There are times in life when journal writing comes easy. New relationships or new additions to families are all reasons to celebrate. So are major accomplishments such as completing a degree program or starting a new business. But what happens when times are tough, life becomes challenging and you don’t feel like writing? How do you maintain momentum to obtain healing through writing or release the complex emotions you feel?
Two years ago, I faced many challenges in my life and did so with my journal (and bible) by my side. My mother died, unexpectedly, in February after suffering from grief over the murder of her youngest son. Two months after her funeral the man who killed my brother filed for an appeal and lost. It only added to the pain and sorrow my family already felt.
During the time after my mother’s death I continued to write about my grief. It helped immensely and kept me from shopping therapy and other irrational forms of spending. The anger I felt toward the man who’d killed my brother was vented onto paper for my eyes to see. It was during those times the Lord ministered to me from the Psalms and other passages of scripture.
However, the final storm came in the fall of that same year. During a routine mammogram I was informed that a lump had formed in my left breast. Since I wasn’t in the habit of performing self-examinations it came as a complete shock. There I was six months after burying my mother and faced with the uncertainty of cancer. Not knowing what to do with myself and having to wait until the following week for the results from my doctor I prayed for wisdom. I drove to the nearest café and scribbled my anxiety, worries, and fears onto the pages of my journal. I complained to God of the unfairness of it all and prayed for a positive report. Thankfully I received it and I am eternally grateful. Each appointment afterward has shown no cancer as well.
There are circumstances in life that are completely out of our control. How we respond not only reveals our relationship to God but our faith in him as well. Learning to document your Christian journey is a great supplement to your scripture reading and prayer times. Till next time…