by Nicole Unice
The summer that I wrote my first book, I got a tattoo on the inside of my wrist. I didn’t get it to be a cool “rebel” Christian. I got it because it was my attempt at making myself write honest.
The tattoo is one Greek word. The word is “tharseo” and it means “take heart.” As in, “in this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). As in, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you” (Matthew 9:22). As in, “Take heart, son, your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2). As in “Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid” (Matthew 14:27)
As in, the one word that sums up everything that Jesus is to me. He is my overcomer. My healer. My faith-giver. My fear-chaser. And when I sit down to write, I need an ever-present reminder that I do not write to impress anyone. I write to help everyone be impressed by God.
How does that relate to good writing? For me — it’s everything. Good writing is about typing out the almost-honest truth and then looking at that word, tharseo, the word on my wrist I can never erase — and then erasing that almost-honest sentence and writing the honest truth. Good writing is about waking up at 5:30 in the morning and sitting my butt in that chair and placing my fingers on the keys and praying that God would use me, and then looking at that word, tharseo, and letting the sentences come.
Good writing is about throwing off everything that hinders. My fears, my pride, my insecurities and my fragile ego. It is about losing all confidence in my abilities and praying so desperately for a word from God and then it’s about going back to that chair and that keyboard and writing again, taking tharseo that God is my confidence, that God provides all that I need, and that God is the one who directs my steps.
It’s believing that bleeding out words of burden, bleeding out the truth is good even if it only blesses one person and even if that one person is you.
So today, take heart. Scrawl tharseo on your wrist or in your journal or on a sticky note on your computer. Take heart that God is your confidence, He is your voice, and He has given you the words that need to be said. Lead with your honesty and walk in
His confidence. Tharseo, daughter. He is your peace.