October 22, 2012

Reflection on Journaling

"For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart..."
Jeremiah 29:11-13, NRSV

I am always humbly surprised by the ability of journaling to make me feel inifinitely better about life. I don't know why it surprises me. It's become evident to me on several occasions (ie. camp counseling) that my mental health benefits from daily journaling.

I am able to face the day when I offer up yesterday to my journal. Then I realize that I'm not offering up my yesterday to my journal, although it physically feels that way when I have a cramp in my hand from writing so furiously. Rather, I am giving God my yesterday. I am saying, "God, please free me of yesterday. Free me of the doubt and insecurities I have about myself, life, and You. Help me to face each moment and day anew."

In the same way, it helps me to be more mindful of offering each moment to God. I feel a peace knowing that my future is in God's hand, too. Journaling is a reminder of that - in fact, it helps me to see how God has worked in my past for the betterment of my future. I've read past journal entries that help me see the movement of God in my life - how God responds to the yearnings of my heart.

When I journal I think it's an opprotunity for the Divine to move in my life. I mean the opportunity is always there, but I'm not always attune to it or giving myself space to feel that movement. When I journal I stop keeping everything in my head - bouncing around, clogging creative thought. By writing it down I am free to be and respond to the present.

What helps you encounter the Divine daily? What do you do to remain emotionally and mentally healthy?


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