When Words Fail

Briana Urban

“Do not worry about how you will defend yourselves or what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what you should say.”

Luke 12:11-12


Sometimes I find the hardest part of writing is the actual writing. I picture the story in my head, an exchange of dialogue here, a bit of action there. I’ll open a Word document on my laptop, the blank page full of possibilities. My fingers will hover over the keyboard and I’ll take a breath before lowering them to the keys. And nothing happens. All the witty dialogue, the perfect exposition, everything I planned to write is suddenly gone.

The story is written perfectly in my head but translating it to paper seems impossible. Robin McKinley, award-winning author of The Blue Sword and Beauty, described the writing process by saying that the story in our head is always better than our ability to write it. But we also forget something crucial about our writing; it’s a gift from God. He has given us this ability and this story. If we ask He will give us the words to write it. God gave Moses the words to speak to Pharaoh. Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would give us the words to say. Will God not also give us the words to write the story He has put in our heart?

Perhaps we struggle with our writing because that’s not the story God wants us to write today.  We need to listen to the Holy Spirit and let God guide the story we need to be telling.

When words fail you and frustration fills you, step away from your laptop or notebook. Take a deep breath and remember God has given you this gift and He can give you the words you need. Ask Him for help telling the story He wants you to write. Then step up to the plate again, and write.


Father, you’ve given me this beautiful gift and this wonderful story, but I can’t write it alone. Give me the right words to tell the story You want me to write and that people need to hear. Let Your words flow through me and into the world. Amen. 





Briana Urban is a graduate of Florida Southern College with a degree in English Literature. During the day she fixes cars and in the evenings she attempts to write. She is a lover of fantasy and fairy tales. In her spare time she enjoys hiking in the beautiful world God created.

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