Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Helping Us Focus - A Spiritual Journal

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     Almost every day, I try to have a time with Mom where we read from the Bible together and have a devotion time.  Since I am always encouraged by the teaching of Dr. Charles Stanley, we use his monthly devotional booklet in our daily reading.  A recent devotional reading meant a lot to me and I share a part of it here with the prayer that it will help and encourage you, too.

          "When adversity strikes, we sometimes forget our knowledge of God, too.  We struggle to recall past answers to prayer, specific guidance provided by the Holy Spirit, and lessons learned in prior crises.  Only the present situation seems real.  As our minds spin with future implications, troubled emotions can inhibit clear thinking.

          "Reading Scripture regularly is a key to remembering biblical truths.  Another importance resource is a SPIRITUAL JOURNAL (emphasis added).  As a written record of your pilgrimage with the Lord, it will contain the specifics of how He has previously worked in your life.  It serves as a map to trace where you've been and how He has helped you along the way.  While your current rial may be a new one, you can look back to see the Lord's unchangeable nature over the years.

          "As Christians, we have an enemy who wants our focus diverted from the Lord Jesus ..."

     I am such a big promoter of keeping a journal of the events of one's life.  During these days that I am caring for my Mom, I have found that keeping a journal is such a tremendous way to work through the emotional aspects of the Caregiving journey I am on.  Something about putting the frustration, hopeless anxiety, and fear into words on a page defuses the emotions.  It also helps me to direct my praying to focusing on what I am experiencing.  

     A friend also suggested taking that journal with those written down emotions and writing a relevant Bible verse reference next to them as a way to re-focus.  The one that has been my comfort recently is what I wrote next to a particular situation I recently gone through that left me particularly fearful: Isaiah 41:10 which says "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."  Having the verse there next to my emotional struggle re-focuses me on my Lord who is higher, stronger, and wiser than I.  It gives me comfort and helps me to continue on.  

  Caregiver, even if you are caring for your loved one by yourself, please remember that you are not alone in this journey.  Our Lord promises to never leave us nor forsake us and He is just a prayer away.  


Dr. Charles Stanley's quote is from the April, 2016, issue of "In Touch Daily Readings".


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