How Journaling Can Keep you from Giving up on God’s Plan for you

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How to Find Purpose and Meaning in your Life-Discover and Record the Moments When God is Working in your Life

Have you ever felt like nothing in your life was working out how you wanted it to? Has that left you feeling discouraged and defeated? Maybe it felt like you were alone and forgotten by God.

I hope that by reading this and putting some of the suggestions into practice, you will see that you are never alone because God loves you and is working things out in the background of your life. And on days where it doesn’t feel that way, you can look back and be reminded of all the remarkable ways you’ve seen Him in your past.

This is part two of a part five series on how to find purpose and meaning in your life. If you haven’t read the first part of the series-How to start by Building a Relationship with Jesus. You can find it here. 

What to Expect in this 5 Part Series- Finding Purpose and Meaning in your Life.

I have some practical suggestions for how to go about this, but first, I want you to know what two things you can expect each day of this series.

  • At the end of each day, there will be journal prompts to discover how the topic relates to your life. 
    • This week is about discovering and recording the moments you find Jesus working in your day.
  • There will also be a suggested activity related to the topic of the day. I love how James encourages us to be a doer of the word.

James 1:22 - but be doers of the word, not hearers only, deceiving yourself. 

  • This week’s activity will help you seek and remember the WOW moments of God working in your life.

Build a Friendship with Jesus to Discover your Purpose

Last week’s topic was about how to develop a true friendship with Jesus and how that helps you discover the plans He has for you.

  • By knowing, trusting, and turning towards Jesus, you can clear out all the distractions of this world and focus on His ways.
  • That way, when opportunities present themselves to you, it becomes easier to determine if it is God inviting you to do something or if it’s coming from a broken world that will eventually fade away.

Does God Have a Plan for You

Do you believe God has a plan for you? In the past, I don't think that I really felt God had a specific plan for me. It certainly wasn’t something I took the time to even think about. I pretty much went through the motions of living life. That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy my life and thank God for my many blessings, but if I’m totally honest, I thought God had more important things to do with more important people than me.

If you read Scripture (Spoiler alert-Scripture is the next step in discovering your purpose), you will find all sorts of ordinary people God used in extraordinary ways. People like you and me going about their day and then stepping into the role God has prepared them for. 

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Random Moments or Part of God’s Plan for You

I think all the random parts of our life are not random at all but intentionally placed there by God. These moments prepare us for our own personal mission from God. 

I believe these “random” events are woven together and held in place by Jesus for His purpose. He is inviting us to share our time and talent so we can shine a light on God- who makes all things possible. And when we share that talent, we inspire the people around us to get to know God in the way we are blessed to know Him.

I believe God has a specific plan for you and me. And I am reminded of this in scripture.

Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV) “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

So what were we set apart for? That's the question! 

Discovering God’s Plan for You

What mission, what purpose does he Have for you? 

  • I think in order to figure this out, it’s important to start by developing a friendship with him. You can read more about that here.
    • By forming a true friendship with Him, we get to know Him better. We start to become transformed by knowing who He is and how deep His love for us is. This transformation happens when we start inviting Him into our day-to-day life. 
  • Scripture also helps us discover our purpose. You can learn so much about who God is by reading Scripture. I never really read scripture until a couple of years ago. I would hear the readings at church, but I never went any further than that. The Bible isn’t just for scholars and priests. It’s for us too. And it was written so we would never forget who God was, the love He has for us, and that He chose us to be His people.

Deuteronomy 14:2 (NIV) ..for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.

  • This week’s focus is discovering what I like to call WOW moments. It stands for Witness of Wonder. It’s where you so clearly know that Jesus had a hand in something you saw happen in your life.

The Importance of Remembering When God Showed up for You

Leaving yourself reminders isn’t something that is novel to us in the modern world. The bible speaks to the importance of leaving yourself reminders. 

My favorite example of the importance of remembering is in the book of Joshua. 

Joshua 4: 20-23

And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their parents, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 

I love the imagery of the stones. I love that stones are strong, and they were firmly planted as a reminder of how God had helped them.

Set Reminders to Lead You to the Plans God has for Your Life

There are many examples of leaving reminders, so we don’t forget how much God loves us and all the beautiful things He’s done for us. 

God didn’t just show up for the people written about in the bible. He keeps showing up in our everyday lives, and sometimes we are so focused on worldly ways we don’t take the time to discover where Jesus is leading us. 

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Discovering God Working in Your Day

Have you ever had something happen in your life that stopped you in your tracks? Maybe you thought it was a remarkable coincidence. Or maybe you recognized it for what it was-God showing up for you in the here and now.

I’ve heard these moments referred to as God Winks, and others call them affirmations-God’s way of letting you know you are on the right track. 

WOW Moments from God Can Lead You to His Purpose for You

I like to call these times my WOW moments. WOW stands for witness of wonder. These are the times that something is so clearly happening from God that there is no other explanation for how it happened.

I’ve been blessed to see many WOW moments in my life. Even more so these last couple of years. The more I seek God throughout my day, the more I am aware of the moments He's working beside me.

Jeremiah 29:13

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

Important Moments Forgotten 

You would think that when something remarkable happens, you would always remember it.  But over time, our memory gets fuzzy, and sometimes we forget things we swore we'd never forget. 

  • I can remember when my daughter was younger; she would mispronounce certain words. It was so cute. I thought I would never forget the way she mispronounced hippopotamus. But a few years went by, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember how she said it. 
  • This inspired me to start making memory books for every one of her birthdays.
    • Besides photos, I included specific details about the day some of the photos were taken.
    • Certain traditions we kept and the new ones we started.
    • I would mix in answers about her favorite Christmas gift, what accomplishments she had enjoyed that year, along with what was  her current favorite game, food, friend, etc. 

Importance of Never Forgetting WOW Moments from God

We set reminders for ourselves all the time for doctor's appointments, grocery lists, the favorite way your kid says a word. But if you are anything like I was, you neglect to record the moments that we saw God in our day.

If we set reminders for worldly things that will fade away, I think it's all the more important to leave reminders of our WOW moments from God.

How WOW Moments Help you Figure Out God's Plan for Your Life 

  • I think WOW moments are God’s way of saying, “Hey, follow me, you're doing great, keep going, keep going!”
  • They remind you that God is with you in everything you do, not just in the moments you seek Him but also in the moments you may have forgotten He was there.
  • WOW moments are the clues to discover the treasure God is inviting you to find.

How to Keep a WOW Journal

A couple of years ago, I read the book Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry T. Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, Claude V. King.

They suggested writing down the moments you know God was part of. That suggestion was the best advice I had ever received.

  • It’s Easy to Start a WOW Journal for Yourself

    • Grab a blank notebook.
    • Write down as many moments that you can remember seeing God at work in your day.
    • Going forward, add to your journal all your new WOW moments from God.

A WOW Moment in my Life

A special example of one of my WOW moments happened a few months ago. 

My friend was going through a rough time, and I wasn’t sure what I could do to help. So I said a prayer, and I asked God to help her find peace and comfort from Him. 

I finished my prayer and left for work. I’ll be honest on my drive to work, I was still worried about her. But five minutes into my drive, I saw the most amazing thing. 

The car in front of me had a license plate that said something like B L S D  KIM. I couldn’t believe it, my friend that I  just prayed for was Kim! The license plate ahead of me was saying-blessed Kim. God is so amazing.

After seeing that, I started laughing at how awesome that was and I thanked him for not only blessing my friend but also for putting my mind at ease. 

God Shows us that Even He Leaves Reminders for Himself

Not only has God suggested that we leave reminders for ourselves and future generations, but He also speaks to how He left a reminder for Himself. 

Genesis 9:11-16 (NIV)

I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

The rainbow was not only a reminder for us but for Him too.

Benefits of Keeping a WOW Journal

  • It’s the perfect reminder that God loves and cares for you.
  • When you feel lost and alone, you can look back through all the times God was there for you.
  • You start to understand that you are never alone. That God was there for you in the past, and He will keep showing up for you in the future.
  • You start to see themes and patterns of what direction Jesus is leading you.
    • Themes are one of the future topics discussed in this 5 part series to discover your purpose. So stay tuned.

God Has a Plan for You-Discover His Clues in Your WOW Journal

By recording these moments, I’ve discovered that he’s been walking beside me, shining a light on the path He wants me to walk with Him. Just like He wants you to walk on the path He has planned for you.

I hope that you'll start recording your WOW moments from God so that you have something to be encouraged and comforted by.

Journal Prompts Inspired by Scripture:

Genesis 9:16, NIV

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”

  • Journal about a time you witnessed something remarkable in your life
    • Did you feel it happened because of God?  
    • Journal about why you did or didn't think that that moment happened because of God.
  • Write a short prayer to God and ask him to open your eyes to see where he is working in your day. Then, at the end of the week, journal about what you saw.

Invitation to be a Doer of the Word

James 1:22, NIV: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." 

  • Find a rock from your yard. If you don’t have rocks in your yard, you can get them from a home improvement store, or even craft stores sell them.
  • With a sharpie or a marker, write down a word on the rock that you associate with God.
    • Maybe that’s peace, love, comfort, etc. 
    • If your marker doesn’t show up on the rock, you can write it on a piece of masking tape that can be placed on the bottom of the rock.
  • Place the rock somewhere that you will pass by it every day.
    • Let that rock be a reminder of God’s love for you. When you run across the rock, I hope you’ll remember that He is rooting for you and that you’ll know how much you are loved by him.

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