How Journaling Transformed My Life
Editor's Note: Friends, today we are so excited to host Monica Withers, author of Radical God Talk, an interactive devotional for young women. She is sharing with us her journey into journaling and how it can transform your spiritual life.
Make sure to read to the end to enter to win a copy of Radical God Talk!
Are you one to sit down and journal? Do you pour out your heart's desires, fears, and dreams on a piece of paper or scribble your way to God? Are you willing to share and expose your whole heart to the Lord through a pen?
For me that was not the case. My experiences with a pen and paper were always negative and scary! When I was young, I had a very difficult time understanding my teachers. When I was in the third grade, I heard loud and clear, "You are stupid." So, as a young girl I struggled with fear and shame because I wasn’t able to comprehend things that were easy for other people. Unfortunately, that led me down a dark road because I wasn’t able to do the things I wanted to do because of bad grades. So, I got involved with alcohol, drugs, and a life of sin. For years I would not write papers or do anything academic for fear of failure and humiliation from peers, teachers, and even my own husband and family.
When I was 33 years old I was born again and soon got involved in a women’s bible study that stressed the importance of journaling. The leaders encouraged us to write down the things God is doing in our lives and wait on Him to hear what He is saying.
Honestly, that was the last thing I was going to do. I felt if I wrote down those feelings or desires it would sound stupid, and what difference would it make? What could be so important that I needed to write it down? What if someone read it? What would they think?
The enemy will do anything to keep you hidden away in the dark things and keep you from becoming what God has created you to do. He will try to build strongholds to snare you when you are a young girl, keeping you from using the gifts and callings God has given you.
One Saturday morning I was sitting quietly before the Lord, and I heard very clearly: WRITE! This was very out of the ordinary. It surprised me. But I picked up a pen, and it began to flow. Words came one word at time at first, like a small creek, but then then they poured out like a mighty river, taking twists and turns, and filling pages and beautiful journals. The Lord spoke with love, encouragement, and even rebukes, teaching me, guiding me, and showing me great and marvelous things in Him.
At that time, I had a difficult time with understanding my new faith. The Bible was difficult to grasp. So, everyday Jesus would ask me to write, and I would listen intently to His voice and His word, and they became life and nourishment to me.
Then one day, He said, “You will write books!” Are you kidding me Lord? I am the last person to write books. I then heard, “young girls.” The pen began to take on another flow. It was poetic, rhythmic, and relevant to this generation. He began to speak about computers, iPhones and iPads. He began to ask questions about mirrors — with strong, deep questions like: Whose approval are you looking for? Who is God?
Can you imagine the God of this universe asking you questions about your personal life or giving you the answers to your questions? He wants to speak into our hearts. He is a God who wants to be a part of every detail of our lives. He wants us to ask Him those tough questions we struggle with.
Seriously, I was 45 years old before I knew I had a gift inside me. I didn’t think I had anything to offer the Kingdom of God. I couldn’t write or speak. Everyone around could write beautifully, speak with eloquence. What did I have to make a difference? But God showed me I have gifts to write and speak. The Holy Spirit lives inside me, teaching me all I need to do to help those in need of encouragement.
I encourage you today to look at your pen and paper a little differently. Find a beautiful journal, some colored pens (we love Kate Spade for their beautiful journals!) and then show up every day to study your Bible with the expectation of hearing Him speak, instructing you in the way He intends for you to go. If you're not sure where to start, our devotionals assign daily readings and discussion questions that you can use to start your journaling.
Journaling looks different to each individual. Think about it. We all think and do things with unique qualities. Why do we think we have to be like someone else? Even when we spend our quiet times with God? My devotion, Radical God Talk, is a women’s journaling tool that encourages us to go deeper with God. Because journaling changed my life. It led me to a place where God showed me my gift and my place in His kingdom. For someone who couldn’t put two sentences together, I have written three books for young women to journal in a unique and fun ways and to encounter God in a new way.
Friend, start your journey today with a pen and paper even if you’ve never done it before. The Lord wants to speak to you, and for those who know you have the gift to write, allow Him to expand your territory, widen your horizons in a mighty and powerful new way!
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