Journaling . . . A Journey and Reflection of God’s Love, Mercy, and Grace
“The Lord gave me this answer, ‘Write down clearly…what I reveal to you…’” Habakkuk 2:2
My high school Sunday School teacher encouraged my small class of high school senior girls to begin journaling. She brought her journals to show us and explained how it witnessed to her from time to time and how it enhanced her life. Her journals were a reflection of God’s grace and mercy on her personal journey of life. It was documented memories of her growing relationship with God and provided a deeper understanding of herself and of God’s ways.
Of course, I admired and looked up to my Sunday school teacher and wanted a life that she possessed . . . I was a high school senior looking up to a young mom and wife who seemed to have it all together.
So I went out and bought a journal to begin my own journaling . . . little did I know that I would continue journaling 30 years later. Oh the person I was and the person I have become . . . it has definitely been a journey, a journey with God. I can see evidence of how He has changed my life to a life that I didn't know I could have . . . a life that I'm surprised I wanted. Thank goodness for God’s grace and mercy because I am definitely a work in progress.
The journey has not been the easiest at times. In fact, it's a journey of struggle of knowing who I was and who I wanted to be. A documentation of my naive selfishness and ignorance. A journey of God changing my path and leading me to a life closer and more dependent on Him. Reflection of God getting me through grief and illness. Reflection of Praises for God’s grace and mercy in my life. Documentation of scripture that was vital to my journey during certain times of failures, struggles, healing, courage, weakness, and victories. Evidence that God walked with me and heard my prayers even if the answers were not what I wanted, but what I needed. . Journaling has provided me an eye opening story of a life that I am thankful I didn't have to do alone. . . a reflection of how much God loves me . . . and you!
Here are a few reasons I believe journaling is important to a Christian:
To keep a record of your life’s journey. . .
Journaling allows us to recall the events of our lives that were important and influential in our journeys and help develop who we are. As Mark Batterson in his devotional Circle Maker states, “The shortest pencil is longer than the longest memory”. A journal will last a longer than our memories!
To have visible account of God’s blessings in your life . . .
Journaling allows us to see how God has worked in our lives. We often pray and forget to give God the glory. Through the documentation of prayers, concerns, loses, victories, and events in our lives, God’s grace, mercy, and blessings can be seen. The words we write can witness to us and to others about the way God works in our lives.
To serve as a reminder that it is a journey and not a destination . . .
Journaling can serve as a mirror: it reflects back and reminds us of our losses and victories, our helpless cryouts to God, and our praises of when we saw God working, even though we know He is always by our sides working for us. We can also see our growth from the journey . . . how we have developed personally from our ups and downs: the times we were comfortable and uncomfortable, the people we were with, and how we reacted in certain situations. We can use our documented journey as clues to where God is leading us as servants and what spiritual gifts we used in a certain situation or ministry opportunity. It can even be an avenue to reveal our spiritual gifts.
To aid in prayer and meditation. . .
Journaling allows us to slow our life down and really concentrate and meditate on scripture. In our busy distracting society, writing in a journal can be a focused way of reflecting on God's Word and allowing Him to speak to us. Be still and know that He is God. Writing down our thoughts can organize our thoughts and eliminate confusion. Our enemy loves to distract and confuse our lives . . .Our God is an organized God that does not like chaos.
Come back down the mountain to help others out of the valley . . .
When we document our journeys of climbing out of the valley or pit, we are able to remember the mindset we had at the time. This will allow us to be sensitive to those hurting and struggling. It enables us to have mercy and grace for the broken-hearted. It will lead us to meet them in the valley to guide them up the mountain we already conquered. We will be able to reflect back on scripture, resources, people, and situations that helped us during our struggles.
Journaling can give the body of Christ hope in a dark situation.
“Write these things down for the future so that people who are not yet born will praise the Lord.” Psalm 102:18
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