“You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole heart.” – Jeremiah 29:13

I am an avid journal-keeper.

From the time I was in third grade, when my teacher asked us all to begin keeping little records of our lives, and I discovered I loved this therapeutic habit, I couldn’t stop. The number of life moments I wrote about and have the opportunity to revisit — from the birth of siblings, to teenage angst, to daydreams, to wondering about God, to gut-wrenching heartbreak —  it’s all there. Concrete in ink.

Admittedly, I’ve thrown out some of them or torn pages out of others. But there is something so powerful in reading the thoughts of a person I hardly know anymore. In 29 years, she’s been through emotional, physical, and spiritual battles, lost friends and loved ones to disease and  cancer, moved several times, fallen in and out of love, has traveled and met the most amazing people who have changed her life, found her passion, discovered more about the nature of God than she ever realized, and grew.

Oh, how she’s grown.

My journals now are conversations with God. They’re my frank, open, honest assessments of myself and the situations I am facing, good and bad. And journaling has been, by far, one of the most healing self-care habits I stick to in every season.

The past five years have probably been the most rollercoaster of seasons I’ve ever experienced. And writing has kept me sane. Tapping into that creative voice and allowing the words to flow through moments of joy, dark pain, death and sadness, cancer, fear, redemption and grace, anger and betrayal, awe and gratefulness and blessing…the list goes on and on.

But within myself lies the answer. It’s the Holy Spirit.

I’m still healing. This has been the hardest realization. This week, I’m dealing with some very heavy things that have been triggering past anxiety, pain, and the need for deep breaths. But practicing the art of mindfulness, prayer, and journaling has been yet again such an outlet for releasing emotion and bringing myself back to center.

Back to focusing on Christ’s love and His healing power working through my life.

If you don’t have a healing habit yet, I urge you to start now. Maybe it’s journaling. Maybe it’s going for a walk to clear your head. Maybe it’s music, or yoga, or running, or simply closing your eyes for a few moments to take a deep breath.

Come back to center. And ask yourself the hard questions about healing and refocusing. Deep down, you know there’s an answer.

It’s just a matter of being brave enough to seek it…with your whole heart.