It has been a long time since I have made time to write. I have been walking quite the journey over the past two years and I haven't taken the time to process it all.
So, last night I made myself a cup of tea and sat with my journal - it has been a long time. I turned to a blank page and it just sometimes that blank page just stares back at you - you have so much to write but you don't know where to begin or how to start.
When I teach my journaling workshops I always ask the group to start with the date. It is always a good place to start.
So with the date in the top right corner, the words began to flow.
Finally after four pages I felt like I had made a good start. There has been a lot going on and my heart needs a lot of healing. I have always found writing to be a form of healing for me. When I wrote my book it caused me to deal with a lot of issues from my past so that I was free to move forward in my life.
With all that is going on with the COVID-19 I have been found myself coaching people again. One of the main things that I tell people is that they need to start writing about this experience. As we write it is incredible to see the awakenings and healing that can emerge.
I have always felt that my life experiences and character building exercises are for me to share. As with my book and my journey over the past two years, I heal by writing and sharing. And hopefully through my sharing I can help others on their journeys.
Do you know that in individuals who have experienced a traumatic or extremely stressful event, expressive writing can have a significant healing effect. In fact, participants in a study who wrote about their most traumatic experiences for 15 minutes, four days in a row, experienced better health outcomes up to four months later
Finally, keep the following in mind while you are journaling:
Find a notebook and just start writing. It's where you will find me - and I will be blogging more over the coming weeks as well. I have a lot to work through - it's time to start the healing.
I am thankful that I write down my thoughts in my journal. When you look back at past entries you are able to zoom out on your life and see the broader picture. When you are in the middle of living your day to day, your focus is too blurry. Being able to see more of how your journey is unfolding helps you see a little bit clearer.
Years ago when my husband and I left the first church we were pastoring, I remember going through a time of mourning, which led to counselling and a journey of healing. At the beginning of this journey I remember Dustin holding me while I was crying and we were talking through life and what our future could hold. I remember saying that I wish I could see 10 years down the road, and be able to say what a great learning experience that was.
Well that was 22 years ago, I don't know if I can say that it was a great learning experience but it was something that we learned to work through together and brought Dustin and I closer in the early stages of our marriage.
As I have been coming through the hurt from my experience in 2018 and moving into the healing stage I have been reading through past entries in my journal. Here is an excerpt from May 2019:
How often we get in the spiral of confusion and we don't know how to move forward. Sitting in confusion gets comfortable and then we feel that there is no way to make a decision so we choose not to make a decision. Then we get stuck and then we just don't know how to move forward.
I can remember writing this journal entry. I was suffering in silence at this point. I didn't want to admit my struggle to anyone because I didn't want to feel shame or to be judged. I chose to continue to suffer for months with so much inner turmoil. I didn't pray because I thought God didn't care, when I did speak to Him there was so much anger in my voice, and hatred in my words.
The inner turmoil was that I felt like something was missing, that there was more going on in this situation and I didn't understand. I longed to return to the scriptures and to listen for that still small voice but I couldn't get the thought that this "message from God" I received - told me that I wasn't wanted by God and I had no place teaching in His name.
I carried this feeling of rejection for a long time. We are all searching to understand who we are and how we fit into this world. I had lost my place and I started to change. I must have so many people confused on my Instagram account because I keep changing my name and the content so much. Sorry about that. I have been trying to find my way.
The title of this post is hurting to healing. I have been hurting for a long time. My thoughts have been so negative and the deep wound of hurt is going to take time to heal. But I am starting to heal. I am starting to find my way back. I am starting to feel more like myself again.
I am thankful for friends that I was able to have a safe place to share, they support me in prayer, and encourage me to open my Bible everyday. My healing is found in the scriptures.
I will continue to share my journey here. I know when I was struggling I didn't know where to go for help. I hope that I am able to give support to those that don't know where to go or who to talk to.
How often we let life just "happen" to us. Each day looks just like the last.
We have the opportunity to enjoy each day. To find joy in our moments. Does this sound like something attainable for other but not for you?
That's how I felt. I would hear other women talking excitedly about their lives, while I was feeling warn down, tired and frumpy. I would scroll through social media wondering how it could be possible to live like what I saw portrayed in the photos. Mentally, I knew that the pictures were staged, but in my heart there was still a longing for something different than what I currently have.
I didn't know what that something different was. It just felt like something needed to be changed.
"Nothing changes if nothing changes."
How often I would sit and scroll through Pinterest, saving hundreds of pins of home ideas, how I would like my personal style to be, recipes for my family and secret ideas that I would like to see happen "some day."
Then Pinterest showed me something that I needed to see: "Nothing changes if nothing changes." Think on that for a moment.
How is "something" supposed to change, if nothing changes. Why have I been waiting around for "something" to happen? I know this, why am I circling in this holding pattern?
I needed to make change, here are a few things that I am working on in my new journey:
It has been encouraging to see that as I working through all these different aspects that I am seeing how they are all coming together. By reading a book it keeps my hands busy so I am not picking up my phone. I created a little reading nook in my room and it is a place where I can be quiet. As I am learning I am writing down my thoughts in my bullet journal.
Then at the end of the week I can spend time working through the questions in the My Journey journal and I am seeing how my wellness journey is unfolding.
I still have a long way to go, but I am thankful for this journey. I feel like it is my journey - not one that I am trying to emulate from what I see on social media or my Pinterest boards.
Each of us have so much to offer to the world around us. I feel like I have been caught up in a spiral of selfishness, I am ready to move forward to a place where I can be a benefit to those around me. Thanks for sharing this journey with me.
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