The second Scripture activity I do is Scripture Journaling, essentially a group of Bible verses and positive quotes that I draw, color paint, sticker on a sketch pad page or blank journal. I like to split them up into themes, and I always keep them positive!
“Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth. Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.”
Phillippians 4:8 VOICE
As a coping skill, I began to write and save Bible verses that I could reach for during certain feelings that threatened to consume me. I hated the fact that I was so “all about myself” which made me feel selfish and narcissistic.
I had to continue to find ways to ease my suffering and become a part of the world again! I always heard that we are to “hide God’s Word I our hearts” by memorizing verses so we could call them up in times of trouble. That was something I could do when I was younger.
My mind used to be like a trap- Mom saying I had the best memory of anyone in our family- but since my grief and depression, it seems my short-term memory is lacking. I can still remember that giant wood tick on my neck when I was three years old, but memorizing verses is no longer easy for me.
Awhile back, I purchased a book of promises categorized by specific difficulties. I could find my emotion, (Fear, Depression, etc.) and read the Scripture that promised His respite, a good alternative to memorization.
I decided to make a more personal list of promises and put tabs in my Bible when I read a particularly beautiful verse. When I feel the urge to Scripture Journal. I look at all the tabbed pages and bits of paper upon which I have written quotes or verses and then find some that fit together nicely. I draw it out first as a basic design and then rummage through my cases of colorful markers, pencils, stickers, and even sometimes, fabric pieces to design the page.
I am not too artistic, and I have to resist judging my designs and mistakes, but I’ve found that anything can be covered up with a square of scrapbook paper and re-drawn if necessary. The Internet is full of ideas for creative journaling and craft stores sell all kinds of washi tape and stationery supplies to pretty-up the pages. I use a Leuchtturm 1917 Bullet Journal because it has a bunch of dots instead of lines.
Because I decided that there are no rules for my journal, I have pages with To-Do Lists as well as actual journal pages of thoughts, schedules, etc. and interwoven amongst these are my Scripture Journal designs. I can look through my journal and see I “graduated” from being afraid to leaning on God to provide me a path.
My journal lifts my mood, even before reading the verses, just by looking at the colorfully decorated pages! I also like to post them on Instagram- who knows? Someone may need cheering up!
Michelle Pearce, PhD wrote in her book Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Christians with Depression, that “These spiritual words and ideas can function as positive and truthful seeds that, once planted in your mind, can blossom into a more positive mood. The more seeds you plant, the better.”
My own path became clearer as I continued to focus on God’s will for me. God wanted me to stop being afraid of the past and move on. Isn’t it amazing how He takes us through our problems until we arrive at the answer He chooses for us? He uses people to help us reach the conclusion, in my case group therapy and doctors, and He speaks to us in prayer time to weigh options on our minds.