3 Reasons To Write Out The Hard Things

Some of us journal. Keep a diary. Make lists. Put our secrets and plans and wants down on paper, or on a hard drive. Some of us can’t live without writing and journaling daily.

For some, those musings become blogs and books and manuals for life. We offer it up to the public, we share it openly, and connection happens. I went from journaling to blogging 6 months ago and it’s a lifeline for me.

Why? It’s a type of therapy. I take all my experiences with my ongoing battle with chronic depression (and how it affects my faith and vice versa), daily, weekly, and I pour them into words that can do what my disjointed emotions sometimes cannot. Into prayers and pleas. The journaling is an outlet. The blogging is the window for others to see they’re not alone during the hard things.

Both feed something on the inside that I can’t easily access otherwise. And might I suggest the same could be true for you. Oh, you may not ever have a blog, or leather-bound journals, but writing during the hard things can be the outlet your soul requires in order to grow, move on, and receive treasured motivation that sometimes goes missing when we’re busy being consumed by our circumstances.

Still not convinced? Here’s my top 3 reasons for why it’s completely to our benefit to write out the hard things whenever we feel overwhelmed.

1. It Creates Space

When we write out how we’re feeling, how things seem, how impossible it all looks, and it’s down on paper written from our own hand, we have created some separation. Instantly. It’s no longer rambling around our insides, untouchable, and dangerous. Now it’s out. It’s in a space all its own.

And that’s a victory, quite frankly. What was hiding inside has been confronted. On paper , or in a blog, we can give ourselves space. We can walk away from it. We can delete or throw it away. Everything shrinks in the face of bravery.

2.  We Can Find A Way

The difficulty is now down on paper. It’s perspective has changed. There’s been room to breath. Sometimes when I’ve reread what I’ve written in the heat of my meltdown, I suddenly see how I neglected to see the solution. I was so caught up in the awful, that I was never going to see my options staring me in the face.

The prayer we could have lifted. The Life Preserver we could have run to, waiting for us to give it over to the One who can handle any storm and BE your answer. The perspective we should embrace. The help we should be brave enough to search for. The people we should lean on. When we see the physical list of all the awful, we have the urge to move forward. We look to find a way.

3. We Access Joy

Ever read back through a difficult period in your journal, or a random rant you wrote out at 4 am one morning? And you can see the literal journey amid the scribbles and wordage.  Ever see the pattern of His Hand preparing a plan you never anticipated, or the way your temporary hardships granted a powerful permanent life lesson that now empowers you, and yes, even brings Peace? Energy. Fuel.
Provision. Joy!?!

We’re given the treasure of proof that we’re made for something more, for more journeys, for more lessons. You can look back and your heart lifts at where you are, and where you came from.

In 1 John 1:1-4, the writer expresses his intense passion for why he writes to any who will ever read his scrolls. That he and so many others had experienced first hand The Answer in the flesh, and that despite all the hardships they encountered, it was their great privilege to share their life changing journey. So that everyone else after would have what they had.

AND (wait for it!) that writing it all down would
make their joy complete.

And no, our blogs and our books and our diaries will never even come close to what the Word of God can do… but write to find your JOY. Answer your trials with how you’re going to find the beautiful in the middle of the awful. With how you might be down but never out. And how you’ll let the 1 John One who holds you keep your head up and restore amazing healing and JOY.

So many ways to bring therapy, some resolution, some perspective. Writing is just one. But sometimes, for me, it’s the only thing that gives me what everyone wants when they battle something difficult.

The space to get our feet under us again.
The time to see a better plan, to find a rescue.
And the next steps for bringing joy back to life.

12 Replies to “3 Reasons To Write Out The Hard Things”

  1. I so relate to this post. So true that we can look back at the journaling we did in the dark hours to see what we missed, or how it all came together later and feel thankful. I also read back on my journals often during my dark times to remind myself of what I knew to be true during the light.

    1. Aw, thanks for the great comment Lisa! I hope folks will know they don’t have to be writers to do this, it’s more about the journey their hearts went through, and like you say, to remind themselves of the truths that withstand whatever comes 🙂

  2. Wonderful post, Christine, and well written. This is so true: “I was so caught up in the awful, that I was never going to see my options staring me in the face.” Thank you for posting!

    1. Thank you so much Kit! It’s wonderful when God expands our words and taps people on the heart… I’m so grateful for the comment. Have a great day, and the Lord bless you big!

    1. Off the deep end! Yep, that’s how it felt at first, love that description. Thanks for your encouragement Karlene, and I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog!!!

  3. Great word Christine. I am currently reading, Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney. At lunch today I was reading from his chapter on journaling. He makes a lot of the points you do. – I am not a regular journal writer but writing helps me make sense of all the stuff in my head. When I write stuff makes sense or at least more sense.

    1. Thanks Jon! Will have to find that book, sounds wonderful. It’s so true… the longer I write, the more clearly I can see things I was missing. Funny how that works. I believe God honors that process as we search our hearts, He wants us to get it right too. He’s so very faithful in little things like that, isn’t He?

  4. Just found your blog today, and appreciated it. In my journey to starting a blog it was in the need to find my voice and overcome silent fears. To find the women God wants me to be, and encourage others along the way.
    I look forward to having you speak in my life more through your blog.

    1. I’m so glad to meet you Ruth, and to have you checking out the blog. Godly women encouraging other godly women is so important. Your own openness on your blog today was a real gift for me too, we’re never alone as we pursue our purpose within Him! And did I see you’re here in the GTA? Even cooler! Gotta stay in touch for sure!
      Have a great night, and blessings back to ya!

  5. Christine, this is a great post. Since I’ve started blogging and also free writing every morning, well, almost every morning it has really helped me to focus. I have kept journals for over 20 years, ever since we first started homeschooling. It is really interesting to read back over them and see the things we’ve done – good and bad – and see God’s hand at work. He is always with us, always leading, always giving grace.

    1. Thanks Gayl! We journal-keepers must stick together, lol. It’s amazing to look back and see where God moved in ways totally not anticipated, but now makes perfect sense, while other storylines are still being penned by Him!

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