I’ve been taking my process for acquiring spiritual, mental, and emotional strength a step further since the pandemic started. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been battling fear and anxiety more than usual since COVID-19 sprung its tenacious grip on the planet. My hope is this blog post inspires you to dig a little deeper into your source of serenity too.
We’re all different. As InScribers, we’ve all got at least two things in common: We’re followers of Jesus and we’re writers. When I submit to these two truths about myself each morning, I end up writing in my journal. With a coffee in hand, a Bible on my lap, and a journal beside me, I read the Scriptures from where my bookmark left off. I read slowly while seeking to understand what I’m reading. I also search for my verse of the day.
Once my coffee is done, I’ve usually found the chosen verse.
When a verse or passage makes me tear up—it’s a no-brainer—I need to write about it. This happened the morning I wrote my first draft of this post. I chose a verse that touched my heart. Here it is in part:
O LORD … in your faithfulness and righteousness come to my relief. Psalm 143:1 NIV
One thing about the Psalms is it doesn’t take long to find a poignant verse. This verse reminded me of a devotional I read the night before. I had promised myself I would read it again in the morning as I was too tired at the time to grasp all of its goodness.
I turned to the devotional in the book, An Enduring Embrace (Experiencing the Love at the Heart of Prayer) by Juanita Ryan and read pages 24-26. Normally I don’t wander from the Word during my quiet times. But I am open to God’s nudges. This openness led to some lovely paragraphs about God’s love for His people.
In Genesis 16, we read that although Hagar became Sarah’s enemy, she wasn’t at enmity with God. She called out to Him in desperation. God heard her prayer. God answered her prayer. In Genesis 16:13 NIV she said,
“You are the God who sees me.”
As I pondered her words, I teared up. If God can love the enemy of Abraham’s wife, then surely, He sees me too. If God can bless Sarah’s enemy, then surely, He can bless me. I have been editing my recovery memoir. It’s reminding me of the deep mire I was rescued from. It’s reminding me how dark my sin stains were.
These reminders remind me to pray fervently for my enemies. As former enemies of God, we are required to pray for those who have abused, used, or falsely accused us. Even while Jesus hung dying on His cross, and was mocked by His enemies, He asked the Father to forgive them.
Surely, if a sinless man can forgive others, we can forgive our fellow man.
My tears were ones of gratefulness. I’m glad I’m forgiven. I’m glad God grants me the grace to forgive others too.
In my journal, I wrote a prayer of blessing for my biggest enemy because my fallenness is fresh in my mind. Even if I never publish my memoir, it has fulfilled an important role in my faith walk. It has humbled me. It has exalted God. It has driven me to keep forgiving my foes over and over again despite ongoing sins perpetrated against me.
Journaling with Jesus is my best source of spiritual, mental, and emotional strength. I have been journaling with Him since my early eating disorder recovery days. This is why I can say, “My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep.” The deep drove me to Jesus. His rescue of me amazed me and made me believe He is who He says He is: The God who sees.
The extra step I’ve taken in my journaling with Jesus is to add the word forgive to the well-known praying acronym: ACTS.
FACTS. > F.A.C.T.S. > Forgive. Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication. Facts rather than just acts help us remember how important it is to forgive others before we come to the altar.
I’d like to close to by sharing the poem I posted the day before I started this post:
He is the God
He is rich
and the One
I’m nosy-to-know if you’re allowing God to use your writing gift to draw you closer to Him?
Blessings ~ Wendy Mac