Through writing in the midst of troubles and tribulations I have learnt to hold onto Jesus with tenacious faith and sheer desperation as only He can meet my deepest needs and satisfy my longings.
He is My Lord, My Saviour, My Everything just as I proclaimed the day I was baptised 30/3/2016 on resurrection Sunday. It was from this date I would generally share with people about when I became born again. However, back track with me a minute and see I came across a letter I wrote to Father God on 30/08/2015 filled with gratitude when He captivated both my heart and my attention that very day.
The message I heard was; God is our Father and He gives us new life.
This is the date I was born again when I decided to reach out to Father God relationally through writing. Since then, I’ve barely stopped journaling despite the trials of life and the moments of rejoicing along with the mediocre and mundane in between. It has proven to be a lifeline to me.
Not only does the King of the universe dwell in me and yourself my dear sister in Christ but He has shown up in my quiet moments as I put pen to paper and He is also there, waiting for you to meet Him too!
The image I want to paint for you is when the storms of life have come my way Jesus has been my lifebouy Whom I’ve desperately clung to in times of suffering and painful periods of waiting and growth. Being tossed to and fro by towering waves as winds howl violently whilst rain is pelting down on me.
But in the midst of these times, He has shown Himself faithful and true, never letting me down or disappointing me as I obey and yield to His precious Holy Spirit. Even when there have been times I’ve started to sink due to taking my eyes off of Him, like Peter when the cry of my heart has been Lord Jesus save me! He has been there, hallelujah! I have learnt to adore Him, worship Him, be in awe, receive his love and come away with Him when He beckons gently irrespective of what is going on around me to down out His voice. It is an act of worship to respond to His call and to be still with Him and know He is God.
At my weakest points He has been my strength and hope. He has adorned me with His grace and strength, picking me up and carrying me when it has been a long and arduous road.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we are reminded, His grace is sufficient for us as His power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore Paul continues on to say, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
As we lean on Him and learn to do so more and more, this verse will jump off the pages of the bible and come alive in our own lives. If He is for us who can be against us? He will come through for us despite the circumstances we face in daily life especially being in lockdown. Keep looking forward to Him especially during these tumultuous times.
As children of God self-reflection based on the Word of God as a mirror of our own lives and to learn about ourselves is vital.
Through journaling in my walk with the Lord, when I have been met with difficulties, I have seen determination and perseverance to rise up within me and to keep going and face challenges head on. Take heart and be encouraged as Paul in Romans 5 highlights rejoicing in suffering knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
By holding onto the Lord’s word through trying times such as the current world events with lockdown He has put my mind at ease and surrounded me with His peace as I walk by faith. Knowing Him as Father and Lord by intentionally seeking Him to produce and nurture true intimacy with Him through many years of scribing ‘love letters’ and scribbling “Q and A’s” with Him back and forth has provided me with direction, clarity, encouragement and comfort.
Truly He is our Wonderful Counsellor as I’ve learnt to listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit to pen answers to the countless questions I’ve brought openly before for Him.
When you don’t have the answers and are chartering unknown territory He wants you to yield to Him so He can guide you accordingly and reassure you of His presence as a faithful Father who has our best interests at heart.
We tend to run from God during such times looking for comfort elsewhere and we are not alone in this but He wants you to go to Him who offers us living water instead of searching elsewhere where we end up drinking from broken cisterns which cannot hold anything let alone refreshment.
Through reflection on past journal entries I’ve had the blessing of being able to continually see His hand move in my life and the lives of others as I’ve lifted my prayer requests and those of others to my faithful Father Who gives good gifts to those who ask him in Matthew 7:11.
He’s taught me how to pray, apply His word to my life and discipled me as a child of His evident throughout the years of intentionally ‘practicing His presence” and seeking Him wholeheartedly through journalling, for He has called us to love Him with every fibre in our being. Even when He has rebuked, chastised and convicted me He has shown me Whom He is, a Good Father as He disciplines those He loves.
I am His so He deals with me and all of us in this way as He always has good intentions so Christ’s character is developed in us and for Him to be glorified. I am my beloved’s and He is mine.
Through writing poetry and journaling, I have learnt about His heart as a reflection of Who He is, who I am to Him and His heart for others. It has been a great blessing and treasure for me to look back on the years of journaling with the Lord.
The Lord reminded me of the verse seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you in Matthew 6:33. We can do this as an act of worship when seeking the Lord in our quiet time and writing what He has to say as we draw closer to Him and allow Him to minister to us whilst we minister to our King simultaneously.
How journalling can help you in your walk with God:
A time of reflection and thanksgiving, cultivating a heart of gratitude and praise to the Lord by recording your blessings and what you are grateful for
Building a deeper foundation of your faith build on the Word of God to renew your mind and be rooted in Him
Knowing your identity in Him and knowing Him in greater intimacy
Receiving direction, clarity and wisdom for your life from Holy Spirt, Our Wonderful Counsellor and Teacher
An opportunity to uplift your prayers and those of others to Him and accounting for the times He’s shown Himself strong to yourself and learn to continue to develop greater trust and deepen your faith in the Lord
Learning to schedule in quality time in His presence as part of stewardship and being disciplined in order to hear from Him with clarity
Having a broken and contrite spirit before the Lord and ceasing the opportunity to cry out to Him by pouring out your heart, emptying yourself of yourself and being rejuvenated by His presence.
As an act of surrendering your life to Him and allowing Him to move on your behalf and for others as well
To grow spiritually, humbly recognise your need for Him and be transparent in character before Him, yourself and others as He also forms Christ’s character in you and mould’s you as a vessel for His glory, training and preparing you for the calling He has on your life.
Refining your spiritual ears so you can grow in discerning His voice
It is also edifying for me to see the spiritual growth and ground I’ve taken up on my walk with the Lord when reading over the pages of past journals and to see how I have overcome challenges and been victorious through Christ my Lord who promises to strengthen us and reveals we are more than overcomers in Him. He has moulded me and transformed my life. He never changes, the word declares He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
He has great plans to pour out His love through you and extend His kingdom as you spend quality alone time with Him allowing Him to do all that He wants. Our place of intimacy with the Lord teaches us how to receive His love and how to love others and be a beacon of hope to people in dire states. Poems which He has led me to write have been a powerful avenue for myself to not only be encouraged personally but to comfort and uplift others in their walk.
When anxiety tries to grip and over run you mediate on His love by renewing your mind. Philippians 4:8 shows us what to focus on, especially important when anxiety tries to burden us, “ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Allow this poem to permeate your heart and spirit during this season, which I penned with the Holy Spirit guiding me. He placed it on my heart to share it in this KWE blog for you my sister:
You are Worth More than Many Sparrows:
When you are overwhelmed think of Me in the day of trouble when it has not worked out as you hoped and I will bear the toll,
For you are My everything, My all in all,
For you I build a fortress, a hedge of protection, that cannot be permeated,
My covenant and blood shed for you is a protective wall.
I will reach out My hand and pick you up should you fall,
I encourage and hold you whenever you call,
Though you sow in tears, in My joy you will rejoice and extol.
I pray this poem is of comfort to you sisters as you drink in His love for you.
Self care is a necessary part of our walk with the Lord as we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Our life is our ministry so we must take the time and effort to lead a balanced lifestyle whether it is sleeping on time, eating a healthy breakfast, exercising, or switching off from social media. Journaling as a means of self care has been beneficial to myself as it has helped me to undertake self reflection and track my days.
Moreover, as a result of this practice, I have been able to see how my daily choices have impacted my mental health so I can make necessary changes and create a healthy customized daily routine for myself.
Writing poetry has also been a part of my self care as it allows me to express myself creatively which I really enjoy and wrote poems about my faith which I am really passionate about. I believe the Lord has also blessed my diligence and faithfulness in writing poems as I partner with Him to encourage, uplift and build up others in their walk either through poetry or writing them letters.
He will bless the work of your hands also as you seek to honour and please Him. We serve, the Almighty El Shaddai, the God of More than Enough. As we look to Him, our faces are radiant and we are not put to shame.
Sonam Rifkin is degree qualified in social work and has worked within the early education and care field as an educator. She is newly married to her husband Ben and adores her pug, Pepper. She has a passion for creativity whether it is painting or writing poetry especially when paired with her faith, to encourage and uplift others.
Check out her YouTube channel, Yeshua’s Rose with short messages of encouragement and poems HERE
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