Someone on Twitter that I follow asked tonight, "If your writing could change one thing in the world, what would it be?" Not every piece of writing has to be world-changing. Sometimes, we just write to let off steam or make something beautiful in the world. I found her question intriguing, though, because I do want my memoir to change people's lives.
At the end of the first chapter of my book, I give a disclaimer. I make sure that my reader knows that I'm not writing a self-help book. I'm not writing a book about how to cure migraine. Spoiler alert! I still have chronic migraine!! I'm also not putting myself out as an example of how to live the Christian life.
I do think that a memoir can effect change in the world and I hope that mine is one of those. I don't expect it to be huge, but I would hope that one or two people might find their lives improved by reading my story.
How? How can reading about my journey of faith and chronic pain help someone?
I want people with chronic pain to know
* They aren't alone in their pain
* There is hope for life despite the pain
* God is with them in the pain
* There are medical professionals who will do their best for them to get good pain control.
I want people on a spiritual journey to know
* Faith is a journey, not a destination
* My faith journey didn't make everybody happy.
* My faith journey was long and hard and their probably will be, too.
* God was faithful to stick with me, even through the pain.
I can't tell anyone's story but mine and it doesn't have some super, miraculous ending (sorry about the spoiler, there), but it is encouraging at the end.
That's the kind of change I want my writing to make. Even besides my book, I want my blog posts to do the same kind of thing. I want them to bear witness to the reality of the pain of chronic illness and the the reality and goodness of God. I may not see miraculous healing, but Jesus walks with me.
What do you think?