Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Writing Love Letters to God

A title such this one is bound to get your attention. “Love letters to God!” you might say, “What's that?” Well, a love letter is what I think of whenever I sit down and take the time to journal. It’s really a love letter to God. After all, who else loves me so much that they would be glad to read my funny scribbles and musings about my life? The little doodles that I fill up the margins with: drawings of clouds and trees, names, crosses and interlinking circles? Who else would care that much? Only God, that’s what I think.

What’s a journal anyways? It can be whatever you imagine it to be, that’s what. There are so many types of journals that I could fill this page with descriptions, but let’s not. Rather, let’s look at a very simple type of journal, and a more involved one, too. Maybe after reading about them, you might be tempted (nudged by the Holy Spirit, perhaps?) to try this way of writing.

The easiest is the daily journal, which is a record of the day’s happenings as well as the effect those happenings had on one’s life. This form is most consistent and is usually dated. Its impact will be noticed at the reading of the entries after a 4-6 week period. Most folks think of this as a diary, but it’s different in that you also write how you are affected by what happens in your life on a daily basis.

Another type of journaling is done in response to scripture. Here are the basic steps to prepare yourself: Pray that this time might be an opening to God’s spirit. Find the day’s selected scripture passage. Read the passage slowly. Try to visualize its images. Jot down any ideas, questions, key phrases that come to you as you read. Begin writing on a blank page. Writing your deepest responses to God’s word is what counts here. Then ask yourself: what might God be saying specifically to me? Let yourself sink deeply into your core as you listen, listen, listen to what God is speaking within you. Write down everything that comes to you, even if you think it’s strange or disturbing. Ask God why He is saying these things to you. What might God be inviting you to do? Is there a challenge from God here? Do you feel a shift inside? When you feel a sense of closure to your writing, take time to thank God for these words of scripture and God’s message to you personally.

“So, tell me again,” you say, “Why do you call journaling a love letter?” Well, think about writing the most secret, the most important, the most cherished things, and the deepest longings of your heart down on paper. Who would you trust with those things? Who COULD you trust with those things? Who else would continue to accept and love you unconditionally after reading all the utter nonsense and delightfulness that exists in the depths of your soul? Yep, you got it right: GOD. God is the one Being who will always love you no matter what devilment you hatch, no matter how crummy you feel (and take it out on others), no matter what your hair looks like in the morning, and no matter how many times you run away from Him. God will always take you back, no matter how prodigal you become. Trust in that fact.

So, take the time this week to write a little love letter to God. And I will, too.

On the journey with you, Lynne

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