I’m a writer. It’s natural for me to write down ideas, new biblical insights, what I’m feeling—now. I didn’t use to be that way. In fact, I hated English and writing in school.
I resisted the idea of journaling for many years, thinking it was just a day to day account of events or a schoolgirl’s love-struck inner thoughts. I suppose a diary is a type of journaling. But that’s NOT what I am referring to here.
I tried many times to journal consistently, but it felt forced and I wasn’t motivated to stick with it. It didn’t work for me. What did work was just jotting down ideas and insights occasionally as I read the Bible and communed with my Lord. I didn’t want to forget what He told me.
As time went on, I began crying out to the Lord on paper when I was in anguish. Releasing my pent-up feelings to my heavenly Counselor gave me so much relief that I now go to Him sooner and more often with my struggles. Once I experienced some of the benefits, I became motivated to keep journaling.
Think of journaling more as a way to get your inner thoughts and feelings outside of yourself.
If you’re not good at expressing yourself don’t let that be a hindrance. Just start; you’ll become better in time. Grammar doesn’t matter either.
To incentivize you, here are a few more good reasons to take up that pen and paper:
1. Improves mental and physical health.[i]
People who write down their thoughts and feelings have greater success in dealing with problems—especially those overwhelming ones. Releasing stress improves our physical health.
2. Declutters the mind.
I am not naturally a logical and organized person. Too many thoughts intermingled with emotions keep me in a frazzled state. But writing it down makes it concrete.
No longer is it just in your mind and heart, but on a tangible piece of paper (or computer). Scripting sorts, itemizes, reveals, and provides a written record. As you look at each point, which has now been isolated, you can evaluate and think things through more clearly. You can address each item separately, asking:
- Is this a fact, a feeling, or my perception?
- What does God say about this and how should I handle it?
- Do I need to change it and how?
3. Helps in getting to the root of an issue/Gives guidance
Once you have it out of your mind, so you won’t go out of your mind,
you’ll more easily recognize the core problem, or what your next step might be.
4. Helps renew your mind.
If you are doing this together with God and His Word, the Holy Spirit will reveal wrong thought patterns and enable you to replace them with His truth.
5. Increases your intimacy with God
As you humbly express yourself to God, you will be more aware of who you truly are and who He is. Your ability to discern His leading and experience His joy and peace will rise incredibly. There are many other reasons to journal, but this is the BEST one!
There’s no right or wrong way to journal. Let God guide your pen. You’ll be surprised at your spiritual growth as you record your journey with God. Plus it’ll make reminiscing with your Savior a lot easier!