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The Benefits and Problems Experienced in the Process of Journaling

Journaling takes discipline and this has not been easy. It has helped me pay attention to God, I have seen spiritual meaning in my experiences and connections over periods of time. Previously they were just thoughts, feelings and verbal or unspoken prayers but by writing them I have had an increased self-awareness and ownership of my true feelings. There have been many times of release as a result of being honest, confronting the thoughts and beliefs, reflecting on issues and exploring them with the work of the Holy Spirit, although it has been very painful at times.

I have matured as a person as I clarify my thoughts and feelings about situations in my journal and bring them to God rather than using my husband as a sounding board. This has been a huge movement forward for me in growth and ownership as an independent person.

The problems experienced in the process of journaling overlap with the ‘Practice of Prayer’ course in that:

“I have had difficulty in recording my prayers because they expressed emotions that I did not want to face. Prayers have been written on scraps of paper or in different journals not dated or sequential as avoidance. Also, I am aware of resistance to seeing God’s hand in my life as by writing prayers down and having a systematic record would clearly show that God was a constant in my life and had not abandoned me. This was not something I wanted to reinforce as I wanted to hang onto previous feelings and beliefs. Further reflection on my written prayers has helped me see growth, movement and core issues have arisen, deep realisations and healing release have come forth.”

In journaling sometimes I have written thoughts as they have come to me and this is often disjointed; however I prefer to process the thoughts, feelings and realisations before writing as I can sit and look at my true feelings, put them on the table and let the Holy Spirit sieve them and give clarity before I write about them. During the journaling course I have really enjoyed Lectio Divina and Ignatian meditation and I am looking forward to continuing the discipline of journaling on my spiritual journey.

– Michelle Monks, Workshop Participant

Image: Journal by Curt Fleenor Photography. Used under Creative Commons Licence

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