The Secret blessings of Journaling

Ever think back to multiple teachers telling you that journaling is so important? Yeah, me too. 

Do you also remember not ever journaling? Yeah, me too. 

Journaling is often shoved down on the ladder of importance when placed next to scripture reading, praying, and going to church. While all those things are necessary to build your faith, I think that journaling plays its own unique part in cultivating a love for the gospel. The reasons my teachers told me to journal never seemed enough incentive to begin journaling. Writing down your thoughts and daily activities never seemed worthy of the time it demanded. 

I have been struggling in the past few weeks with metal and physical health issues. The combination of the two was exhausting. The weight of my problems seemed to crush me. Crying had become a daily activity. I was trying to shoulder my problems alone, without the help of our loving Heavenly Father.

The idea to start journaling was a spontaneous one. I didn’t know where the thought to journal came from, but now I am certain that the Holy Ghost gave me a nudge in the right direction. One of my greatest weaknesses is holding my pain inside. I hate to seem weak or be ridiculed for my struggles. Journaling helps me think through my issues and then leave them in on the pages. It has helped me understand that everyone’s pain is valid. We all have our short-comings and heartaches. It is being kind to ourselves even while trying to improve that brings real growth. Writing down my day, good or bad, brings peace and thoughtfulness into my life.

Not only does journaling help me work out my problems, but it also ensures that I get a good night’s sleep. Most nights I lay awake with thoughts racing through my brain for over an hour before sleep finally takes me. With work and school, I need as much rest as I can get. Journaling takes my thoughts out of my head and lets them swirl on paper instead. If I journal, it only takes minutes after my eyes shut for me to drift to sleep. 

My seminary teacher asked me to share a thought about what message impacted me most in General Conference. The initiative taken by my teacher gave me resolve to stay awake. Even though Conference naps are some of the greatest naps I have ever had, you do miss a lot of advice and guidance that you may need. Throughout the talks, I waited to feel the spirit speak to me about what I should say. Finally, as the choir sang the song “God is Love” it struck me. I noticed that the main message was trust in God. I trusted in God that journaling would help me. Did I know how it would help me? No, but I acted in faith and received so many blessings because of it.

I challenge you to begin journaling, even if it only happens once or twice a month. The Lord will bless you for your efforts in ways you probably could never guess. 

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