In the sixth grade, I was introduced to the wonderful world of sharing your secrets. Surprisingly, it wasn’t to the best friend that I had grown to know and love. It was Mrs. Baas who had insisted that we keep a journal for one semester as a means to communicate our thoughts on paper. As an assignment, I wasn’t interested. But what I realized was that after the semester was over, I continued to express my deepest thoughts with God, by way of the pen & paper.
From the simplest to the most complex of my innermost thoughts, I’d write down every detail. While writing and making sure that I covered everything was so fascinating to me, it would be later on when I realized how much impact keeping a journal/diary would be…after divorce recovery.
It was about 6 months ago, when I came across an entry that I’d had during the roughest part of my tribulation. This was during the time that my husband and I were separated and my dad was dying right before my eyes. I wasn’t even working, due to assisting my mom with caring for my dad. So recap, I had lost my career, my dad was slipping away from me, and my husband was pretty much gone too. Imagine my devastation! Throughout life, my journal was written to God. I pretty much laid out all of my frustrations on him. Initially, I wrote once a day, but due to the circumstances, I found myself writing all throughout the day, carrying God with me wherever I went. Whether it be to the Dr.’s office or the grocery store, wherever I went God was surely there with me. I’d go to the park and he was there. I refused to be departed from God. I’d be angry with him, (as you could clearly tell by my strong strokes and all capital letters). I’d be relaxed with him (noted by my smooth, neat strokes). And sometimes, I’d fall asleep with him (as shown by the words that start out written crisp and clear and end up leaning).
Keeping a journal/diary/letters to God, serves as a testament to how strong you truly are. You’re able to reflect on where you were throughout life and how you came to your present situation(s). For me, it was totally empowering. Amidst what seemed to be the worst possible time in my life, I am able to see what God has delivered me from. Initially, it may be quite intimidating to put all of your thoughts down. But try to be as honest with the writings as possible. Besides, it’s for your eyes only. No one has to know what or how you feel. So it should be the one place that you can be free. Here are a few things that may help you, when writing in your journal/diary…
- Does your journal reflect you? For instance, consider purchasing a journal that reflects your personality. It actually should help inspire you to write. There are many types of journals; from leather bound, to the most colorful, with/without locks. Check out some bookstores or discount stores to look at what options are available.
- What is currently taking place in your life? Think about what events may be presently happening or about to occur.
- What thoughts are going on in your head? Be honest! How do you feel? What made you feel that way? The more detailed and honest you are with yourself, the better you will begin to feel and aid in the healing process.
- What are your dreams? Write about what you’d like to see happen in the next year, 5 years, or 10 years.
Don’t get upset if you miss a day. Remember, anything you’re not used to doing takes time. Just try to be as consistent as possible. It’ll help when you’re ready to self reflect. When I look back at various entries into my journal, it makes me smile. It’s amazing to see how many times, that I’ve felt abandoned and that I couldn’t bear anymore pain. And yet I’m still standing, with the widest smile and the largest laugh. And I’m sure this can happen for you too!