Journaling has been something that I’ve done for a long time. Whether I completely realized what I was doing or why, when I was younger, I’m not completely sure. However, I do know that keeping a somewhat-consistent journal has benefited me immensely as I’ve grown – both physically and spiritually.
So without further adieu, I give you five reasons why I journal.
1) Journaling helps me express myself best.
As an introvert, I think so very much – there’s proof of that on my blog – but when I’m just chatting, I find it difficult to properly say what I’m thinking.
When I’m writing and journaling, I can bring my complex thoughts onto paper or screen at my own pace and share my heart in the way that works best for me.
2) Journaling allows me to see my feelings on paper in order to properly deal with them.
We all have feelings. Some are good for us, and some are not. When I feel myself bombarded with negative feelings, such as stress, depression, or unjust anger, I can identify what they are, where they’re coming from, and how I can work through them.
As a human that doesn’t like to verbally admit to her imperfections, I can write things I know are for my eyes only, come to terms with anything in need of dealing with, and actually go through with working through issues that arise.
3) Journaling shows me where I am in my life, so that when I’m a few years older, I can see how much I’ve grown.
I started journaling when I was eight, and wow, have I grown since then. It’s a little embarrassing to me to see what I wrote and how insignificant things were “note-worthy” to me, but it’s so cool to step into the shoes of my eight-, nine-, and ten-year old selves and remember what it felt like to live then.
As I’ve gotten older, my journal entries have changed a lot, as have I. For the entire month of November of 2015, I wrote in my journal every night, so it’ll be interesting to look back on that in a few years.
And when my future grandkids ask me, “What was it like to be a teenager in the olden days?” I can pull out my journals and tell so many stories – for my benefit just as much as theirs.
4) I can write as many letters as I want: letters to my future self, letters to my past self, letters to my future husband, letters to things I need to let go of.
Sometimes I just want to say something to someone I can’t mail a physical letter to.
There are some things I really wish my twelve-year-old self knew, but because I can’t get that time back, I can spend time now learning from experiences I had. Lessons learned. Lessons I want to teach my future kids. Things I can’t afford to forget.
Writing letters to my younger self helps me, and it helps me to help others younger than me that ask for advice.
And sometimes, writing letters to things and people that haven’t happened yet help me to get things off my chest. Do I know who I’m going to marry? Nope. Not a clue. Right now, while I’m still in the dark about it, I can write letters – letters that say I’m praying for him, things I myself am learning, and about how I view things now – before he comes into the picture.
These examples, among others, are a great reason to journal – because not all letters that need to be written can actually be sent.
5) Journaling helps me to grow spiritually; when I write about my faith, my struggles, and God’s blessings, I remind myself of the presence of God in my life, how He works in the midst of difficulty, and how I’ve learned to trust Him.
As I said, I started journaling at age eight. It’s so cool to look back on these past eight years and see how I viewed God, myself, and others. Recently, I found a notebook in which I wrote questions about spiritual matters, and my answers to those questions as I learned them.
It’s amazing to me to look back at how simple those questions seem now, and how baffling they were to me at the time! Spiritual maturity is a process – and looking back at old scrawlings remind me of that. Everyone grows at different speeds and times, and it’s so important that we take the time to spiritually build into other people.
It fascinates to look back on my younger years and see the things I’ve gone through, and see how God worked in my life then. To see how I felt the peace and presence of God at every stage of my life. To see how He brought me through hardships.
And if journaling allows me to strengthen my own faith, then I’m really going for it!