The Journaling Process

I used to despise journaling. Seriously. I remember saying once that journaling was just something that I could never ever get behind because I hated writing.

Fast forward a few years, and here I am. I have a bonafide digital journal. Never say never.

What I’ve learned about journaling is that that’s the place where you write down what’s going on. Where you process life. Where you expand ideas and thoughts.

What I thought journaling was essentially became what I call a “mind dump,” with the addition of bullet points and quick, concise thoughts.

So, friends, welcome to my journal. If you’ve read any of the posts I’ve written within the past few months, you’ve seen that life isn’t really all that peachy-keen sometimes for me. I’m by no means complaining about my situation, or wishing that I was in someone else’s shoes, but I’m doing my best to be authentic and transparent with you, which is really not my natural tendency.

It’s been since August 2nd that I had a job, and I can certainly feel the effects of it in many ways. For the first couple weeks, being in a new place, I felt the excess of time and saw how hard it was not to work. Since school started, I’ve felt the absence of income and have been affected more than just financially. I’ve felt the stress of not having any money coming in to fill my gas tank, buy groceries, and pay for the other things we would call necessities.

I’ve applied for at least two or three jobs a week since school started, and have had only one interview (which I still haven’t heard back about almost a week later). I’ve been told that I can’t receive Federal Work Study funding, which is the main way that students get on-campus jobs. I’m mostly unqualified to work at most places around town because I don’t have much experience in food service or sales.

As each day goes by, I feel rather discouraged. I’ve spent the past 3 years working in my desired field, but can’t get an entry level job.

Yesterday, I spent some time talking to God, and I remember saying at some point, “God, I’m not sure if I’m at the end of myself, but it sure does feel like it.” And it almost feels like I am to my breaking point.

But, after all the stress, lack of income, and discouragement, I’m reminded of one thing: Our God is a God who provides. He’ll provide at just the right time, whenever that right time is.

I’m really hoping that “the right time” comes, like, tomorrow. That would be pretty clutch.

When I got home Sunday night (aka Monday morning at 1am), as I laid down in bed, I scrolled through Facebook and saw that my SLD my freshman year, John-Michael Ritchey, had passed away as a result of a hiking accident. I still don’t know any details outside of that, but to see such news about a guy so young was heart-wrenching. He spent his free time outside of school and ministry teams pouring into our leadership team and teaching us so much about how to honor Jesus.

He was the funniest, kindest, most loving friend a freshman who was trying to adjust to a new world could have. He would watch Harry Potter or The Lord Of The Rings every night to go to sleep. He had this persona named Pearl that would randomly come out during RHLM. He had a quirky sense of humor that came out in his sporadic Vines.

But, while his death is sad, those who knew him know that his passion burned fiercely for Jesus and making Him known. The blessing in this situation is that he’s with the One who he loved so much, and while there’s nothing we could ever say or do to erase the pain and grief that comes with losing a friend, teacher, husband, or son, we can rest in the fact that God had accomplished His purposes through JM and allowed him to fulfill his calling.

Sometimes processing the problems and confusions in our lives allow us to solve them or see through the clouds that veil what’s up ahead. We all process things differently, and one of those ways is somehow through writing. Through journaling. Sometimes digitally, sometimes handwritten. But, for me, I’ll take the digital route.

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