As a child, I loved to express myself through writing. Putting pen to paper was something that came easily to me. It allowed me to go somewhere alone with my emotions. Writing and journaling took me out of my dark moments and filled me with hope.
In 1996, my early twenties, the struggles in my marriage had become real. I began to journal as a way of escape. In those pages, I poured out my frustration, my fears, and my failures. My journal became a place where I poured out the emotions that stirred within me. As I wrote about my inner turmoil, all I could do was hope that God was listening.
Around this time, I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. As I endured months of radiation, I decided to write letters to my young son. I did not believe I would be around for long and I wanted my son to know how much I loved him. I wanted him to get to know me through my journal entries.
Years passed, and I was still here! How awesome is God!
I know now that God kept me here for so much more than I could possibly imagine. When my daughter was born, my journal entries evolved into sharing my thoughts, hopes, and dreams for both of my children.
I journaled for God to protect them. With each entry, I found myself connecting more and more to God in those pages and His word. I asked Him why I was facing so many struggles. I expressed my anger many times at my circumstances. Still, I was very grateful for being alive.
Soon, I began to close my entries with a prayer to God. I begged Him to see me in my pain and to give me the strength to move forward.
I was hooked!
Writing in my journals became my haven, my safe place. My journal was the place I met up with God and emptied my heart and soul before Him. In return, with every prayer, He began to pour peace and joy into my heart. Prayers started to be answered.
Some were not answered the way I expected, but surely His perfect plan for me was in motion. I felt as if God had finally read my journals and was there with me through all of the stages of my life. I began not only to close my entries with prayer but started to open His word and seek Him more.
I sensed His presence covering me like a warm blanket on a cold brisk day. Now, I not only closed my entries with prayer, but my greatest joy came from connecting to my Heavenly Father in my journals.
After over twenty years of praying, seeking and journaling, I have found true JOY in my battles. Now, while I have been suffering
from chronic illness for the last eight years, He has shown me to choose Him over my circumstances and to trust Him in the
I am so grateful that when my days seem impossible with pain, infection, and lack of energy, I have learned to surrender to my
King; I have learned to pray, seek and journal believing that in my pain and struggles, my God is intentional and purposeful.
In His presence, I have found an inward peace and contentment regardless of the situation I find myself in. My journal entries
and prayers have brought me to this place right here where I can
share this devotional with you and the words God has placed in
I have sought Him and allowed Him to comfort and give me strength. Seeking His Joy has become a daily action that has kept me connected to something so much greater than myself. If I have learned anything, it is that God does not waste pain. He will inspire you to bless others, and His joy will bring you through.
My prayer is that when you read each entry and listen to the prayers He has given me to share with you, you are encouraged
to share your story and bless someone else with the joy He has placed in you.