Over the years I have collected stories that touch my heart. This is a favorite heard years ago:
A little boy, frightened one night during a big thunderstorm called out to his daddy in terror, “Daddy, I’m scared!”
His father, not wanting to get out of bed, called back, “Don’t worry, Son. God loves you. He is with you, and will take care of you.”
There was a moment of silence. Then the daddy heard his little boy say, “I know God loves me, but right now, I need somebody with skin on.”
Daddy was correct. Our God is love. And loving us with His steadfast love, He never leaves us. Our heavenly Father is limitless in His care for us even in the storms. We know this about our God. But just like the little boy, we often find ourselves in need of the tangible.
Writing love letters to God is one of those tangibles. The process allows us to take thoughts from our head and give them form on paper where our head, heart, and eyes can take them in. Beyond the tangible, engaging in the process also requires us to slow down, provides focus, draws our heart to Him, and builds our trust. Writing these letters strengthens our relationship with Him and becomes our gift of love. *
Go Ahead – Step into the Uncomfortable
But, please, allow me to encourage you to step into the uncomfortable and do it anyway.
Yes, God knows our thoughts (Psalm 139:2), but I am sure that it brings Him great joy to see His children demonstrate their love. If you are a parent, think about how much you treasure the notes and letters your children have given to you over the years. Are they stored away in a special place? Do you return to them from time to time, just for the mere pleasure of reading them again?
Sure, it may be uncomfortable at first, but you can do it. If you are at a loss for words, include favorite Scriptures and quotes. Begin by making lists. List what you appreciate and adore about your Heavenly Father. Then turn those list items into sentences. Reflect on your feelings. Don’t be afraid to really open up and be honest.
Go ahead. Write the letter. The very act will draw your heart closer to Him and help you develop a singularity of purpose: Jesus – the Main thing, your One thing.
The Journaling Method Step-by-Step *
Blank journal, composition book, or other paper
Pen or pencil
Step 1: Find a quiet place, perhaps put on some soft instrumental music, and write your love letter to God.
Step 2: Consider writing your love letters to God on a regular basis – once a month, once a year, on your birthday.
Step 3: If kept in a journal dedicated to these love letters, the journal becomes a precious record of your relationship with God and can be used for reflection, prayer, thanksgiving, and worship.
Letter Writing Tips
- Set the mood before you begin to write. Don’t worry about making it sound like a love letter.
- If unsure about what to write, use the format “past, present, future.”
- Make it extremely personal and incredibly specific.
- Don’t fret over the length, the format, or what your letter looks like.
- Write for God. Make Him your focus.
- Think about Him. What is He to you? List everything you appreciate and adore about Him.
- Use your memories to guide you.
- Think about the future.
*Love Letter to God is taken from Journaling for the Soul: Slow Down, Replenish, Exhale [A Handbook of Journaling Methods]
In the busyness of life and the hurriedness of soul, we have lost something. Something important and necessary to the very health of our soul — time with God. Our soul aches as it cries out for time with Him, but in the noise it is not heard. Journaling for the Soul is an easy-to-navigate, “doable” resource for the busy and the hurried of soul. Packed with journaling methods of both the traditional and nontraditional variety and each one connected to one of the major spiritual disciplines, this handbook is a tool for anyone looking for help in eliminating the hurry, bringing quiet for hearing, and creating much needed space for meeting with God.
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“Journaling for the Soul is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to try journaling during their times with God. Deborah gives about 50 different ways to journal. Each method contains an easy-to-understand step-by-step guide of how to practice that particular style of journaling. She has many techniques for Scripture journaling, prayer journaling, and soul-searching journaling, as well as other types of journaling. I’ve already tried a few and can’t wait to try more. She also has tips for success with journaling, which will be particularly helpful for those who like the idea of journaling but can’t make themselves do it. I highly recommend this book!” –Barb Raveling, author Taste for Truth: A 30 Day Weight Loss Bible Study