A published author, blogger, and Bible journaler, one might assume that I have always been in love with writing. That, however, would be a completely false assumption.
True confession: Until very recently, I considered any type of writing to be a very painful task.
When I was a young girl, those little lock-and-key diaries were all the rage. I owned one because they were cute, and “everyone” had one. But never did I write in it.
Then when all grown up and working as a language arts teacher, I observed “journaling time” with my students on a regular basis because it was good for them. Never, though, did I journal along with them.
I’m not sure which was more painful, staring at the blank page before me or having to perform the actual act of writing. Formulating thoughts, getting them into words (enough to fill a page), and putting pen to paper simply required more energy than I wanted to expend. I wasn’t wired that way. The value could not possibly be worth it!
In more recent years, friends have shared with me just how much they treasure journaling. They have shared its benefits for spiritual growth and deep communion with God. Valued friends in a deep and growing relationship with my heavenly Father, I wanted what they had. I listened, and on occasion I gave it another try as I hoped to find what they had found. Still… nothing.
Until one summer morning a few years ago.
Thank God for His grace and for never giving up on me! Out of His lavish love and through several God-orchestrated appointments — workshop presentations, books, Sunday sermons — God revealed to me that there was another way!
All those years of journaling struggles came down to the fact that my definition had been oh, too narrow. In my mind, journaling was an unpleasant task: seated in a quiet spot, pen in hand, blank page staring back — too much effort to formulate thoughts into words, and too much work to write the words out.
What freedom to be set loose that summer as God showed me that I had been uniquely wired with gifts, talents, and interests that I could use not only for my own enjoyment, but also for connecting with Him.
Journaling did not have to be a chore. It could, in fact, be fun! Journaling could look any way I wanted it to look, and it could involve things I enjoyed: paper crafting, color, doodling, photography, and Scripture.
When it comes right down to it, journaling just so one can say they journal doesn’t serve much of a purpose. But journaling to connect with God? Now that gives the process meaning — meaning that goes far beyond the act of processing thoughts or writing them down. Journaling, no matter what shape or form it takes, draws me to God and evokes daily conversation with Him.
Each of us uniquely created with our own gifts, interests, and talents, our journaling should, therefore, reflect those differences. Think about the things you enjoy – drawing, doodling, fancy lettering, bullet lists, stickers, charts, graphs, poems, quotations, contemplation, reflection.
How might you incorporate the things you enjoy into a journaling process?
I pray you will take some time to explore this question and give yourself permission to test the possibilities. For it is in tapping into your own unique God-wiring that your journaling can become a powerful tool for communing with God.