I have kept a journal for about 17 years. There were seasons of life when I was more consistent in writing than others, but I have always had a journal that I’ve been writing in. I definitely recommend journaling to anyone! Journaling has brought many emotional and spiritual benefits to my life. (I hope so, if I’ve kept a journal for so long!) In this post, you’ll find some of the positive effects that I’ve noticed due to journaling.
1. I have been amazed to see our Heavenly Father’s hand woven throughout my life. It’s stunning to read past journals and to see answered prayers. In one case, I wrote how I believed that God would fulfill a certain desire of mine, and would even delight in watching me live out this desire. Exactly one year to the day later, that dream was fulfilled! It’s amazing to see how much our Heavenly Father cares for us, even in the little things! Reading past journals reminds me of His care in the large and small aspects of my life.
2. Journaling has helped to provide relief from stress. The primary time when I journal is before bedtime. This helps me to process the day and any thoughts, feelings, and happenings of that day. It is very calming. After writing about stressful or difficult situations, I definitely feel better! I remember a recent situation that had been causing a lot of distress. One night I journaled about it, and also prayed. The next morning I had much more clarity and peace about the situation. That peace has remained, though the situation has not changed.
3. Journaling helps me to stay on the right track. There are times when I think about changing directions in certain ways. I re-think decisions. Then, I go back and read my journals. Reading helps me to stay centered and reminds me of why I made certain decisions. That gives me the confidence to continue on the same track (or to change directions, in some cases).
4. Journaling is enjoyable. At a time in my life that consisted of much “academic” writing, journaling was an outlet with “no pressure.” No one will be scoring my journal entries. They are between God and I only. I can freely write whatever I wish.
5. Journaling helps me to create a better, more intentional future. Sometimes I’ll write about aspects of my life that I intend to change. There is research that shows that people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them. I have found this to be true in my own life. There are other themes and prophetic words that have continued to come up in my life. I make sure to write these down. Going back to #1, it’s such a blessing to see these things come full circle! God is so good!
I’m so grateful that God has used journaling to work in my life, and even to prove His faithfulness over time!
“Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablet so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:2-3