I have been journaling off and on since I was in 7th grade church camp and the counselors sent us into the woods for Morning Watch. The first morning is etched in my mind as I took my blank journal and sat underneath a tree and wondered, “Now what do I do?” As I sat looking around, I closed my eyes and a dove cooed. That dove’s coo spoke to my heart and I said, “Good morning, God!” No one was more surprised than I to hear those words, but that was the beginning of my journaling.
Journaling is a tool that invites us to go within. It invites us to seek. It invites us to share our life story. It invites us to question. It invites us to heal. My journaling over the years has taken on many forms. At first it was a free flow because as a teenager I had much to say and many questions to answer. As a young adult who felt lost and unsure of myself, it was the only outlet I had, because I surely couldn’t let the world know how vulnerable I really was. While in my mid-thirties when life’s difficulties became overwhelming and I joined a Twelve Step Program, my deep journey inward began. At one point I found the words needed difficult and my journey was told through sketching pictures and poetry. A whole new world opened through that season of my life journey.
Later my journaling became very scattered. It seemed as if every time I went to write there was little there. I would question or I would think, but there was no fluidity. Therefore, there must be something wrong with what I am doing, right?!? I began reading on how to journal, I tried a variety of different journals; I went through periods of writing and periods of dryness. The times I had difficulty writing I felt guilty so I wrote about my feeling of guilt, remorse, and regret always asking “Why”? That led me to a gratitude journal because I was sinking into an ever ending hole.
Today, what I have come to know is there is no right or wrong way to journal. Journaling is an avenue from what Oprah Winfrey calls “Wounds to Wisdom.” It is our soul story no matter the venue, drawing, poetry, music, scripture study, or writing. What I have also come to know is the more I learn, the less I “know”. Life is a mystery as is our God. I am learning to be okay living in the mystery of life. Today, in my journal I ponder. I ponder the greatness of God and creation. I ponder the life I have lived and my current journey. I ponder friendships, and relationships and their wonder. I am blessed. I am blessed to be the beloved child of God; blessed to be alive and involved in living; blessed to be married to a man of God, and I could go on, but you get the idea.
Today, I want to invite you to continue to journal. For those of you who may not have found the treasures that come from journaling, I invite you to start. A word, a phrase, a picture, whatever speaks to you, put it on paper. Journaling isn’t a pass or fail life test. Journaling is a way of opening the door to your soul. Answers are not necessary, it is the journey that is important and it is a journey Papa desires to take with you. Invite him in.