How many of you journal regularly? If so, how do you know what to journal about - do you have a formula of some sort - gratitude? question prompts? writing feelings?
Last week we talked about how to experience TRUE CHANGE - that comes from the inside out. That unless we experience freedom in our spiritual life, addressing the other areas will just act as a band-aid.
Today I want to share with you how I journal, called Immanuel Journaling. Immanuel Journaling is something many people do regularly to explore their life events, especially our interior life including our thoughts, feelings and body sensations with our GOOD God, Immanuel. This simple process will help you become more aware of God's compassionate presence in the painful as well as the mundane moments of your life. Slowing down enough to pause, give thanks and then listening for God's response.
First, do you know what the word Immanuel means? Immanuel literally means God with us. We can find in many places in the Bible God talking about desiring to be with us and how He desires a relationship with us. In Matthew - the angel told Mary that she would give birth to a Son, and to call his name Immanuel which means 'God with us'. He came into the flesh, humbled Himself to be with us on earth, to become like us, be with us. Think about that person that you long to be around. You want to know what they think, feel, are doing - AND - you want to tell them what you think, what you see in them, etc. This is what He wants with US, be with us and speak to us.
Let’s dig into how to actually do Immanuel Journaling. Many people already start their journaling with gratitude which is exactly how Immanuel Journaling starts. But there are three aspects that make this type of journaling so unique:
Interactive Gratitude - This is noticing what is good and articulating that to God. We write down what we are grateful to God for. It can be anything from small things (sunset, a cup of tea) to big moments of life (meaningful conversation, gift, sharing in forgiveness). The interactive part is pausing to notice God's response to our gratitude. After we pause, we then write down our impression of God's response to us.
Scriptures for Interactive Gratitude:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks for Him and praise His Name.
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's Will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Thought Impressions - This second part is vital and what I believe is the most transformative part. It's a series of questions designed for you to listen to what God's perspective is. What He sees, hears, etc. Jim Wilder, who developed this journaling, said "The structure of the brain called the singular cortex makes it possible for meaningful communication to occur between two different minds by establishing mutual mind state. When establishing a mutual mind state, we learn to think and feel the way people we love to think and feel." When we go through the steps in this part of the journaling over and over, we develop a skill, or a capacity, of thinking and feeling like the one that we love, who is God. For example, our twins, their language mirrors each other at times. They may say the same thing at the exact same time.
Scriptures for Though Impressions:
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
Our goal is to have our thoughts RYHME with God's thoughts.
1 Corinthians 2:16
Read your journal entry aloud to someone(s) - This can feel intimidating or vulnerable at first, but this can be so powerful. Many times, God is not only speaking to you but the other person or people around you as well. As you share this out loud, it helps to engrain it into your mind more completely and can be even more powerful to the person you are reading it to.
I want to share with you a Listening to Immanuel worksheet to help you get started on journaling. I invite you to print it out and give it a try! Next week we will be talking more in-depth about Immanuel Journaling, how to do it and how it has changed people’s lives.
If you would like to watch the full video click here: