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Journaling Heals The Heart

“When my journal appears, many statues must come down.” Arthur Wellesley 

Journaling mended my heart. 

As a young mom, early mornings with pen and endless lined pages of paper became a sacred space for self-expression, balm for my soul, and time with God. Carving out moments before my children woke was hard, yet my days were long, full, and often challenging. It felt like I was drowning in a pool where I could see the side (hope for a breath), but could not make it to the edge. 

With everyday duties and no time for myself, prayer, or discernment, I was burned out. Longing for quiet, peace, and personal growth, I began to rise earlier each morning. Beginning with a gratitude journal was vital because I struggled with a negative/pessimistic attitude. This slowly progressed to writing every day.

Everything made its way to my journal—the good, bad, and even ugly parts of me. I journaled the joys, sorrows, and all the endless mysteries of life I did not understand. I processed life in my journals. I begged God for help, for peace, for clarity, and for His presence in my days. Sometimes, I received answered prayers; often, I did not, but that was not the point of journaling. Most important was the pouring of my heart onto the page daily.

Some days were better than others; life was full and blessed. Some days were hard, but I wrote no matter what the day held. My beautiful journals were for gratitude, and my notebooks were for pouring out whatever the day brought. I like to call my notebook journaling my brain dump. I wrote whatever came to my mind. Many of my notebook journals would not make sense to an outside reader because I didn’t allow myself to think about the writing. I just wrote. Frequently, my journal dump provided powerful writing moments and prayers to God. Other times, it was just a brain dump with ordinary daily concerns. Either way, I didn’t overthink what I “should” be doing. I trusted the process and allowed God to work through the practice of journaling.

I’m not sure when I realized I needed this life practice. I just knew I could not continue rolling out of bed to needy children and long full days without introspective, quiet, prayerful, and purposeful personal time. 

In the daily grind, it seems nothing is happening as we put pen to paper day after day. Yet, after more than two decades of journaling, here’s what I find in my journals when I gaze back:

I find a young mom desperately seeking answers to life, a pioneer willing to pursue the long trek to find purpose, and a seeker yearning for something better. I yearned for a firm foundation on which to plant my life. 

Hundreds of journals reveal scriptures, and quotes threaded throughout the years. Problems with eventual solutions, dreams come true, and heartache that lingers, but I know God holds in the palm of his hand. 

Simultaneously, tear-stained pages ripple throughout the thread of years, and gratitude flows like a rushing river. 

Journaling heals the heart because we’re not meant to close in and forget our stories, even when they are hard. Our hard stories make us numb if we do not process and heal.

When we allow God into the crevices of our hearts and carve time to seek him, he will lead us to practices that heal. Journaling is a practice that heals. 

“Whenever you are fed up with life, start writing: ink is the great cure for all human ills, as I have found out long ago.” C.S. Lewis

We journal because we must uncloak the dark places in our hearts. The places we desperately try to forget, numb, and run from. 

We journal to capture the moments so easily forgotten in our busy lives.

We journal and give thanks to God. 

When we journal we create a lifeline, a lifelong practice that connects us tenderly to the father daily. 

We journal in solitude because the stillness, quiet, and peace sweetly open us to God's heart like he’s tucking us delicately inside, safeguarding all the hurt and pain. 

Walking with us even while we feel unworthy, he whispers this is a safe place; come rest with me, my beloved. Enter into my heart and come into the light. 

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.”Psalm 139:16

This Psalm reveals how our lives matter and was written into God’s salvation story. Every detail, every experience, every joy and sorrow. 

One of the biblical purposes for writing is to remember God and his great love for us. 

“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.” Jeremiah 30:2

Journaling helps us remember how far God has brought us and how he’s still working in our lives.

God’s grace and baby steps are a way to enter the light and begin any new practice. Beginning with five minutes and building one minute at a time (maybe adding only one minute per week) is enough. Can we jot down one gratitude per day?

Journaling isn’t always heavy. We must trust the process and be faithful to the baby steps of writing daily. If we commit to the practice, God will slowly reveal what masks need uncovering. 

Catching memories and healing hearts with God at the center is what journaling can do in our lives.

After many years of journaling, I still capture prayer, scripture, quotes, and thoughts early each morning. This practice remains balm for my soul, and I’m certain I will never release it. Do we ever overcome to the point where we relinquish healing practices? I think not. 

Journaling matters because Christ came that we might have life and have it abundantly. Journaling can grow our relationship with him and heal our wounded hearts. 

How has journaling guided growth in your life? If you’ve never journaled, I encourage you to embrace this practice one baby step at a time.


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