Here is where it all began. One day in May of 2018, nine months, after I'd attended and served as worship leader through a women's leadership program, a very kind sister in Christ approached me and handed me a handmade journal. Neither of us had any idea that this journal would be the catalyst to my book journey.
At the time, I was struggling with emotional and mental busyness that almost kept me from continuing to serve as the worship leader, but Elizabeth didn't know what I was going through, she was simply obeying God by making and giving this gift out of gratitude and appreciation for the time I'd spent sharing my gifts of song and praise with her and the other ladies in the program.
I am certain that when she gave it to me, she imagined me writing and creating songs that I'd eventually record. The journal is adorned with pictures that represent a love for music. The irony is that I didn't write one song in it. Instead, this journal holds my journey from busyness to quiet peace, from scattered to focused, from heartbroken to restored, from writer to author, from author to business owner. It is all in this journal!
Do you need to kick start your writing habit? Join the YBJ Writing Accountability Group! We will begin on August 10th! Click here for more information!
Here is the very first entry:
Do you want to know something else Elizabeth didn't know, she didn't know how strongly I believe in the power of words. She didn't know that over the coming months and years, my own words and the words that God would speak to me through quiet times of prayer, would ultimately lead me to my destiny. From the very first entry, my hand moved to write the word "journey" even though my intentions were the write the word "journal". Here I am now in 2021 having written my journey not only in the journal but also in a published book, Kill the Busy, Save the Bee. When I look at this now, I am in awe of the way in which words, whether spoken, heard, written, or read, have power!
There are many verses in the Bible about words (from the English Standard Version):
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
For by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.
But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
The Bible also points to the power of the written word:
And the Lord answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.
Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are, and those that are to take place after this.
But you may write as you please with regard to the Jews, in the name of the king, and seal it with the king's ring, for an edict written in the name of the king and sealed with the king's ring cannot be revoked.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also, he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
I John 1:1-10
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. ...
And you shall write on the stones all the words of this law very plainly.”
My friend and fellow kingdom builder, Wilma Hollis know all about the power of words. This is how she defines "Lifespeak" in her new book, LifeSpeak 101: Speak Life and Win,
"To take a promise from the Word of God that you've made your own (by meditating on it to the degree that you believe the truth that lies therein more than you believe any contradictory facts that can be comprehended by your fives senses), and then to declare, speak, or decree that truth (and only that truth) regarding your circumstances with the unwavering conviction that the truth of your Word-of-God based declaration will make the unwanted facts of your situation bow and conform to the image of your declaration. That is the truth that you are speaking."
The words that we speak, write, meditate on, and declare have power when they are rooted in God's Word!
So what does this have to do with journaling? I believe that journaling can be used as a vehicle to "write the vision" to "write on the tablets of your heart" to "hide God's Word in your heart" to "write the words of the law". It gives you grace and space to harness harmful words so that you don't speak out and cause your own downfall. Journaling gives you the chance to renew your mind before you open your mouths. And through your time of journaling and growth, you will be able to control your thoughts and your tongue, and in turn, speak life out of your mouth.
So pull out your journal and start writing!
If you need a kick start, consider joining the YBJ 10 Day Journal Challenge!
This is an online challenge where I offer simple writing prompts that are biblically based. You get to pick your own start day and work through it every day for 10 days. Watch what God does through your writing!