I sit in my hotel room reflecting on my decision to remove myself from our home and say no to the accusations spoken. I sense God’s presence and peace. I reflect on a couple verses.
Jon16:33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Pain often brings isolation. It is during times of pain that we often feel alone. The joy we sensed prior to our sorrow now eludes us. Why is this?
Pain can consume us. Physical pain causes us to focus on the source. If we are unable to treat the pain or return to joy, we may feel helpless which often leads to hopelessness and despair. Emotional pain draws our attention to what we perceive is causing our pain. Now our focus is on the problem. Our brain works to resolve the issue. Often this is not possible leaving us feeling inadequate.
The enemy loves us to focus on problems that can not be fixed by us alone. He will consume us with helplessness and despair which leads to isolation and hopelessness. This is a pattern that I witnessed in my life for many years.
Over a year ago I read, Joyful Journey Listening to Immanuel by E. James Wilder, Anna Kang, John Loppnow, Sungshim Loppnow. I higly recommend this book. It introduced me to the practice of Immanuel Journaling. Immanuel Journaling is interaction between us and God. It is during the times of pain, sorrow and uncertainty that God is with us. We often are unaware of His presence. Immanuel Journaling is a tool used to connect us with Him.
It is not through the absence of pain that we experience healing but through the knowledge that we are not alone. Knowing that God is with us even when we are in pain enables us to connect to Him through gratitude. Reflecting on something that we are grateful for brings us into communication with Him. We are now able to listen to God in our pain. God sees us, He hears us, He understands how big our circumstances are. Allow God to validate how big this is. Allow your body to feel His compassion and love for you. We notice our body and how His presence feels in our bellies, in our shoulders. We are not alone. We sense God’s joy to be with us. We feel his power and hear Him say He is doing something about our pain.
Journaling our interaction with God is a powerful tool. It allows us to read aloud and share with a trusted friend. This practice is our weapon against despair, anger, sadness, fear, anxiety and shame.
I’d like to share with you my Immanuel journal for today.
Immanuel, I thank you for safety and financial provisions, and your promise to always be with me.
Immanuel replies, my daughter I see you sitting at the table, I hear you crying out to me and I understand how big this is for you. Joanna, I want you to know I am so happy to have this time with you. Thank you, my beautiful daughter, for trusting me with your weakness. I want you to know I treat you tenderly. I am the God of healing, hope and restoration. I am working all things for good on your behalf. I am so delighted that you have chosen to walk though this valley with me. I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Heb. 13:5) Joanna, nothing can penetrate the blood of Jesus. You are covered. I’ve got this.
Psalm 42:1 As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. (NLT)
What are you thankful for today? What does Immanuel, God with us mean to you?