The Long-Term Benefits of Journaling
For nearly every aspect of life, writing is the most powerful way to grow and heal.
Imagine for a moment rewinding to one of your most exciting experiences. Step into the experience again. See what you saw in that moment. Feel it. Breathe it. Own it and feel so grateful for that experience. In a few short seconds, how did that make you feel?
When you think back to it, you probably feel a sense of pride from that moment. Not the arrogant, bigger-than-other-people type of pride. No, the feeling is probably closer to the feeling someone get's when their child gets married, they land their dream job, buy their first home, or when they publish their first book. It’s a sense of achievement and accomplishment.
Now, imagine journaling that experience and being able to relive every moment of it. Experts say that words carry a weight that can settle nearly any fear, doubt, or insecurity in a moment. Especially for women, a few words can bring a sense of security. Words bring up positive emotion, reassurance, and a sense of belonging. You are about to embark on an incredible journey with God. Journaling on your mission experience - before, during, and after - has one of the greatest impacts on personal growth and healing.
The journal becomes a place where you can relive extremely wonderful moments. It becomes a place to revisit moments that humbled and matured you. Your journal becomes the emotional resilience you can visit anytime.
Plus, it’s a legacy of your journey with God for your kids, grandkids, and great grandkids. VHS players and DVD players may have come and gone in the last 30 years, but not writing. Writing holds a timeless feature that allows anyone to engage and be apart of your story.
This all bleeds into your spiritual development. Your spiritual life will intervene with everything you do. From building deeper self-awareness to increasing your impact on the field. And, when it comes to journaling, many people spends hours writing papers for school grades or, spending hours writing and editing emails for work. Yet, very few spent quality time & analysis documenting or reflecting on their story.
Journaling during your mission experience will:
You Relive Your Experience
Your experience allows you to revisit your experience again and again. Today, in 6 months, in 12 years, in 2 decades. Our memory is fikle. It’s hard enough to remember what I ate last week. It’s much easier to re-engage your life when it is on paper.
Positive Emotional Moments
When difficult circumstances come or a sense of pain develops from your day-to-day situation, your journal can become a place to reenforce your spiritual capacity. It’s easy to lose our drive/focus when we get overwhelmed by daily life. It’s much easier to get back on track when you have positive experiences to relive them.
Integration Back Home
Your mission experience isn’t just meant for the field 5000 miles away. It isn’t meant to only impact people far from you once a year. It’s meant to be an integrated part of your life. On short term trips, we find that people who can integrate their emotional experiences back home have a much smoother time engaging with missions long-term versus those who may disassociate with life back at home.
Legacy for Your Kids
Your children are really a big part of who you are. They will follow you with what they see. Show them the parts of you before they were born. Show them the moment you first traveled or the time you experienced Jesus in a new and profound way. Show them when the Bible came to life for you before your very eyes!
The long-term benefit of journaling is actually quite long. But for now, there are a few that you can embrace and capture as you prepare to go on your next experience.