It always makes sense if I put it in words. There seems to be something lacking when I don’t write down what I feel, what I learn, and what I pray. There is something in putting these thoughts and feelings in tangible form that gives it more value and impact.
Through my growing up years, I had been jotting down my feelings and prayers in tiny notebooks and pieces of paper. Now that technology has gotten the best out of these hard copies, online devotion and Bible Study seem to lack more impact on me. I miss my silent moments of contemplation and my oral prayers, intensified or otherwise.
I started journal writing way back 2005 to 2008 but it was very irregular and was limited to special occasions and deep moments of trials. I hope I can go back to this habit for it really brings great results.
There are a number of benefits from keeping journals, such as: getting a release from an emotional experience, having a reminder of the event/feeling, keeping a proof of God’s faithfulness, setting an inspiration for the days/years to come, and forming an example to others who may happen to read what we have jotted down.
Actually, for the most part of the writing experience, it is the writer who gets a large portion of the advantages.
Getting a release from an emotional experience
It is a common experience that no one can understand us fully and will bear with us all the time. Once we have told our story to someone, it would be unkind to tell it to him/her again. We would be burdening others with our own struggles and fears if we repeatedly tell them about these. They are not God; they also have their own share of troubles and cares.
Talking it over to God is the best option. He never gets tired of us and He lovingly anticipates our communing with Him any time and all the time. Writing down these conversations with God gives us great relief in addition to the peace that comes whenever we pour out our hearts to God. It makes us look at life in a different and more positive perspective.
Having a reminder of the event/feeling
Souvenirs are amazing. They give us a pleasant recurring of the incident and make us experience it differently. Such is the effect of a journal entry when we read it sometime in the future. We remember the feeling or incident and feel differently about it, marveling at how we have changed and being thankful to God for such an experience.
Keeping a proof of God’s faithfulness
In addition to being reminded of the past experience, seeing our present compared to the past gives us a picture of how faithfully God has orchestrated every area of our life to bring us to a much higher level of maturity and growth. We can trace God’s faithfulness crafted in each passing moment of our lives.
Setting an inspiration for the days/years to come
The same encounters with God and with life’s challenges can give us inspiration to move on with a positive attitude. These victories written on pages of the past can be our guide to go on the right direction and can also be our motivation to follow the right path because we have been there before and we have survived.
Forming an example to others
Finally, keeping a journal make us models for others to follow. They will not only write their own stories but they would also find inspiration in what we have been through. Last year, when I was packing my things away, one of the junior faculty came to help me. She was able to steal a peek into these tiny notebooks and learned a little about me – like, I also experienced what she is going through now, in other words, letting her realize that I had been in her shoes before and that I am credible when I give her my insights and my advice. I become more real to her, not just a mentor but a real flesh and blood sinner saved by grace.
First published in: http://jerj105.blogspot.com/