On so many occasions you have been there for me. In the stillness of the night, with no one else around, you allow me to pour my heart out to you. Though a silent listener, you are a comforting companion…..
What would you say to your journal? Or maybe the question should be ‘what would your journal say to you?’
For those of you who journal, I’m sure this unique method of self-expression has helped you to slow down and take a look at your life from a different perspective. You’ve probably discovered that keeping a journal has some amazing benefits especially to your spiritual, emotional and psychological health.
It’s a great way to process our thoughts, emotions and experiences through written words. And it can definitely help us get a better understanding of who we are on this amazing journey of life.
Journaling was one of my favorite things to do. It was my time alone to sort through and get in touch with my emotions and my feelings. There are times when it is good to share with another person, but there’s also a powerful release when we are able to express with pen and paper.
Maybe it was the opportunity to have my thoughts flow uninterrupted without someone else’s opinion. Or, it might have even been the comfort in knowing there would be no judgement placed on my words. Regardless of which, those quiet times of journaling were both calming and soothing. A great means of reducing the stress and tension that would accumulate on any given day.
Unfortunately, the demands of every day living eventually consumed my time and my journaling was placed on the back burner.
An old journal brings new treasure.
Recently I came across several of my old journals while decluttering my closet. As I browsed through the pages, I was drawn to several entries and thought I would share a couple of excerpts with you. It seems my style at the time was to write as if I was in the moment.
Journal entry for September 4th, 2009
As I drive to work, I start to pray as I always do. Today, I am praying for boldness and so I am praying the word.
“God has not given me a spirit of fear but one of love power and of a sound mind.”
The enemy does not want to see us drawing closer to God in any way, so just praying this prayer, I realize takes some measure of boldness. As a child of God, I realize I do not come close to walking in the authority that is mine through Christ. I have allowed the enemy to intimidate me and instead of experiencing victory in certain areas of my life, I usually end up living in fear. This only serves to leave me feeling defeated, frustrated and sometimes much like a failure. The fear of failure keeps me from perseverance.
My focus on my circumstance steals my joy, my hope, my peace and my confidence in God. The One who is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all I could ask of Him.
Now as I pray, I am determined to see victory in my life because I know “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and “greater is He, Christ Jesus, who lives in me than the enemy who lives in the world.”
Journal entry for September 5th 2009
Today, I am faced with an accusation for the first time in my career as an RN. This accusation came to me second-hand from a co-worker. Apparently, a family member, whose father was my patient, accused me of not calling the Physician when they requested one for their dying father last night. This is what I am now told as I returned for duty tonight.
This is an unfounded and hurtful accusation. I am deeply offended. My heart is heavy and I do not want to have this patient assigned to me again. However, Holy Spirit chose this very moment to remind me that just yesterday, I had prayed for boldness. Why am I now allowing fear to chase me into hiding? So I choose to keep my assignment but take a few minutes to gather my wits.
I stood in the washroom and repented of the harsh feelings I am now feeling towards this family. I asked God to help them journey through the short time they have left with their dad and asked for peace and comfort for them in this time.
My patient died before I completed my shift. His family came to me and thanked me for the care I gave to him. They expressed their gratitude that I was the nurse who assisted them and their dad during this difficult time!
I am so overwhelmed with gratitude to God because He heard my heart. He did not let me walk away from a difficult situation that proved to be an answer to my prayer just the day before! I wonder where the accusation came from or if it was really directed to me.
Nonetheless, I feel empowered by the experience of God’s goodness and his faithfulness. My faith and trust in him is strengthened. I now get to walk with a renewed hope and sense of confidence in God and in myself.
Using our journal to mark the moment
Wow! Words written nine years ago! They may hold very little value for anyone else but myself. But I think that’s the whole point of writing your words on paper. They are for you.
Our women’s group is currently studying the video series “Discerning the voice of God” by Priscilla Shirer. In one session, Priscilla asked us to recall a time when God used a bible verse to speak to us about something specific in our life. Do we take time to record it, maybe by writing the date in the margins of our bible beside that specific verse. Do we take time to “mark the moment”?
Journaling does exactly that. It allows us to mark the moments in our life. Jotting down the events of our day or the moments we seek God in earnest prayer for our marriage, our children or the deep yearnings of our heart.
I would not have thought that reading something I wrote nine years ago would bring encouragement to my heart today. But it has done that and more.
Reading those old journals provided me the opportunity to go back and see God’s amazing work in my life. An awesome testament of a gracious and loving Father.
Moments like these are definitely worth journeying for. That is why I’ll be very busy writing in my journal from now on. Not just for today but for the future.
Come on dear friends, let us journey together by faith today. God bless you!