Person writing on topmost of two notebooks with title

The Line People

by Colleen C. Howard


“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible and everything that is illuminated becomes a light!”
(Ephesians 5:13, NIV).


I journal each morning. With coffee in hand, I open my Bible. As I dive deeper and deeper into His Word, awareness of His presence grows. I cannot imagine starting my day any other way.

For this spiritually guided time, I use uncommon notebooks. Faint dots mark the pages to suggest structure without hard-lined rigor. The dots permit me to write in circles, draw pictures, add stickers, or make a graph. Dots omit mandates while lines trigger feelings of inferiority.

Ruled pages seem to reprimand me for wrongdoing. I struggle to write within the lines. No matter how hard I try, I cannot corral the movements of my hand and confine my words inside the boundaries. Due to these challenges, I have long envied family members with typeset-quality handwriting.

Jealousy invaded my soul and festered into feelings of incompetence. For years I allowed these thoughts to annoy me every time I put pen to paper. My desire to resemble the “line people” turned my focus away from Jesus and onto my inadequate handwriting skills instead. I allowed envy and shame to speak as the voices in my head. I believed their declarations that I had no worth as a writer.

The battle wreaked havoc on me every time I picked up a pen. Though it might seem minor to others, Jesus did not ignore my writing barrier as insignificant. Anything that causes our hearts to stray from God’s truth matters to Him.

As I wrote in my journal one morning, I realized how much I love to doodle, diagram, and write my words over these tiny dots. Jesus seemed to take my pen and write back to me. He reminded me that envy is a favorite tool of the enemy. The Lord showed me that my true weakness had nothing to do with my writing style, but instead centered on granting authority to the accuser.
My freedom from line-triggered envy has opened my eyes to other lies that try to steal my joy.

May we free ourselves as writers to enjoy a leap of faith. Let’s dive headfirst into the open ocean of God’s love for us as unique wordsmiths. I pray we may all have the courage to let go of the lies we’ve been holding onto and place them at the foot of the cross.

Father, thank you for singing esteeming truths over our souls as writers. Please continue to grant us your Holy Spirit’s wisdom to recognize lie-barriers and power to persevere. Amen.


Colleen Howard headshot

Colleen C. Howard is a follower of Jesus, wife, mom, and author. She is a lifelong educator,
musician, and avid reader. Colleen is passionate about shining the light on God’s presence in
ordinary days and inspiring women to grow in their faith walk.

4 thoughts on “The Line People by Colleen C. Howard”

  1. I love this! I will admit that I am one of the “line people! My daughters call my printing (because I never write in longhand) “first grade teacher” handwriting. But I am envious of people like Colleen who can doodle and diagram and make things look pretty. I’m just too OCD. It’s really good to notice where the enemy is telling us lies, because you’re right, he never just lies about one thing in our lives. I really enjoyed reading this. Keep going, Colleen. You’re a gifted writer.

    1. Lesli ~ Thank you so much for the kind words! I’m not so sure that my doodles are pretty, but it’s how my brain processes things. The enemy takes delight in tripping us up by selling us the lies that we frequently hold in our hearts.

  2. So good, Colleen! Those “little” lies of the enemy can be so debilitating, stealing our joy and freedom. I can relate – and you are inspiring!

    1. Sandee ~ Yes! Once we are aware of the lie and the havoc it creates freedom is restored. Thank you for your comment. Colleen C.Howard

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