Locks, Keys and Hidden Dreams of the Heart

Lately, I’ve been working on writing new poems and revising old ones. This past week I’ve spent time editing and updating one from a few years ago. A photo prompt in an online writing group first inspired this poem about locks, keys and hidden dreams. Here is the photo followed by the poem.

picture with locks from write in
photo in public domain


So many locks
large, small and rusty.
Scarlet thread so bright
weaving in and out
lends a ray of light

Could they be locks
symbolizing doors
leading to my heart,
waiting for the keys
to open each part?

My heart is deep.
Layers are obscured.
None can see inside.
Darkness embraces.
Must I always hide?

No! Keys are found.
Doors swing open wide.
Layers are revealed.
Only one remains,
resolutely sealed.

Bursting out the door
at the last key turn,
secret thoughts and dreams
clamor to be free.
“It’s too soon!” I scream.

My cries are unheard.
Secrets are no more.
I can hardly stand.
Breathing comes in spurts.
Who will hold my hand?

Strong arms surround me;
A gentle voice speaks.
Child, don’t be afraid,
I will never leave.
My strength will not fade

Now I understand.
I must share my dreams,
not lock them away.
Follow where God leads
as I work and pray.

His love will guide me.
I don’t need to fear
reactions of man.
My talents I’ll use
in His divine plan.



  •  Do you hold your dreams under lock and key?
  • Is God calling you to do something hard?
  • Do you think your talents are not good enough?
  • Do you often think you need approval from someone else?
  • Are you afraid you may be rejected?

That was me a few years ago. The idea of a blog intrigued me, but I hesitated and wondered if I would have enough to write about. Finally, with my daughter’s help and encouragement, my first post was published in October of 2013.

I was very timid about it and most always had someone read it over before I hit publish. One of the things that helped me a lot was taking an online writing class and joining an online writer’s group.

I still hesitated about calling myself a writer.

Writers were people who published articles in magazines or wrote books. I was just an ordinary wife, mother and grandmother.

Gradually my confidence grew. The more I wrote the more I realized how much I loved it. Not only that, but somehow I knew God was calling me to use my writing as a way to glorify Him and minister to others. There is still a lot for me to learn, and I am by no means a professional. I still ask someone to read over a post for me occasionally, but most times I don’t worry about it.

I write what is on my heart even though it makes me more vulnerable.

Because of that you would think I would be more fearful of how people would react, but it’s just the opposite.


Knowing that my identity is in Christ and not in my work, I can write with confidence. Not everyone will agree with me, but that’s okay. My job is to be true to what God has called me to do. There is no need to hide our talents. Let’s unlock those doors and let them fly.

My friend Kelly Balarie expressed it so well on the Cheerleaders for Christ facebook page. 


If God didn’t want you to be a blogger or minister, you wouldn’t be.
So, stop doubting your gift; open it and live it. ~Kelly Balarie

Take heart! Don’t listen to the lies that say you are not good enough. Go out and share your talents with a world that desperately needs more beauty and love.


I’m linking up with: Kelly Balarie and the #RaRaLinkup, #IntentionalTuesday, #TellHisStory, #LMMLinkup, #CoffeeforYourHeart, #MomentsofHope, #SittingAmongFriends, #Faith’nFriends

16 thoughts on “Locks, Keys and Hidden Dreams of the Heart

  1. Gayl, it’s funny how often your writing mirrors something that is going on in my own heart. I learned this morning that one of my posts will be shared in another space, and it was a bit of writing that was more vulnerable than my usual sharing. Ooof. Second guessing myself — why did I send it in? Am I ready to share these words? Trusting now in God’s sovereignty, and in the leading of the Spirit to unlock the stories and move forward in faith.

    1. Michele, I think we are both in similar seasons of life so it’s not unusual that we may experience some of the same things. I’m so glad to have you on this journey with me. Maybe one day we will meet in person.

      Yes, it’s hard when we put ourselves out there, but I believe God will use our words to help someone else not feel so alone and give them hope. He is faithful and worthy of our trust.

      Blessings to you, Michele. Have a great day!

  2. Gayl, I so identify with what you have written here and your poem blessed me greatly. I had also wanted to write since childhood and even got to do a short stint of it as a “stringer” for a local paper in the early 70’s, but then I was busy as a wife and mom and teacher. Graduate school got added and I became a Christian counselor along with marrying children and starting to be a grandmother. I shared my writing one day with someone after having so many clients be blessed by it. She was an editor so I was hopeful, but she crushed my heart with her words and I didn’t write again or even think about it for 15 years. Then God set things in motion when I heard Margaret Feinberg speak at a counseling conference. I heard about her Writers Boot Camp that would be held in June 2015. We would be near there in CO then so my husband encouraged me to sign up. The challenge was that a website needed to be set up and I needed to have done at least three blogs before I went. All the things you questioned about yourself were my internal conversations. Funny…I didn’t want to presume to call myself a writer either even though other people did. Now a bit over a year later, I am enjoying this lifelong passion and look forward to seeing what the Lord might do with it even though the truth of that will likely not be revealed in this life. My friend who helped me set up my website has a husband who is an editor for a trade magazine thought I needed business cards and insisted they should include the word “writer” and again I shuddered. Truth is that I have begun writing my first book…the story of someone that I met 20 years ago. If only we can risk believing Him!! Thanks so much, Gayl!!

    1. Pam, I’m so glad you were blessed! Thank you for sharing some of your writing journey. That writer’s camp sounds lik it was very helpful. I wonder why we are so hesitant about calling ourselves writers. I’m glad that both of us have found a passion for writing. I pray God will help us to believe Him and to follow through with writing even when we feel inadequate.

      I’ve wondered about getting business cards even though I don’t have an actual business yet. I do want to eventually have books of poetry, books for children and a book of encouragement for women. We’ll see what comes as I continue my journey.

      That’s exciting you’ve begun your first book! May God give you strength, wisdom and perseverance! Thanks for visiting. Many blessings to you!

  3. Hi Gayl, we’re neighbours again today! This is another lovely poem. I’m glad you took the plunge and decided to share your writing here. I have been blogging for a year now and although I have grown in confidence there is still something scary about putting our words out there, not knowing who will read them or how they will react. We definitely need to keep our focus on God and follow his lead.

    1. Hi Lesley, nice to “see” you again! Thank you for your encouraging words. I’m glad you’ve begun blogging and are feeling more confident. I don’t know if it ever completely stops being scary to share our words with the world, but keeping our eyes on God certainly helps.

      Blessings to you!

  4. Hello Gayl! I hope your weekend was good.

    Your poem was so beautiful. I love how God’s love guides us and helps us open up. It all about being vulnerable before Him. It is the same for our writing. Through His love He gives us the words we need to say and be confident because it comes from Him.

    I would have never guessed that you were unsure about making a step and writing. You are really talented and your writing is so personal and real. I am glad you did write.
    Have a good rest of the week. “See ya” Friday

    1. Hi Kristina! I had a good, restful weekend. Hope you enjoyed yours, too. Thank you so much for your kind words about my poem. Yes, we can be confident because of Christ. 🙂

      Thank you for your compliments. They mean so much and really encouraged me. I’m always blessed when you visit!

      Hope you have a great week. Many blessings to you! Will look forward to Friday or even the Thursday night FMF twitter party if you’re on that.

    1. Thank you so much, Betsy! I guess I’ve always been interested in poetry, but only wrote occasionally until about 3 years ago when I started writing it more often.

      I appreciate your kind words! Blessings to you!

  5. Love this! I think a lot of us hesitate to classify ourselves as writers, but its such a gift! The poem reminds me of Christa Black Gifford’s book Heart Made Whole.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Melissa. So glad you stopped by today! I haven’t heard of that book so I might need to look it up. 🙂

      Blessings to you today! Have a great weekend.

  6. “Knowing that my identity is in Christ and not my work, I can write with confidence.” I love this, Gayl. I need to keep this at the forefront of my mind, because I can spend too much time worrying about my performance or what others might think.
    Your poem is beautiful. And thanks for sharing a bit about your writing journey. I loved learning more about you, Gayl.

    1. It’s easy to start worrying about how well we have written or how someone else will react to it or what they will think of it. It really does help to remember where our identity lies.

      I’m glad you like the poem. Thank you so much! Thanks for visiting and for your encouragement.

      Blessings to you, Gleniece!

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