Writing as a Road to Healing: You Need to Read with Addie Zierman (Plus a Night Driving Book Giveaway!)

“Begin not where you think you should be or with what you ought to feel. Begin where you are.” That’s the healing invitation extended by our next guest in the You Need to Read video interview series, Addie Zierman!

Addie is one of my all-time favorite writers. She’s the author of two rave-reviewed memoirs about letting go of religious baggage and walking her own faith journey, When We Were on Fire and Night Driving.

She’s also a speaker and a blogger who writes about faith reimagined at AddieZierman.com and she writes the “Ask Addie” advice column at Off the Page.

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They Tried to Make Me Go To Rehab, and I Said Yes.

Friends, do you remember back in March when I wrote to you – albeit indirectly – about the blizzard that hit my life?

I’d prefer to keep that crisis vague and metaphorical; it suffices to say that I went through something tough. That’s one reason why I’ve been quieter than usual on the blog this year. (That, and writing a book.)

When I wrote about the hard time, I described it as “a slow-motion train wreck with no end in sight”, and it was. But there was still hope. I just couldn’t see it.

First, I needed to take a trip to rehab … but not for the reasons that you might imagine!

Despite the cheeky post title, no one but me “tried to make me go to rehab”. I sent myself there, and it was one of the best choices I’ve ever made.

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Want a Way Out of the Darkness? Start by Telling the Truth

Dear friend,

You never know when truth is going to find you. Truth sets you free, and that’s the best news there is. But you need to do your part; you must open your eyes. You need to look around your small cell and see Truth next to you, ever patient, holding the keys.

Truth is not outside; it’s there in the cell with you, close as your own heart. The Eagles had it right: So oftentimes it happens / that we live our lives in chains / And we never even know we have the keys.

Sweetheart, I just want to give you a heads up. Someday soon, you will find yourself writing an essay in which you describe your childhood church, The Worldwide Church of God.

You’ll want to link to a basic description of the organization, so you’ll do some research. By this time, you’ve Googled the church before, but words like “cult” and “abusive” made you look away.

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