Saturday, August 15, 2020

Being Honest About Our Emotions Can Bring Freedom and Enhance Writing

by Emme Gannon @GannonEmme

We are in crises. We’re asked to protect our bodies and those of our fellow citizens by barricading ourselves in our homes, denying ourselves touch and interaction with others, both family and friends. This is not meant as a political statement or an attack on restrictions placed on us by the authorities. It is a fact that cannot be denied. Right now, this is our world.

This unnatural state we find ourselves in goes against the very core of our being. We are a people created by God with three distinct parts, body, soul, and spirit. While separate, they depend on one another for our health and well-being. When the body hurts so does our soul (our emotions, thoughts.) When our spirit grieves, we feel the pain in our soul and often in our body. Leading medical experts estimate that 90% of disease is caused or complicated by stress. Stress drains the body of positive energy as it strives to cope with the demanding worry of stress-related issues, leaving less energy to sustain immune function that heal illnesses and injuries. How can we meet the needs of our soul and spirit while still protecting ourselves and others from physical harm?

After reaching out to those known to me and those known to others in my small world, I share a few stories of how some are coping. First we go to a small New England town, where a friend sprang into action. After observing the despair of her town’s merchants who were forced to close their businesses and were struggling to feed their families, the woman decided to organize a street fair. She made certain that restaurants and businesses complied with the rules of her state. She got permission from the town officials. Main Street was closed and attendance was limited so as to comply with social distancing. The merchants were encouraged to set up tables and display their merchandise outside their shops. She shared with me that she could feel the dark spirit lift as people did what they were created by God to do—work and bless others. They encouraged. They laughed. Their soul was fed by life-giving fellowship.

Days after the fair, a widow in her 80’s could be found sitting outside the local food pantry in the heat from ten in the morning to four in the afternoon. “Why don’t you go inside,” my friend asked. “Because the room inside is small and would not accommodate social distancing,” the woman said, “So, I sit outside each day so that those who are hungry can come for food.” This woman is an example that the spirit lifted knows no bounds.

Our next story takes us to a coastal town in North Carolina where a war-torn vet with PTSD struggles with the restrictions placed upon the residents there. His world is disjointed. His support system gone. He stays in his tiny home in the company of his therapy dog. His soul is weary. The silence screams at him. There is no today. Only yesterday. And yesterday explodes upon him with memories of war and despair. Then something happened. A neighbor mowed his lawn and deposited a dozen eggs on his door step. Nothing said. Just a silent show of support that pushed the past away and brought light and hope into his today. 

Our third story takes us to the suburbs of a city in the south where a woman weary of being alone contacted members of her church and invited them to meet under her large maple tree once a week and study one of the Psalms. Five woman appeared. Each week, the Lord withheld rain. They gather and unlock their feelings. And then, they read the Psalm of the week and get God’s perspective. Hope invades. Prayers unite. God reigns and reminds that He is in control. “Fear not for I am with you.”

There’s a story that we’re meant to be a part of. A story we may be robbed of because an unseen enemy is holding us captive and not allowing us access to the life we were made for. How does that make us feel? Let our reaction to that question stir around in our psyche for a little bit and then ask God what He has in mind. We may be surprised. Whatever it is, know that it is mighty. Even if it is dropping off eggs on the doorstep of a wounded vet. Or encouraging an elderly widow. Or opening up to others under a tree in your backyard.

What does all of this have to do with writing? Everything. For the stories we write spring from our soul and our spirit. When they soar, so does our writing. 


Emme Gannon is a wife, mother, and grandmother who loves to write stories that stir the heart. Her award-winning writing has appeared in Focus on the Family magazine, several anthologies, and numerous newsletters. She just completed her first novel.


  1. Amen Ms. Emme. In viewing, and participating in, the world around us, God gives us many occasions to write and share what we and others are experiencing. Even during a pandemic, He is there. What a wonderful reminder of ways we can show His light in this ever-darkening world. God's blessings ma'am.

    1. Thank you, J.D., for your encouraging comments. You are correct. God is so faithful, even in a pandemic. Blessings to you, J.D.

  2. Thanks Emme for these heartwarming stories. They certainly make me want to help others in this world we are in now. I loved every word. Thank you for writing them. God bless!

  3. Thank you, Diane. This is not an easy time for any of us, but God is faithful to His children. Blessings to you!