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Can Poetry Heal?

Guest Blog by Linda O'Dell and Elizabeth Billingsley

PRISON and POETRY Power to Heal

Poetry is an exciting way of expressing emotions and sorting out our thoughts. Poetry can mean different things to different people. Poetry is a mixture of the celebrations of life and the realities of pain. Poetry can bring healing to the soul, especially when mixed with faith. Poetic words hit each reader differently, bringing healing and hope to them.

Our book Pain, Purpose, and Healing Through the Eyes of Poetry uses words that can convey meaning and bring hope and light! Words can help others and minister to others, and when they are used in poetry, your feelings and connection become personal—very personal! 

We (Linda and Elizabeth) want our writings to minister to a person's soul, allowing hope to reach them right where they are at that moment. Poetry is a mix of words and emotions. We want you to feel this, too, then pick up your pen and let your poetic expressions flow. 

Writing poetry and books go hand in hand with the prison ministry work that we do with incarcerated women. Finding hope and inspiration in the more challenging seasons of life makes our words change.

In general, words and poetry mutually benefit those speaking, hearing, and reading them. Using our words wisely can change the world! We desire to write and share life-changing words that change people, including ours, one heart at a time. Please enjoy our poetry book not only because it brings you great hope, joy, and peace but also because it brings you great hope, joy, and peace.

Why a poetry collaboration? 

We desire that our little poetry book will bless and touch your hearts in a way only poetry can. We have not only included our poetry, but we have also included poetry from domestic abuse survivors and incarcerated women in the Oklahoma prison system

Life is about the good and the bad, our struggles and happy times, life and death. This book will showcase our lives and these women's lives and the overcoming power of love and hope! 

Who are we? 

My Journey To Inspire Others

Linda O'Dell

Hello friends, allow me to share a bit about myself. I am married, a cancer survivor, a poet, a writer, a published author, an avid reader, a dog mom to my five-year-old Chihuahua, and a long-time mentor/ volunteer in prison ministry with incarcerated women in Oklahoma. Ministry and writing are my two passions in life, along with my faith. I am an optimistic encourager most of the time and celebrate the daily blessings surrounding me.

I started writing poetry at age sixteen. I have always loved words, and poetry has given me a way to find my voice. In 2014, I began to publish my poetry. I have published eleven books, five of which are poetry, including the newly released book Elizabeth Billingsley and I collaborated on, Pain, Purpose, And Healing Through The Eyes Of Poetry. I have also published my cancer story, some devotional-type inspirational books, and a book for prison ministry.

All proceeds from my books go to benefit my ministry work. As a writer, author, and avid reader, I have always loved words. Words can give life, or they kill.  Words are the most potent way we communicate with each other. My writing will bring hope and encouragement to others so they can find their creative voice. 

Why a Poetry Collaboration?

Elizabeth Billingsley

This poetry collaboration with Linda O'Dell has been four years in the making. We originally planned to publish our poetry book in 2020, but it is COVID-19. In November 2023, we knew it was time. 

I decided to go the Amazon self-publishing route as Linda was very familiar with and technically experienced with Amazon publishing. We could not have been more happy! Not only do we have a poetry book that will make you laugh, cry, ponder, and remember there is still good in this world, we have a poetry book in notebook size! You can make notes and write your impressions! This may inspire you to write your poetry.

My name is Elizabeth Baldwin. I write under the pen name Elizabeth Billingsley, my former married name. I've been a nurse for 24 years. I picked up writing again in 2015  after the death of my husband and the end of an abusive marriage. I wanted my words and my story to shine light in the dark places and to be a beacon of hope for those who still suffer under the oppression of abuse. I want to see men and women set free (Isaiah 61:1-4)! 

I have been blogging since 2015 and enjoy writing blogs to help others with their trauma by sharing my struggles, doubts, fears, and triumphs. I am a published author of three books as of February 2024. Those books are my personal story, The Road Less Traveled: A Story of Love, Pain, Hope, and Everything in Between; The Great Journey: A Story of Lorolaen, an allegory; and my third book, a poetry collaboration with a fellow Oklahoma poet and friend, Linda O'Dell called Pain, Purpose, and Healing Through the Eyes of Poetry.   

I enjoy traveling, reading, writing, art, spending time with friends and family, watching movies, and listening to music. I am working on my fourth book, Wandering in the Weeds: Lost Ones Found. I am excited to share the emotional, spiritual, and mental healing journey I have experienced since finding freedom from abuse and trauma with the help of Jesus and therapy. I have been helping people heal physically and stay healthy for over 20 years in my nursing career, yet I did not know how much my heart needed healing.

I look forward to sharing my books and other writings with you! 

Thank you, April Giauque, for allowing us to be part of the Beacon of Light podcast and brand. We appreciate you! 

Join us on Tuesday, April 16, 2024, at 6:30 pm Mountain Time, as we share this powerful message on the Beacon of Light Podcast. 

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