I started journaling in my first year of university, to record memories and to keep an emotional check on my life. It was a place where I noted down prayers and bible passages that I was learning or leaning on at that time in my life. As I have gone through the years it is a practise I continue to do. This year especially I have been trying to journal every day. It has no structure at all, it is simply me and a piece of paper at the end of the day. From the first two months of this year, I am learning lessons from daily journaling and also lessons that I continue to implement from what I have learned over the years.
One lesson, and it is an important lesson, that no day is ever as bad as it seemed. I always journal an hour or two before I go to bed, it helps to settle my mind. Especially when the day has not been great. To be able to write down the lessons I have learned from that day, the areas of life that I need to continue to grow on has been vital. To reflect that, my life is not over because everything I did that day went badly. I attempt to focus on the positive aspects from that day, to focus primarily on the negative does nothing for growth or my mindset. Even when my mind is frustrated and tired, to be able to note down a Bible verse or a quote that has gave me encouragement, that is a blessing. I do write down aspects I am struggling with but always with the hope that I will get past it. To remind myself to breathe and to let go is important.
That in time everything falls into place/ begins to come together. Ecclesiastes 3v11 ‘ Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the scope of God’s work from beginning to end.’ Flicking through my old journals I see the aspects of life that use to impact me. The events in my life that used to overwhelm me or worry me. These are events that have all passed or I have become so used to doing, that there is no fear that controls it. A lot of my journals are based in my university years, which were highly fuelled by stress and worry. It is nice to reflect and sometimes laugh at what used to hold my mind captive. For sure I am thankful for grace, because I had/ still have so much learning to do.
Time brings healing. To let yourself have that time to heal over hurts that have happened is vital. Journal entries can be messy, it is through that mess that beauty and healing comes.
Journaling has taught me to be faithful and thankful, to the faithfulness of God and his promises. To note down promises that have spoken into my heart and seen them bloom into these beautiful truths, has been a blessing. There was a journal I kept just as I was finishing up my final year of university, I was reading through the book of Isaiah which is not the easiest thing to understand so I was primarily using it to take notes. Each morning and evening I would note down the issues and concerns I wanted to pray about. Whether they be for myself, family/friends or the world. It was in that summer that I was growing so much in my faith, that my granny died. My granny was someone I loved very much, she was really funny and loved her family deeply. My granny was an incredible woman and my heart broke at how suddenly she passed away. I truly felt God with me, having remained in his presence as I cried and mourned, helped to bring healing and peace into a situation that was out of the blue and out of our control. I will always be thankful that God had been holding me in that season even before that happened. There is a verse in Isaiah that states ‘He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away all tears’, Isaiah 25v8. This is a promise that is repeated in Revelation, it is a promise that I hold onto. That on earth where there has been pain and grief, that God holds that close to his heart and in his salvation, there will only ever be peace and joy. I have seen God’s faithfulness in many areas of my life, being able to record those beautiful testimonies helps to ground me and reminds me where my worth comes from.
Lamentations 3 v22-23 ‘The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
Journaling remains a part of my life because it reminds me, that no matter how hard I may find life or how slow that I think it may be going. I am still living, and I am still moving. When I write about the memories I have had with friends and family, it reminds me I am loved and cared for. Journaling reminds me to have a thankful heart, full of gratitude. For the life that I do have, for the family and friends and for the God that guides me. Journaling may not be everyone’s way to express themselves, it is my favourite activity to do.
I encourage you reading this, that your life is important. Never see it as unimportant. We all have our own print to be left on the world. Use your life to bless others and to showcase the gifts and talents you have. You do not have to be famous to make an impact. May you know that you are loved and known for who you are. That God calls you His and delights in you.
You are so loved and cherished. May you keep learning. Love Victoria. xx