By Eliza Huie
In the last couple posts we have been talking about re-thinking journaling and looking at how it can be helpful in working through difficult situations. In the previous post we went over the first four questions to journal through when you are faced with a hard circumstance. Writing out your responses to those questions help reveal some of the harmful things that can hijack your heart in the midst of conflict or trial. Today we will move from that hopeless circle of thinking to the next four questions that can help you bring meaning to your struggle and give clearer direction on how your should be thinking. These four questions are excellent to think through as you seek to move beyond the issue. They can help you grow closer to the Lord and be a means of realignment.
Now it is time to move on to the gracious circle. This is where you gain clarity on where change can happen. As you journal through these questions you hopefully will begin to feel more understanding as to what you should do and how you should respond to the situation you are facing. Take some time and write out the answers to these questions:
The Gracious Circle (Where Change Happens)
- Who is God (relevant to the struggle)?
- Respond to God for the heart. How will you have a candid conversation with God?
- Respond constructively into your situation. How will you show intelligent love for others?
- What are the consequences? How do your responses God (Q.1), faith (Q.2), and love (Q.3) create ripple effects in the relationships, work life, moods, finances, situation, health, etc.?
As you work through these questions, honestly answering how your situation relates to who God is, you can begin to find hope. Your situation does not have to change for hope to come. Hope comes when there is purpose and direction to what you are facing. Sometimes it is just the simple act of slowing down and applying truth to your thoughts that can move you to a place where you can respond better to whatever it is you are facing.
Journaling can be an effective tool to use in sorting out your thoughts. It is my hope that this series has given you some clearer direction on how to make it more specifically helpful.