Spiritual Journaling: Finding Comfort as You Explore
Your Spiritual Autobiography
Article Written by Alisa E. Clark
We all want the Easy Button to be part of our spiritual story. We want what we want from God, and we all want it to come easy: like pressing that Easy Button you see in those Staples Ads. It is an encouraging idea. We all like the idea that we can get what we want from God and get it easily. Believing it is easy makes us feel safe and in control. We want to believe we are the problem: the cause of God not answering our prayers. Then we can believe we just need to ask God for things the right way or with the right level of faith. We just need to believe that there is some easy way to get what we want: a way through which all our hopes and wishes will be granted. When we find the secret everything will fall right into place! NOT!
We should know better than to fall into the trap of believing that we can control the outcomes of life with the right prayer, mantra or attitude. But the truth is that God does not usually give us easy answers when we ask for things from Him. Most of the time, it is the times when we are struggling most that we find God to be present. But more often than not, He does not fix everything. He just stays present. He makes it all bearable. He puts our trials in the context of His plan for our lives. But, "easy" would not be the adjective most of us would use to describe it all.
Brutal. Life can be brutal. When we pray, sometimes things get even more brutal. This is not an easy world or an easy life. Our spiritual journal can become a place where we can explore the challenges of our spiritual lives. We can ponder our struggles alongside God inside our spiritual journal: explore how He interacts with us, responds to us, saves us and comforts us. What we discover, and what we have to share, through spiritual journaling can be hard to swallow. Spiritual journaling can reveal the ways prayer offers no easy answers. We want to believe our story can be one of hope delivered to our doorstep, but our spiritual autobiography can reveal how that kind of story would be a lie. For most of us our spiritual memoir, or our spiritual story, is gritty and messy: void of quick and easy answers. Spiritual journaling will not offer you all the answers and it will not tidy up all of the messes of your life. But, it will give you a place to see the ways that God can make this life a little easier in spite of its difficulties.
Some may say our struggles occur because we do not have enough faith, we do not ask with authority or we must have some hidden sin in our lives. Some may suggest we are in the middle of a spiritual attack and we are losing. All these things may be true, but these are not the reasons why God does not make it easy for us. When we keep a spiritual journal, we quickly see that we are not perfect and that we have not arrived. We quickly see our flaws, but we also discover the ways God still answers our prayers even though we are not saints. Using a spiritual journal can show us that we do not have less spiritual power because we make, and have made, mistakes. When we write down the truth of our spiritual story, we find that we are not at the end of God's prayer list. Our spiritual autobiography, or spiritual memoir, shows us that sinners are not the only ones without the Easy Button. We discover the universal truth that life is hard but there are ways to lighten the load. One way we can ease the burdens of life is with a pen, a quiet place and our spiritual journal.
Sorry if you were hoping I would tell you that a spiritual journal will bring you all the happy, hopeful answers. Perhaps you were looking for a warm fuzzy and some promises of everlasting, incredible joy and peace? Then you have come to the wrong article. Although, if you are seeking truth and would like to explore how God is part of your story, you have found a place to search. The truth will not come from an article, though. But it can come from God as he speaks to you through spiritual journaling. Find answers through your own spiritual story as God reveals himself within your journal. Find that some things can fall into place with God at your side. Pick up a pen, ask God a question, and write down what He shares. Expect your journey to become just a little easier. Expect to be less alone.
Some days we could all use an Easy Button, and sometimes God is happy to provide us with one. But, while we are all waiting for God to grant us an instant miracle, we have the everyday experience of the presence of God to fall back on. Our spiritual journal can give us the perfect place to experience it all. Make a place for God each day through spiritual journaling.
Visit the Easy Button Blog Entry: http://www.journeyoncanvas.com/dnn/Resources/Blog/tabid/166/EntryId/56/Spiritual-Autobiography-and-the-Easy-Button.aspx