Earlier this year, back in March, I was having a serious case of I-don’t-want-to-write-anything. Call it “writer’s block”, but there was something deeper going on in my heart. I was tired of writing my feelings, my thoughts, and my struggles in my life. I was spending hours writing about my day, and for what? I couldn’t see the point anymore so I stopped.
Pencil down. Journal closed. I was done.
A part of me felt that by writing down my feelings, I was only putting fuel to the fire and it wasn’t helping me overcome anything. My problems did not belong on paper, they belonged in God’s hands.
God is not a God of the emotions but the God of truth.-Dietrich Bonhoeffer
At times, it felt like I spent more time writing to God in my journal than actually praying to Him.
When I was really sick, I wrote everything I felt, the pain, the confusion, and at times, the frustration at my body for not being stronger. When my ex would do something to upset me, I wrote it all down and vented in these pages. When I was overwhelmed, I went to my journal, and tried to figure out what was going on in my heart by writing it down.
The problem is I was processing my life by myself and I felt stressed out until I could write but I think often times God wanted me to simply BE STILL and listen to Him. In the quiet, I believe He would have given me what I needed.
I had to ask myself, who was I going to when times were tough? Straight to the journal to write it all down or straight to God?
In my heart, I didn’t want to complain. I wanted to live a life of worship. I wanted to always focus on God and less on my circumstances. I wanted to praise God for already having the solution, for being there with me, and for the beauty in my life. But I wasn’t living that kind of life. Maybe people saw it on the outside, but on the inside (and I would know) my heart was ugly and that ugliness was smeared all over the pages of my journal.
I was tired of it so I stopped writing for months.
When I stopped writing, I had to find a different way to process my emotions. I went to Jesus. I started praying more, going on walks and listening to God. Also, I allowed myself to trust people and process my feeling with them. There’s nothing that compares to a friend who will pray with you.
I learned to go to my knees instead of pulling out my journal.
I found this to be so much better because I was talking directly with my Father and with people who would stand with me. God was helping me to see things differently. I didn’t need a journal to get closer to God, I just needed to go to Him.
This entire process, I know it was the Holy Spirit teaching me about the love of people and how faithful He is when we need Him. However, one day there was this tug at my heart. It was subtle, a still voice to my soul. It was the Holy Spirit telling me it was time to write again.
A New Chapter
It was June 15, I was in bed and I couldn’t sleep. My mind was going over all God did that day and I wanted to write it down but it had been so long I didn’t know where to start. It took me some time, but finally at 3am I grabbed my journal and said, “I’m just going to write one page about what He did. That’s it.” And here is how this new chapter for me began:
What God Did Today
1. Helped me stay calm during a blood test today.
2. Put me on my my friend’s mom’s heart and she donated towards my mission trip.
3. Let my tummy not hurt this morning.
4. Gave me words to pray for my friend, who just had a miscarriage.
5. Let mom and I have favor and resources to get all the blood work done today.
6. Helped me to finish my work on a website.
7. Guided me to pick out a random book in my bookshelf, I flipped through it, and a phrase stood out to me. It was something I needed to hear today, “I just kept trying not to get in the way of what God was doing.”
It’s a start. Writing what I’m thankful for. Maybe it’ll help me to write more if I start here…
Princesses, it was simple. I spent five minutes (ONLY five minutes) and wrote a few sentences of what God did that day.
The next day, I did the same thing. I didn’t vent, I didn’t share everything that went on that day and how I felt about it, simply what God did – what was praiseworthy.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
It’s September now and I’ve been doing this every day since then. Can I tell you girls how beautiful this is? What began as a writer’s block has turned into these incredibly fun writing sessions. I write about Jesus and what He has done, I get to praise Him in these pages. Sometimes, I find myself writing 15 and 20 things God did today. Sometimes, it’s not so obvious and I sit and think about what He has done. But everyday – it never fails – there is something to be thankful for.
I feel like my weeping into the pages is now over and it’s a time of praise.
In saying that, I still believe all I wrote in my past journals were good. I don’t regret it. I needed to write what I did in the season I was in – there were times it was therapy for my soul – but my journal is now different. It’s special. It’s actually something I would like to pass on to my kids and my grandchildren, for them to know the goodness of God in my life, even on the worst of days. I want them to know He is still good, no matter how it hurts, no matter what we see, no matter what we feel. He is still God.
“For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”
You Do You, Girl
Princesses, this is my story. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against journaling, but this is the season I’m in and I wanted to share it with you.
If I can challenge you today it would be to find out what it is that God wants for your life, and do it and not feel guilty or ashamed for walking that out. For me, it was a journal, for you it could be something completely different. You do you, girl!
God showed me a way in which I was living burdened and how to live a life of praise, but the way I journal now is different than a lot of my friends. Many people I know love to journal everything they are going through, I think that’s great for them, but in this season it’s not for me and that’s completely okay.
We aren’t all going to do things the same way because God has a particular path for each of us. It’s beautiful and we should never feel guilty for being different or judge others for not doing things the way we do them. I may be a pinky and you may be an arm, but we both have a purpose. Don’t try to be like me. Be like you. Find out what God wants you to do today, where He is challenging you in your walk with Him, and let go and let Him lead.
Princesses, let us worship the Lord today. Let us keep our ears open to His voice and our eyes open to His beauty. I’ve been learning there is never a day that God is not worthy to be praised. No matter what is going on in your world, He is not the one to let go of, if anything, He is the one you need to get through it. He loves you, friend. I hope you know that today.
p.s. This post was so random, right? But I was just about to jounal and had written, “What God Has Done” and I suddenly felt so strongly to share my story with you girls. I hope someone out there is encouraged by it. Anyway, I need to go finish writing now! Talk to you soon.