Journal writing marked my teenage years. My journal became a silent supporter and confidante. It never questioned my words nor my thoughts. Journal writing did a lot to my young soul. In college, I put this practice on hold because I was busy in school.
When I committed my life to Christ many years later, I went back to journal writing. It has been more purposeful now that I am an adult. Journal writing is also the gateway to my soul. I could pour my heart out in the pages of my journal. It has taught me to be more reflective. If you have not tried journal writing, consider this practice of soul-care.
1. It is therapeutic.
In Proverbs 29:11, it says, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”
Ranting social media is not an effective way to express emotions. Been there, done that. Never doing it again. It is better to have an intimate conversation with a friend. Or take out your journal and scream.
Write down raw emotions. End it with exclamation points if you have to. Then, breathe. Be silent. Then, process what you are feeling.
Ask yourself these questions. Where is this feeling coming from? What triggered this emotion? Write down your responses and take note. This practice helps you become aware of your triggers. As a result, you will know how to give appropriate responses. The issue may still be there, but you have changed the way you see the situation. Processing also helps you change the way you see yourself and the way you see things.
Psychologists recommend journaling to people suffering from depression. Check out this article to know more about its positive effects.
*There is a program I got into last year that has been a tremendous help in processing my emotions. I shared in this post my experience and why I recommend it to anyone who wants to be “healed”.
2. It takes note of your dreams and goals
Did you know that a diary is different from a journal? A diary is an organizer that schedules tasks, events, and meetings. A journal thoughts, emotions, dreams, and goals.
Journal writing allows you to dream and take steps in fulfilling it. Two years ago, I was able to complete a 5-Day Devotional for Women. It is a short e-book that I give away to my blog subscribers. When I checked my old journals, I forgot that I wrote that dream down, “To write and publish my book.”
Even I have ghostwritten for a few people, publishing a book with me as the author is exciting. That dream is progressing at a snail’s pace, but I’m getting there.
One dream that I have had for many years is having our own home. Many years later, it is still a dream. I don’t know when the Lord will allow this to come true or if it will ever come true at all. My husband and I are working for that dream, and at the same time, waiting on God’s perfect plan.
Write down your plans, dreams, and aspirations. Watch them all come true one by one. Take each dream one day at a time.
3. It gives you a moment of solitude
We live in a noisy world. It is full of differing opinions, beliefs, and practices. We hear its blaring sound on social media.
If we do not know how to filter this information, we will accept whatever new idea comes our way. There will be a shift in our values and core beliefs. Why? Because we don’t want people to label us as judgmental or self-righteous. Why? Because we want people to accept us. That’s the bottom line. We want acceptance.
Journal writing allows me to escape the noise of social media. It gives me a sense of peace. Solitude gives me time to breathe and reflect. I can filter the helpful information, and those are in tune with my values. When I come across a beautiful thought, I inhale it as fresh air and write it down. Then, I pass it on.
4. It allows you hone your gift (of writing)
When I started journaling in my teens, I was not consistent. But it has helped develop the gift of writing.
Journal writing opened the door for publishing content online through blogging. When I started in 2015, I wrote for myself and not for other people. After some time, the Lord made me realize that I was not writing for myself only. He gave me the gift of writing to write His story lived through my journey.
These journal entries turned into blog posts. When an idea pops up, I reach out for my journal. The words will flow that my right hand could not keep up. I let my thoughts control the pen.
Do you love to write? Then, start developing it by journal writing. Don’t focus too much on grammar and sentence construction yet. No one is going to check it. It is YOUR journal.
If you persevere, the Lord will open writing opportunities for you to share your gift. This is when you focus on the technical side of writing. But do not worry. There are many books, online courses, and tools that will help improve your writing. I use two online applications: Hemingway Editor (for blogging) and Grammarly.
5. It is a testimony of God’s work in your life
Journal writing is a way of keeping track of how God has moved in my life. It is also proof of how helpless and stubborn I can be. My journal is a silent witness to my prayer life. I have logged all my requests from the grandest to the simplest.
Writing has helped me go through the challenging seasons of my life. When I could not pray to God, the journal entry becomes a prayer in itself. Sometimes that’s all it takes. I am confident that written prayers become a pleasing aroma to Him. (Revelation 5:8)
Taking note of your prayers is a great way to remember God’s goodness and faithfulness. We are a forgetful people. When a crisis hits us, we tend to panic and worry. It is good to look back at your journal with gratitude and see how God has reached out to you in the past. The circumstances may be different, but God does not change. He will respond in His own way.
I have kept most of my adult journals. When I go through the pages, I cringe in horror. What was I thinking? But most of the time, I smile and say, “Yeah, God did that.“
Journal writing does good for the mind, soul, and spirit. It helps you process your emotions, allows you to plan and be quiet, develops your gift of writing, and keeps track of your prayer life. See how profound journal writing could be?
The number of pages you write or the consistency of days should not matter. What is important is that you logged in that day. That will do, friend.