If you have read any previous blog posts here, you know I struggle with mental health challenges. Since the fall of 2015 I have battled one of the worst episodes I have yet to encounter. Luck, or God’s grace, would have it that while on my journey of recovery from this dark period, I came upon Illustrated Faith and bible journaling. It came at just the right time. Funny how God works like that, huh? It’s amazing really.
I was making progress on my recovery but still really struggling when I found it. I needed new ways to connect with God because my old ways didn’t feel like they were working. During the darkest of times it felt like I couldn’t connect…like He was too far away. And then bible journaling entered my life. This spring I began to get to know this practice and more and more I find that it truly brings me peace and into a deeper relationship with Christ. I spend more time in the Word than before. I focus more on the scriptures and their meaning. I dig deeper and my art and creativity help me to hold on to the messages and truth God has for me, for us.
When I’m feeling anxious bible journaling helps bring calm and peace to my mind.
When I’m feeling depressed (not just blue, but depressed, depressed) I can turn my focus to God’s word, create a new page and my mood is lifted. (This works when I’m feeling just blue, too.) And guess what, if I’m really needing it, I can do multiple pages to distract from any dark thoughts and depression symptoms I am feeling.
I can write my prayers to God on these pages if I choose. I can spend extra time meditating on the scripture I have been led to for that page. I can just have fun with it, too. It’s a great reprieve from the day-to-day grind.
The bible journaling community has blessed me, too. Connecting with others who share a love of Christ and long to deepen their relationship with him through art and creativity is energizing and helps to curb feelings of loneliness. I find that interacting with this community, particularly on Instagram and through the Illustrated Faith site and their social accounts, I am energized and rejuvenated, plus I learn SO much from them all.
Now, certainly, this isn’t a cure for my mental health issues, but I have found that through bible journaling I have a renewed and deeper desire for further developing my relationship with God. I feel closer to Him and I am learning more and more about His word and teachings. It’s a wonderful experience to have my creative juices flowing again after such a difficult time. Sometimes, as I reflect, it truly feels like one of God’s miracles in my life. As if He reached down, directed me to bible journaling, and put this in my life specifically to bring me out of the pit and to draw me closer to Him.
***As a side note, check my side bar for links to Illustrated Faith and DaySpring…discounts, too! DaySpring is where you can purchase most of the Illustrated Faith products. The Illustrated Faith site has a wonderful community, inspirational and instructional posts and their recently launched #printprayshop where you can purchase downloadable printables.***