Do you ever try to ignore God? I did that this month, with this very blog post. I have a full month to write my post for the Sister’s Blog! FOUR WEEKS! And I always approach it the same, I pray about it. I keep a running list of ideas and I pray over them. Not once have I written one of those ideas, because God always tells me what he wants me to write. Well, this month? I was going to write one of those ideas. But God kept pulling at my heart to go another way – a way that’s WAY outside of the realm of “normal” with this whole blog. But, I guess that doesn’t matter when he has an idea!
I started writing the post I wanted to write six different times. But I’d get a few paragraphs in and I wasn’t satisfied with what I was writing, so I’d delete. And in the back of my mind I’d hear this little voice saying “write about your journal!” and I’d roll my eyes and ignore it. Because that’s not the type of content that’s here. So last night I sat down and said “I’m going to write this post, I’ll send it in tonight.” A few hours later? I was still staring at a blank page. My fabulous idea wasn’t panning out. And God was still whispering in my ear. So? Here it is. My unconventional blog post.
I’ve spent my whole life hearing about how you need to have a relationship with Him. And I spent 30 years trying to figure out what exactly people meant by that. I read my bible. I prayed. But I didn’t feel that personal connection. I wanted it. I’d pray for it, beg for it. But it never came.
Then one day during a service at FWC? I was sitting in the pews, taking notes like I did every week, and then I took a different spin on it. I started writing my own notes. Doodling on the paper and jotting down what I felt important. And somehow? That sermon spoke to me more than any other sermon ever had.
That day, it was like everything clicked. When I got home I grabbed a notebook from my shelf and started writing. What I wrote ended up looking like a prayer (took my stubborn mind awhile to realize that’s exactly what it was!) I wrote about how I finally felt that connection, that as my pen hit the paper I felt like God was there.
Then I just kept writing. I wrote my prayers. I wrote my bible study notes. I wrote sermon notes. Sometimes I just doodled. Before long I realized that when I sat down with my journal, it was my way of connecting with God. I was free on the paper, and then He started talking to me while I was using my journal. Sometimes I’d be doodling and hear his voice clear as day. Sometimes, I’d be taking a notes on a sermon and before I knew it I was writing something totally different from what the Pastor had said.
Another thing I noticed with my journal was that it became a form of worship. Sometimes I would put on my favorite music (Crowder anyone?) and just get lost in a Doodle. I don’t get to worship on Sunday’s in the traditional way (just wave as you walk past the computer or sound board, because that’s where my attention is during worship) and so this is my way of just praising him. I find my quiet place and just go.
This practice really helped me to see that not everyone worships in the same way, that there isn’t a set way to worship and praise Him. That your relationship with God is incredibly personal, and that he has laid the foundations for you, given you the talents and the callings you need to be able to worship him in your own private and special way.
My point of this is not that everyone should journal (although If you’ve never tried, I highly recommend it!) Rather that everyone needs to find their own way to connect and build their relationship with God. That that connection can come in all forms, shapes and sizes. My daily journaling is time that I dedicate to Him, no matter how busy life is, I make sure that I get at least 5 minutes of time with my notebook. (Although I have it with me at all times, so if I feel the need or have the time I can just sit and write, draw or pray.)
Maybe it’s not journaling. Maybe it’s climbing a 14er, or playing a guitar. Maybe it’s just taking extra good care of cleaning your kitchen. (Although if it’s that last one? You can come praise Him in my kitchen too!) What matters is that you find that way to connect with Him, to build your relationship and to give back to Him.
Your connection with God is very private, it’s personal and it’s at times very raw and emotional. It can bring tears to your eyes and seemingly random moments of joy as well. And just as those moments are intimate, so is your way of connecting. My challenge to you this week is to find that way that you connect best with God, and if you already know it? Then spend an extra little bit of time in that zone, praising Him for bringing you closer to Him in your own special way.