My journaling journey: finding faith in words

Photo: Patrick Tomasso, Unsplash.

Starting a journal has become a crucial part of my spiritual routine. I vividly remember the first time I wrote in it, sparked by a strong desire to express myself. 

I had my computer with me and began typing, choosing English over Indonesian for reasons I can’t quite recall. I think it might have been influenced by a TV show, Doogie Howser, M.D., where the main character wrote in a journal at the end of each episode. 

Reflecting on that moment, I realize it marked the beginning of a valuable habit. Typing in English that day set the stage for an ongoing journey of putting my thoughts into words. 

What might have started with a TV show’s influence has transformed into a spiritual practice that guides me through life’s challenges. 

Writing in my journal helped me keep track of good times and tough times. When I started committing myself to ministry, I began adding Bible reflections to my journal. I learned that God is greater than both my highs and lows. 

Reflecting on my journey with journaling and writing, I’ve learned that putting Jesus at the center of my words makes a big difference. It’s easy to make ourselves the main character in our stories, but focusing on Jesus shifts our perspective and helps us align our words with his teachings of love, compassion and truth. 

Being intentional with our words isn’t just about what we write; it’s also about how we write. 

In the digital age, especially on social media, our words can either spread positivity or negativity. It is crucial to consider the impact of our words. Can we use our online space to share encouragement and timeless messages of Christ? 

Writing isn’t just a personal thing; it has the power to influence conversations in society. In a world where many voices compete for attention, our words can contribute to unity or division. By using language that reflects love and understanding, we become agents of positive change. 

I appreciate the Indonesian translation of 2 Timothy 3:16: “All writings inspired by God are indeed beneficial for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting behavior and educating people in righteousness.” 

The Bible concludes with the Revelation from John, but our holy writings continue until today. God calls us to proclaim his Kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven through our actions, words and lives. 

In 2019, when I was asked to write a column for The Mennonite, a predecessor of Anabaptist World, I was nervous and anxious but excited to express myself and tell God’s story from my perspective. Now it’s time for another writer to tell their story. 

As I bid farewell to this column and its readers, I want to express my deep gratitude for the journey we’ve shared. Writing for The Mennonite and Anabaptist World has allowed me to pause and seek God’s vision. It has served as a vital aspect of my spiritual formation. 

I hope the words written here have been a source of blessing and inspiration to those who have joined me on this path. 

As I conclude this chapter of my journaling journey with you, I want to extend an encouraging invitation. In this broken yet beautiful world, where each day presents an opportunity for reconciliation, I encourage you to embark on writing your own story with Jesus. Start your personal journaling journey, capturing the highs and lows, the moments of joy and despair. 

Let writing be your tool for positive change, a means to contribute to the unity of our global community. May your words reflect the love and understanding found in the teachings of Christ.  

Embrace the transformative power of sharing your story, guided by God’s wisdom. Let it be a beacon of hope in the lives of those around you. 

As I step away from this column, I entrust the space to new storytellers, eager to unfold their narratives in our shared journey. 

Thank you for being a part of this enriching experience. May your writing be a blessing to others in the beautiful tapestry of our interconnected and intercultural lives.  

Hendy Matahelemual

Hendy Stevan Matahelemual is an ordained minister in Mosaic Mennonite Conference and lives in Philadelphia. 

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