Over the past year and a half, most of my journaling has taken the form of spiritual journaling. I have found this type of journaling to be beneficial to my ability to cope and thrive despite neuromuscular disease. Along with emotional and psychological benefits, writing in a diary also has important health benefits. For more specific information about this practice, see the articles Keeping a Gratitude Journal and Spiritual Journaling on the Neuromuscular Diseases site (linked below).
Below, I have shared another example from my spiritual journal. I hope that this will help you to get started in developing and/or strengthening your own spiritual journaling practice.
I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ďMy grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.Ē Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christís power may rest on me. That is why, for Christís sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 7b-10, NIV
A couple of days after first hearing of my diagnosis with neuromuscular disease, I came to this verse during my quiet time. I had been struggling to make sense of this bad news from my physician. This verse came as a great gift to me.
Through this verse, I came to understand several important things. I knew that my diagnosis with Charcot Marie Tooth was not a punishment for wrongdoing. Instead, it was part of Godís plan for me. While the diagnosis took me by surprise, it did not surprise God. I realized that although I could not yet see how, God would use me and this diagnosis to do His work.
This realization did not fully take away the pain of hearing this diagnosis. It did, however, prepare me to move through this tough time to the place where God would allow me to use my illness, along with my God-given gifts of education in psychology and for writing and teaching, to help others.
Thank You, Lord, for allowing me to be a part of Your plan through my ministry for others. Let me use the gifts that You have given me and help me each day to walk in Your strength.
Garcia, Kathy. Gratitude Journals. BellaOnline.com website. http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art54164.asp . Retrieved 5/25/12.
Hitti, M., (n.d.) Healthy Living: 8 Steps to Take Today. Web MD website. http://www.webmd.com/balance/features/healthy-living-8-steps-to-take-today?page=3 . Retrieved 5/25/12.
WebMd, (2010). Healing with Diaries. WebMd video. http://www.webmd.com/video/expressive-writing . Retrieved 5/25/12.