, you have to live. You have to risk. You have to make choices. And if you want to heal, you have to talk about it. You have to open up and tell your story. Talking about it means you’re owning it and if you own it, it no longer owns you. You are no longer a slave to it. You become empowered by it and it becomes another tool in your toolbox that God is using to construct a platform for you to point people to Him.
It’s for this reason that I am thrilled to be apart of The Unspoken Conversation team. An initiative that also started with the mindset, “Let’s talk about it.” And with the Bell Let’s Talk day that we just had and this week’s podcast, along with other resources, it’s becoming that much more empowering to have the necessary conversations. So, let’s start there. Let’s talk about it. Tell your story.