When Ruins Sing...

Where my faith and creativity collide! A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ.

WHAT GOOD CAN A LITTLE MORE LOVE DO? A LOT! (still bringing #Catalyst2014 back to my city)

One of my favorite things about Catalyst is that they give a voice to people you may not have heard of, but who are quietly changing the world in the name of Christ, one simple act of kindness at a time! In this case, it is one simple love letter at a time. The girl behind the “love letters” is Hannah Brencher. I will not spend a ton of time telling you her life story, because I pray this blog post will inspire you to check her out for yourself.

moreloveletters.squarespace.com
Hannah Brencher (Author)
“if you find this letter” a memoir
One’ Girl’s Journey to Find Purpose
Through Hundreds of Letters to Strangers

@hannahbrencher
**For all you TED talk lovers-check her’s out!

Hannah’s passion captivated me, because it started with her own life intersecting with where her heart broke.  She added a “little love” and put it all in writing! What blogger/writer wouldn’t love that combination! Hannah’s experience with depression lead her to pour out her heart in writing in a notebook. Eventually those pages became letters that Hannah left all over New York City. She would imagine the joy it would bring to one stranger in need of encouragement that day and her joy would began to return! Hannah eventually blogged about it and upon asking the simple question: Do you need someone to write you a love letter today? Just ask”, her inbox was flooded. Her life changed forever, as she began to play a small part in changing other’s lives for the better, one “love letter” at a time!

Hannah started More Love Letters and the mission is simple: MAKE LOVE FAMOUS.
#moreloveletters

I pray you check out Hannah and how the Lord is working through her life, all because she leaned into her depression and “what the enemy intended to harm her with, GOD intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”(ref. Gen 50:20)

SO HOW DID GOD USE HANNAH’S STORY TO INSPIRE ME?

A little bit of my backstory:

Many of you who know me, know that I have the blessing of “FREEDOM WRITING” with teenage girls! Several years ago, one of my mentors simply asked the question:”So what do you want to do here at this local middle school?” The question seemed to come out of left field but my heart was primed and ready to respond without me even knowing it. I am a volunteer staff member in a local ministry and we are encouraged to pray big, dream big, and “remain confident of this: we will see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the living.”(Psalm 27:13)
So I live praying and dreaming big and remaining confident in the promise at all times; therefore, the answer rolled out of my heart and out my mouth: ‘I love the movie “Freedom Writers” and the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield …” and with that weird , not even a sentence answer, he simply said, “then do that!”

Long story short, I DID THAT! I had no idea what “that” looked like or even meant for me that day in a local middle school gym, but it morphed into some of the sweetest journaling moments with next generation girls and a playlist of their choice (within reason:) played as the soundtrack to pages of responsive journal entries. I literally looked up “Freedom Writers” online, ordered the book by Erin Gruwell and a teacher’s guide (which is amazing by the way:) and used the writing prompts and lots of prayer to simply walk beside these amazing young ladies, as they PROCESSED, DREAMED, GREW, AND SAW THEIR POTENTIAL ON PAPER!   “That” began in 2010 and each year the Lord has changed “that” into HIS DIVINE DESIGN for the season!  My first group of girls are now seniors!  I have seen God do amazing things in and through HIS DAUGHTERS!  I have seen and continue “to see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the living”,  not because of anything I have done but all because of what HE DID ON THE CROSS AND CONTINUES TO DO IN AND THROUGH HIS CHILDREN!

SO WHAT DOES THIS HAVE TO DO WITH HANNAH?

This is where “More Love Letter’s” meets “Unwritten” and “Freedom Writers” (Hannah meets Natasha and Erin:) “Freedom Writers” made it’s debut this year at Lincoln Academy, the school started by Lincoln Village Ministriesmy pray big, dream big, promise-claiming sweet spot!

Today our writing prompt came from Hannah:(these are her exact words from her webpage and they are brilliant and beautiful and magical and God-given and too special to abbreviate!)

“What the world needs is really basic. Simple. Bare-boned. & often forgotten in the race to get followers, likes & status.
LOVE. Pure, old-fashioned, never goes out of style Love. Ridiculous, oozing, cannot pack this thang into 140-characters kind of love. Fearless, bold, unstoppable love.”

We asked the Freedom Writers: Do you agree with this? and the answer was a unanimous YES!
We spent the next few minutes explaining how Hannah was inspired to write the Love Letters and leave them all over New York.

And then WE WROTE!

They wrote their first, of many, LOVE LETTERS, to leave all over Huntsville and the words they wrote would make that Sasquatch in the beef jerky commercials cry like a baby!!!! I wanted to stop after each sentence of every letter from every girl and scream “AMEN” TO THAT!  I was ministered to out of the mouth of babes and it made me want to MAKE LOVE FAMOUS with every breath for the rest of my life!! LOVE IS A PERSON and HIS NAME IS JESUS and in the words of ELF-“I’M IN LOVE AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!” I’m in LOVE with JESUS because HE loved me first! Ok-I said it! Breathless but breathing again:)

I am going to attempt to share some of their “WORDS OF LIFE” since I don’t actually have the LOVE LETTERS any more.  The LOVE LETTERS were written, prayed over, and left in Holy Spirit prompted places all over the city and just like Hannah, my heart swells with joy to think of how one stranger’s life will be changed today because 11 and 12 year old girls believed that “a little more love” could do A LOT of good!

JUST A SAMPLING OF THEIR WORDS OF LIFE:

***”Be encouraged-you are a leader-you were made to love-keep this letter or pass it on to someone else who needs it-Are you sad? Keep your head up, you are loved by your Creator. You were made for something special. Stop believing lies, fat or thin, those are just labels. You were made to shine not hide! Put down the “I-phone-the I pad-the “I” whatever and look up and see opportunities to say I LOVE YOU! You are a princess/prince. You were created for a purpose. You are never alone and the world needs YOU! You are gifted and talented and smart and kind and beautiful! …

These are just a few of the savory morsels I, and some of my friends who FREEDOM WRITE along side us,  can remember right now !!! Upon hearing them, I did not anticipate this blog response; however that was silly, considering the reason we meet for FREEDOM WRITERS is to go on a responsive journaling adventure! EVERYTHING US UP FOR BLOGGING-ESPECIALLY AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THE NEXT GENERATION’S ARTISTIC LOVE MASTERPIECE OF NOVEL, NOT SPARK-NOTES, QUALITY!!!

God-willing this is just the beginning of our LOVE REVOLUTION!  We aim to begin each FREEDOM WRITERS adventure with a LOVE LETTER! So, next week I will be taking “notes” on their “love notes”, so that I can come back and share THE LOVE on THE BLOG!!! They will also be coming back with stories of where the Holy Spirit “nudged” them to place the letters!  The anticipation is killing me! I love a good nail biter!!!

Stay tuned-THE BEST IS ALWAYS YET TO COME!!! May this blog post inspire you to check out “More Love Letters” and Hannah Brencher for yourself (and Erin Gruwell and Freedom Writers, if you don’t already know the story:) inspire you to lean into what breaks your heart and use your WHOLE LIFE (past, present, future-the good, the bad, the ugly:)to make a change in that area for the better, inspire you to pray big, dream big and remain confident in this: you WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!

GoGod

#WriteOn

About Katie Wilson

Where my faith and creativity collide!
A freedom freelancer, prayerful painter and clarion for Christ. #amwriting #Compel
Forgiven and Free
Living a life that says:
COME AND SEE!

2 Replies

  1. MichelleR

    Katie I LOVE THIS!!! So inspired and encouraged by the love being poured out by this next generation over our city! Can’t wait to follow and hear the amazing ways God is going to bust up in the city with love blazing all around! Woohoo!!!

  2. This is beautiful!!! Amazing how one woman’s hurt drove her to love in a simple way that is still paying forward!!! Go Freedom Writers! Anyone has the power to change the world with words of life!

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