anonymous guest post
Although we know about the practice, I realize many people have not tried journaling, or not stuck with it long enough to make it a discipline. The major reason behind it is that many do not know its real value.
Recently, I witnessed new growth in my intimacy with God. While struggling to cope with my journey towards recovery from drug addiction, journaling helped me listen to the Holy Spirit, know myself more, and strengthen my relationship with Jesus to a great level of intimacy.
I used to spend time with God in the past; praying, reading the bible, and worshipping. I also took time every month to set aside quiet time with God to understand what he might be trying to tell me (this practice is called “retreats of silence”).
Despite all this, I was not satisfied with the bond I shared with God. Something was lacking and I was having a difficult time connecting with him.
Thank You, Journaling!
Things changed when I met my spiritual director in rehab. He is amazing in helping people understand the role of God in their lives and how they can grow.
He introduced me to this new way of practice, journaling. Note I am not talking about just a diary. This kind of journaling consists of how you share your deepest thoughts with God, how you let go of your darkest fears, and how you confess all of your concerns. This is where you are raw, exposed, and ready to bear it all. Journaling is the best way I have found to realize God was at work in my life from the beginning.
I Processed My Thoughts Well
Oftentimes, we do not really listen to our hearts, unless we pen down our thoughts or talk about them. Honestly writing them helps you examine your deeper thoughts and allows God to offer encouragement and guidance for the areas where you need these things the most.
As mentioned earlier, I struggled with long-term drug addiction. Fortunately, I managed to contact the addiction hotline before it was too late.
I entered rehab and responded to the treatment program in the best way, thanks to the medical professionals who worked hard for me to recover. As my treatment ended, I shifted to the last, and also critical, stage of recovery — maintenance.
At this stage, I was discharged from the Orange County Drug Rehab and moved back to my normal environment. It was the environment where my addiction had formed. Naturally, I had a higher chance of relapse here.
My rehab mentors suggested spiritual practices to deal with such potential struggles, which led me to my trying journaling. I started writing down my thoughts and communicating with God as a friend. Every time I did this, I better understood my situation and what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me.
Journaling Helped Me Focus On The Right Path
Distraction is the biggest enemy of your addiction recovery process. It can take you off the track and lead to relapse.
While journaling, I was able to be firm with my thoughts about recovery and achieving lasting sobriety. Writing down my heart was helpful to keep me attentive, even as I expressed even the tiniest thoughts I had.
All of this worked in a way to provide me with the much-needed confidence and encouragement to achieve a healthier and happier life.
Journaling Improved My Prayer Life
I communicated with God better through journaling. I believe it was my way to pray to God for the betterment of me and the entire world.
I felt refreshed when I began to pen my prayers to God. Today, when I read my old journals, I see how God has safely taken me a long way from the evil of addiction. Journaling is the practice that fueled a feeling of gratitude in me.
Get Your Pen & Begin Writing
So, if you are struggling with an addiction of any kind, let go of your old thoughts on journaling. Start new and make journaling a helpful part of your journey.
Try it for two weeks and see the changes. I am sure you will notice how you can effectively deal with the triggers of your addiction through journaling.