How to Craft a Heartfelt Lament: Advice for Emotional Writing

Lament, a common theme in literature and particularly prevalent in religious texts like the Bible, is a vocalization of grief and sorrow. It is not merely an artistic endeavor but a spiritual outpouring, a means to surface deep-seated emotions, and a way to communicate with the divine amidst suffering and despair.

Understanding Lament

A lament is a cry of despair or sorrow. They contain raw, unfiltered emotions of grief, betrayal, or disappointment. However, it’s important to note that lament is not just an expression of sorrow; it reinstates your faith and trust in the divine, even in times of despair.

writing in the morning

Structure of a Lament

A lament usually comprises several parts:

    • Address to God: Any lament begins with a direct address to the Divine or Higher Power.
    • Review of God’s past faithfulness: This is a recollection of the times when you felt Divine assistance in your life.
    • The complaint: This part contains the actual outpouring of sorrow, grief, confusion, or frustration, presenting your feelings about the situation to the Divine.
    • Confession of sin or claim of innocence: This can be a confession of guilt if you feel you contributed to the situation, or an assertion of innocence if you believe you are unduly suffering.
    • Request for help: This is a humble plea for Divine intervention and assistance.
    • God’s response: This segment is often left unstated, trusting that Divine intervention will come.
    • A vow to offer praise or statement of trust in God: Despite the pain and sorrow, ending the lament with a reaffirmation of faith and a vow to continue praising God.

Writing Your Lament

Anyone can write a lament. You don’t need to be a writer or particularly creative; you only need time, a bit of breathing room, and the willingness to face your discomfort. Here is a suggested guide to help you create your lament:

    • Address and cry out to God: Begin by identifying the Divine, expressing your pain, distress, or issue.
    • State your complaint: Pain, anger, confusion, or doubt, voice it all without any reservations.
    • Confession of trust: This is where you reaffirm your faith and trust in the Divine being you address.
    • Prayer for deliverance: Explicitly express your plea for help or deliverance from the woes you are going through.
    • Praise and thanksgiving: Close your lament with an expression of gratitude and commitment towards the Divine.
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Writing a lament allows one to explore sorrow, grief, frustration in all its intensity. Yet, it also offers a way to process these emotions, seek comfort, and restore faith. As you lean into the lament and write your piece, remember that lament is meant to offer a path out of discomfort, a way to process distressing emotions, and a means to find hope and trust once again in the Divine’s plan for your life.

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