The other day, reading something in a book my brother sent me (he asked for my opinion of Hope in the Dark: Believing God is Good When Life Is Not, by Craig Groeschel, and yes, I do recommend it) I was spurred to start journaling again. I say “again” because I’ve started and stopped journaling numerous times over the years. I’ve always felt rather disappointed in myself and a bit guilty for not seeming to be able to continue the practice. Journaling really can be beneficial in many ways.
For instance, I decided to pull down a couple of the journals I’ve saved from past years. There are probably half a dozen of them, mostly unfilled. First, I was surprised that I actually filled one whole journal with about a year and a half of notes. Pat on the back for that one!
Second, I wrote it during the last half of my cancer treatment; this particular journal started in September of 2008, in the midst of my chemo treatments, ten years ago last month. That I’ve had ten good, cancer-free years since that time is humbling and yet an occasion for rejoicing and giving praise to our good God and heavenly Father for his mercies to me and my family.
Third, along with putting recorded life events (and prayer requests and answers to prayer) in their rightful order and year, it answered a question I’ve had and others have asked me several times. It is a question I confess I didn’t know the answer to–when did I start writing my book, Brokenness to Beauty? Well, there it was, in black and white in my journal. Sometime in 2009 I began to compile my blog posts into a form that could be shaped into a book. So there it is if you ever happened to have asked me that question.
Another benefit of my journaling is that I’m reminded of insights God gave me in the past which I have been building on to the present. Truth is eternal; it doesn’t go out of vogue (at least not in God’s economy). I sometimes recorded lessons God was teaching me from his Word and I’m encouraged all over again reading them years later.
So as I take up pen and journal once again, I hope this time I will keep on writing. There is value in the written word, even our own words.
Do you journal? In what ways have you benefitted by it?