Do you journal? I’ve journaled since the late 80’s and it’s a great way to express your thoughts, feelings, and stay sane. King David is one source of inspiration as he wrote anything he felt in the Psalms. Really, he did – check out a few really honest ones like Psalm 7, 28, or 69. And his example is perfect – he doesn’t stay in the negative or troubled place, but always ends in a place of faith in God, which is what we need to do.
To express ourselves is one of life’s basic functions. We were created with voices, feelings, thoughts, and they beg to be expressed. We hopefully learn as we grow up to express ourselves in healthy ways and not hurtful ways, but many if not most of us limit our self-expression. For a variety of reasons, we learn to hold stuff in that needs to come out. In the same way that our bodies use the best of what we eat and eliminate the rest, we need to do the same with our emotions.
Our emotions, thoughts, and words were given to us by God as part of our design in His image. Everything about us, even our feelings, were created to be part of our relationship with God. In order to be healthy emotionally, we can learn to express ourselves, and journaling is a great way to emote that is private. Share your emotions with God, then once you’re emptied of them, let yourself receive His peace through divine exchange. And like King David, remember God is good and that He is working in your life. Philippians 4:6-7 is my favorite verse describing how we can pray about anything and everything, choose not to fear, and then receive God’s peace that does something wonderful.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4, NIV
- Buy a journal and pen you like. Seriously, this is important. If you don’t like it, you won’t be inspired! (Maybe you want lots of color or like me, choose one with a blank cover to draw on.)
- Start writing at the same time every day. Your brain will be ready to help. You may want to set a reminder in your phone, but do it. (I usually write early morning and late evening. Sometimes I skip a day.)
- Write about your day, how you felt, who you saw, and be as honest as you can. Write about how you felt when your boss confronted you over your work, or how you felt when your spouse misunderstood you. Write about the color of the wildflowers that grow on the ditch bank or how frustrating it is to give yourself to a project and get no recognition.
- Always include God in your journal time. Always list things your are thankful for that day. Even your perfectly cooked fried egg. It doesn’t matter how large or how small, name the gift!
- When you need to express something negative, do it. Get it out, and always end on a positive note, even if all you can write is “I have hope because anything is possible with God,” or “Thank you, Father, that I can talk to You.”
The Bible says to not let the sun go down on your anger. To be emotionally, mentally, and spiritually healthy, we need to express our emotions on a daily basis, pouring them out in journaling or prayer or whatever works, but ultimately releasing them to God. Remember, they are part of our relationship with Him.
That may not mean we are done with something, but we’re not letting it get bottled up inside. We’re letting it out! So express, emote, just get it out already! Emotions buried alive stay alive, and that’s not fun later when they either eat away at our insides or come exploding out unexpected and uncontrolled. Care for them now.
Express yourself and may you be blessed in your journaling!
Lots of love & grace,
From the desk by the window on a fresh, cold day that was created just for us.
(c) Robin L. Lewis, Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, January 18, 2016
Spiritual Life Coaching is available for women ages 16 and up, up, up! Contact me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 319-5390.