Anyone who knows me well knows that journaling is central in my life. I believe passionately in the power of communicating and articulating my thoughts, fears, learning moments, personal revelations and dreams onto paper. My jumbled inner thoughts somehow straighten themselves out and come to life when my pen hits the journal.
I have kept a journal since the age of 14. Sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly. Whenever I sense my soul needs it! I have journaled in the NZ mountains, in airplanes seats,curled up on a hotel room bed, with cappuccinos in Starbucks, overlooking the Cotswold hills in my car, next to the Caribbean waters in Belize, underneath a Dutch windmill and in the shadows by candlelight. It’s MY moment for ME.
Pablo Picasso once said “Painting is just another way of keeping a diary.” There is a beautiful creativity and deep reflection of the soul that is found in both. Journaling appears to be a compelling ritual for many of us with a melancholic streak in our personality.
Anne Frank believed her diary was her true friend. She had no intention of revealing it to anyone. I know how she felt. Yet, unlike hers, mine will never be published for their historic poignancy. However, they do feed my preaching, my seminars and my pastoring of people. And now my blogs. Most importantly they have taught me to remember what’s important. The truth is: we should usually forget the things we should remember and stubbornly remember the things we should forget.
I am nostalgic by nature. And I have been deeply rewarded with re reading my journals and seeing so much from the vantage point of the NOW. Seeing the threads in my life that have brought me to this point. Reading how my dreams and aspirations have unfolded and blossomed. Seeing the incredible things God has done in my life. The struggles I have overcome with Him. I now hold the knowledge that ANY dark tunnel will produce glimmers of light followed by breakout of sunshine. My pages of ink remind me how I got to where I am.
Journaling has been one of the tools by which the HS speaks to me. Because I am wired that way. Scriptures jump into my mind. Confusion dissipates. New resolutions build in me. And I find myself lifted by a new perspective that formulates as I write.
So I encourage you. I dare you. Buy a crisp new notebook. Or if you prefer get your fingers ready on your laptop. And see what begins to flow from your heart to your fingertips…..