Guest Post by Simona Kragh
I am with you always, until the end of time. — Matthew 28:20
We all know the Lord’s reassuring words, but do they make a difference for us when the mound of laundry is taller than the washer, the floor is dirty (again), the older kids can’t seem to remember their spelling, the younger ones’ playdate (and her very critical mother) will be over in two hours, the baby is happy only in our arms, poor hubby is working fifty hours a week for the foreseeable future, and friends and relatives who could lend a hand make themselves scarce because, “Well, you are the one who wanted a big family…”?
If Jesus can be with us always, this would be a good time for Him to show up and help!
The fact of the matter is — He does. Speaking for myself, I can’t always open my eyes to His presence unless I journal. I am not talking about memoir-style writing. In my diaries, I just speak directly and plainly to Jesus. I tell Him exactly how I feel and what I need as if He were with me, because He is. He told us so; therefore there is no doubt. He already knows everything I will ever tell Him, but He also knows that I must vent, feel His presence, realize that I am not alone, and receive the help I desperately need. Of course, this is not a revolutionary way of managing life, but an old way of praying that has sustained me for years.
Here is how and why journaling with Jesus works for me in conquering overwhelm:
- It forces me to acknowledge that Jesus is right there with me, He was all along, He is not going anywhere, He always has time for me, and He will help me.
- It allows me to catch my breath and reassess the situation with my best Friend at my side.
- I can take as long or as little time as I am able. (I have written entries that consist of one word: “Why?” It’s enough to experience the benefits.)
- I can vent without fear of offending Him. Even Jesus asked His Father, “Why have You forsaken me?” He understands.
- Writing well or sounding just right is not a requirement.
- It’s easy: it only takes a pen or pencil and a notebook.
When I journal my prayers, I can remember the request and recognize the gift. I can go back and see that, when I asked a question, He answered me; when I begged for inspiration, an idea took form; and when I poured out my heart in anguish, I found myself at peace. Whether because of my human limitations or because of the work of the enemy, if I did not have this written record, I would not realize that I am living the answer to prayer.
I don’t have to put up a façade when, in reality, I am overwhelmed — because, no matter how bad I feel, Jesus will be there to exchange my sadness and despair for His calm and sense of real hope. In fact, even Jesus cannot solve my problems until I accept His help. The sooner I am honest about how bad things are (or feel), the sooner He can act.
If this whole idea of journaling your way out of overwhelm seems strange to you, you don’t have much to lose by giving it a try. You might be surprised to find that the more you think of Jesus as a real, loving Person, living with you, in you, and for you, the more you will experience His unfailing help in your everyday life.
The time you spend with Him will be given back to you, multiplied. He will guide you to the best choices, inspire you toward the right solutions, and show you how to reorganize your day so you will accomplish all that must be done. He will let you see that what He did not guide you to do was not necessary — at least not today. He will become a true Friend, more than any human being will ever be. You will learn to recognize His voice, and even when life becomes overwhelming, it will not separate you from Him.
A native of Milan, Italy, Dr. Simona Kragh holds several degrees in political science, journalism, and nursing. She has taught history and political science at the university level. She and her husband currently make their home in Vermont, where they homeschool their five children, ages fifteen to five.
Visit her at Easy Civics (republicbuilder.com), for tutoring and learning support in civics and political science.
All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World,
by Lee Ann Rubsam