Journaling Is Good For The Soul

As I was going through some old things I stumbled upon my journal, complete with lock and key. I couldn’t help but take a moment to unlock the mystery. I read through thoughts of things at that time troubled me.

It was a way to release emotions without being condemned or judged. It was my way to talk openly and honestly to God.

While reading I found the most riveting details of a life filled with pain and sorrow. A life I couldn’t see God in with any hope for tomorrow. In the midst of my pain, when devastation and fear ruled my life. All I could think of is I longed for a better life.

I cried out to God, “I don’t know what this is or why it’s happening to me. Please take away the sadness and misery.” My pain was as deep as the depth of the sea. I was drowning in my own brokenness each time I would make a plea.

I found myself searching for love in all the wrong places. I had become a basket case. I sought out acceptance, affection, and respect from the wrong sources. I lived with much regret and remorse. When I failed to see people whose lives were not on the same path God was taking me. They didn’t want to take the time to share in the journey. To a place that held my destiny.

Every day I would journal with some breaks in between. I would go weeks, sometimes months with nothing to say that had meaning. Yet there were times when I would write and find much value. To situations and circumstances that built up my character.

I stopped focusing on negativity. I would add scripture and a note at the end of each journal entry. Not just for reading but as a teaching tool. To apply to the mess I would find myself in. To be held accountable for things I needed to do. Most of all scripture reminded me of God’s goodness in the midst of my storm. I took one step at a time in the hopes of rebuilding a life I no longer mourned.

When I reached the end of the journal, I ran across something that struck me most. It was a small, yet simple example of what God presented long time ago. Details of a dream I had. It seemed like a dream that was sending a solid message when all around me looked bad.

The dream was regarding my obedience advising me to get out of my own way. Because I kept trying to make things and people say what I wanted to hear them say. I kept trying to make things go my way. That people would love me for me. I was disillusioned. It may never be.

At the time, the dream did not make any sense to me. I didn’t understand what it meant. It entailed a journey with one person guiding me; to a place of safety in the face of adversity. Yet I couldn’t see his face. I didn’t know who he was. I only knew that he seemed like someone that could love… me unconditionally. He held my hand. He traveled with me to this unknown place. I felt safe and secure even though it seemed out of place.

We met with obstacles trying to divert the mission. The strange man obviously had good intentions. He seemed like he had my best interest at heart. To bring me to a place of peace, not based on a wing and a prayer. But to give me peace that surpassed my understanding, removing all despair.

The dream was only four sentences long. With the final ending of my accepting a telephone call. From a person that was close to me. That told me there was somewhere I needed to be. They said, “Get there immediately.” This clearly was a warning for me. But at the time I didn’t notice it at all; pride before the fall. Nonetheless, there was a place I needed to get to. With this stranger that was walking with me, guiding me through.

Now sitting here as I reflect and look back in that moment of time, I realized God was there all the time. To reassure me that everything was going to be alright. It was his face I couldn’t see, but the love he had for me. No matter how difficult I chose to be.

God was in front, on side, behind and beside me. He cleaned up mistakes from behind me. He saved me. He took my mess. He turned it into a message. He used me as the vessel that I may be a blessing; to tell others about Jesus Christ. To spread the gospel; the Good News! It’s my mission. It’s what I’ve been called to do. To profess what only God can do. God brought me through.

I learned that sometimes the circumstances we think harms us are actually ones God is engineering. No matter how heavy the burden or what seemed overbearing. We must have faith and believe in His faithfulness. And live life with no regrets.

We must not choose to avoid difficult stumbling blocks we may cross. Because it is where God gives us chances to redeem and restore all that we think we lost. For God can heal your hurts for his own benefit. If only you believe, receive Christ, and repent.

We all have one thing in common. It’s the story of our life. One filled with some pain, sadness, grief, and strife. But there are also some good things we encounter that may only be seen in the afterlife. We have a testimony of the goodness of God. And how he brought us this far.

God is awesome and amazing. He’ll do exactly what he promised before he placed you in your mother’s womb. He knew you. He set you apart. That he may live in your heart. He called you. To carry through, the preplanned purpose he prepared for you.

God will never fail. There’s nobody greater than God. He brought me through when times seemed hard. When I was weak and lost my way. He gave me strength to make it.

There comes a time in our life when we stop looking for things or people to define us. We look to God to show us the way. In preparation for the promise he will bring without delay.

As for me, I won’t look to the right or to the left. I will look to the hills from whence cometh my help. Because I know the plans God have for me. Plans to prosper and not harm me. I will mount up with wings like eagles. I will run and not get weary. I will have renewed strength to see clearly. The things he set before me.

I’ve seen God do some things in my life but the way he moved mountains out of my way. His yes was yes, right here, right now on that day. He literally turned my life around. No greater love can be found.

God hears prayers of the righteous. He is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. God was there every step of the way. I may have been blind to it but he paved the way. To the life I now see. Even after reading words from the journal of yesteryear.

I don’t know what it is about this connection with God I’ve witnessed in the past few days. Where he has shown up mightily, but it’s amazing. Each and every time I sat in commune with him as I professed my troubles and prayed for answers. In the blink of an eye, my situation changed.

I am so thankful. God is my only source. He is the only one I depend on. His provision brought me through the storm.

Journaling is good for the soul. It lifts heavy burdens of a story that can only be told. To God who listens intently. He answers prayers even when we can’t see him in the midst of our misery.

Give thanks for what you have today. Even if the presents you receive tomorrow won’t be what you desired anyway. God gave the most precious gift anyone can ever hope, dream, or ask for. This should be enough to carry you far.

As you prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, remember God gave us the ultimate sacrifice. He offered up His Son who died as a sacrifice. He died for the sins of all mankind that we may live and have everlasting life.  Be blessed! – JD

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

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