In 2017, I considered writing this post, but I was an anxious mess. I remember writing the intro and halfway through being like, "This won't be any good. I should just trash it." And so I did.
Normally I'd say, "Well that was a crappy perspective, I should have kept writing." However, in this case, I strongly believe I was not ready to write something like this.
Last week, I had been praying for a post idea that involved faith. I liked the idea of doing a 2018 wrap up of some kind. A few days had passed and finally, yesterday, God threw a title at me during an Elevation sermon. Let's jump into How Journaling + Jesus Helped with My Anxiety...
When I google the word "anxiety," four commonly asked questions pop up-
These are a bit scary. Then again, it's an honest depiction of how dark our minds can go. We have questions and we want answers. Anxiety can be broken down by this two part equation. Without the answers, things start to boil. In 2017, I cranked up the heat on my simmering pot. I swam in anxiety daily and often chose tears over trust in Jesus. As 2018 unfolded, Jesus taught me how to exist differently. It started with a journal.
Now, this isn't gonna be a story of how I first started journaling and never had a crazy thought again. You guys know I've been journaling for years. Although, God decided to help me make a few changes to this routine.
Currently, when I start to write, I spill onto the page. I use to pick the prettiest parts of the previous evening and draw them in cursive. Today, I quickly push my heaviest emotions on the page. I scrawl down ugly details, selfish discoveries, and gross questions. The phrases that ride around my head like a carousel.
I like to start writing as early as possible, because I know my anxiety is at its peak in the AM. (or at night when you know you're getting 0 sleep) As I write, I try to picture myself sitting at the kitchen table and having a conversation with Jesus. An Elevation sermon I watched Sunday, sparked a valuable reminder about this. He is the wonderful counselor, so talk to him.
After I ramble, I read a devotion and spew any last thoughts. From there, I begin silent time. I do it in this order because I won't be distracted by anything. I've had my time to rant and it's easier to be all ears for Jesus. I often ask myself, "Is there anything else I may possibly want to write down?" If the answer's no, I know I'm ready.
*To watch the COOLEST Christmas church service ever head to: The Path of Peace
prince of peace:
As I write this, I'm still in awe of how God put these words in front of me. This sermon spoke to every area that I ached to talk about in this post. My favorite example Steven Furtick (Elevation pastor) mentioned was, "you have to take peace in pieces." He talked about his three kids and how if he waited for all of them to have a GOOD day, to sit down and find peace, it'd never happen.
I love that story because it really shadows how Jesus is our prince of peace. Have I touched on how much he loves puns lol? Also, I like this example because it reminds me to not expect peace MY way. God wants us to call on him during the shaking, sobbing, and screaming.
When you start to make journaling a habit, you train yourself to store your anxiety in a book. Morning after morning, you send that weight up to God. 2018 has been so special because I kept my attention on important thoughts, and important thoughts ONLY.
Months ago, I heard a voice say, "Don't think of anything at all." I focused on white walls and calm lakes- only reacting to the action in front of me. I can't tell you if this is healthy, but it works. I haven't felt this type of quiet before and I never want it to leave.
This may not work for everyone, because I know I enjoy writing more than most people. However, it dramatically shook up my thinking process this year and made things SIMPLE.
Whether or not you buy a journal, God can heal you, if you're open with Him. And I don't mean heal as poof! your anxiety's gone. I mean He will sit with you while you over analyze and say slow down. Anxiety is no different than other sins. It is WORK to say no. It is the devil tempting you. It is invisible, but it can be removed.
If you enjoyed this post, pin it and save it as a reminder!
*What are your anxiety tricks? How do you calm down?
*Do you have any spiritual practices that bring instant peace?
Travel bucket list:
Countries visited: 5
states left: 11