Why You Need Words

Each Tuesday, my dear friend Ann Voskamp and I are writing a series of letters about loving Jesus and others with our words. We’d love to hear your heart too. Will you join us?_____________________________________________________________________________________

Dear Holley,

It’s hard to know where the road is.

I had to drive through a snowstorm to get this letter to you. It’s coming down heavy, snow hushing our internet connection on the farm. January wraps like a shroud and I hardly know where the road falls way to the ditch and where the sky begins, heaven coming down.


You can see them up every country lane here in winter, Holley — markers. Steel stakes marking where the road is. Marking the way through.  Marking how to get from here to there.

They’re dark lines on white snow —- like lines on a page.

Letters on paper.

Is that what all words are, Holley — markers? Markers determining the directions of our lives. The curve of letters winding the way we take. Coming through a blizzard, Holley, glancing up at the hydro poles now and then, using them as markers for the road, that’s what I’m thinking —  that this is it, Holley —  why words matter. Because the words we listen to, the words we read — they’re marking out our very lives.

Every word we pick up, scan through, skim over, listen to —- the words are sending us somewhere.

The words of our life determine the destination of our life.

I had slowed right there on the road, Holley.

Is there anything I need to be wiser about in my life than words? Words send us somewhere.

That’s what there was in the beginning, the creative, generative power of God in the cosmos — words.

In the beginning was the Wordand the Word was God.

Words have that much power, they can turn and direct and wield whole lives. They’re whispering everywhere, words telling us our worth, what do to, how to think, what to believe, what decision to make. We need to mark our lives out with the right words.

I’m memorizing the book of Colossians this year, just 2 verses a week. The world’s a blizzard and His Word are stakes in the snow. I feel my way through by holding onto His lines.

Yes, words are like stakes in the snow and that is why the stake are so high — because every word sends us somewhere.

And the words we speak, the words we write — they’re shaping lives too, directing very souls. What we speak into others, this is what they become. What we speak into others sends them somewhere — either closer to heaven — or far in the other direction. 

I thought about that all the way through the white, into this little village, looking for connection to patch this message through to you.

Words —connecting us. Markers — directing us. Words — the power to give life — or death.

Oh, Holley, to pray about our words! Yes, to only speak words that make souls stronger.

I think of Isaiah — woe am I — a man of unclean lips. In the midst of life snowstorms, I am grateful for the seraphim of grace to bring the live coal of God’s word to touch my mouth, my words, and make me clean. White as snow.

My words need purifying more than anything else.

I am headed home now through the snow, Holley…

The Word God who let the stakes be driven through His hands for me… He’ll keep me on the road…

I send you words of life, my friend…

All’s grace,

Looking for life-giving words? Words that just might change your life — radically transform it?  Come join us at the Bloom (in)courage Book Club. Ann’s new book, One Thousand Gifts, is the first selection. It’s a book will give you one word from the Bible that will send you right into the arms of God. And Ann will be joining you every week, for every chapter, via videos. Check out all the details at DaySpring (and get a special price on the book for just this week).

One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp_____________________________________________________________________________________

Last week we invited you to share your posts about words here with us. You can link yours up below–a new post or one from your archives. If you don’t have a blog, you’re welcome to share by leaving a comment. We’re so grateful for you…

Would you like to Subscribe by Email?

About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,


Never Miss a Thing

Join Holley’s mailing list to receive the latest news, blog posts, and updates

What % Introvert Are You?

 My 1-Minute Quiz Will Tell You

New Book You’ll Love!

Get the Book

Writing Course for You!