Note: This is a guest post by a young friend of mine who has been truth journaling for several years. Be sure to read all of her thoughts down the left side of her truth journal chart.
I wrote this in the cafeteria my freshman year in college – on a piece of scrap paper with barely legible, crammed-together, sloppy writing.
To give you a setting, I lacked social experience, and interactions with guys always seemed to end badly for someone.
At the end of fall semester, there was a particular gentleman on campus who began indicating quite strongly that he was interested in me.
I found myself somewhat attracted to him, and the thought of having an admirer of his caliber made me quite aflutter. It also terrified me.
I didn’t really think of myself as being scared at first, just ill-at-ease and tense, but I figured that was normal.
However, my feelings of anxiety increased almost every time I saw him, and I found myself being terribly and abrasively defensive in my body language and behavior whenever he was around.
This made me realize there was something more than just teenage anxieties about “liking” someone going on, and I wanted to get to the bottom of it.
While the end of this somewhat edited truth journal entry was not directly behind my behavior (the first half was), it just goes to show how warped a train of thought you can develop from little lies and half-truths if you run with it.
I suggest just reading through the column on the left first, so you can see how my mind was working. Pretend you were writing it, or something like it, yourself.
|He’s paying attention to me (this itself brought a cramp to my gut).||(T)|
|a) If he sees me, that’s bad because b) I might get hurt.||a)(F) Matt 5:16, God WANTS us to be good, and the good to be seen, and therefore he wants us to be seen.b) (F) I don’t believe that I would be hurt by him seeing me.|
|If I’m hurt that will be bad.||(F) Gal 6:9. My strength is made perfect in weakness. I will be able to use my experiences to love other people better, to empathize with the wounded, and to motivate me to make the world a better place.|
|Being hurt is unpleasant.||(T) Of course, almost by definition.|
|I can’t deal with unpleasant and therefore with being hurt.||(F) I can deal just fine with unpleasant, especially if given a good reason, and I have a good reason (loving God and my neighbor) under these circumstances.|
|God won’t take care of me while I’m hurt.||(F) That goes against the entire nature of God.(Looked these up later: Psalm 23, Jer 29:12-14, Luke 10:19, Psalm 147:3, Jer 30:17, Psalm 109:22)|
|I will be left on my own, and no one will care about me.||(F) I will never leave you nor forsake you, saith the LORD (Josh 1:5, Psalm 37:25, 2 Cor 4:9), and For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that we might be with Him. (John 3:16)|
|I will be unable to be of any good or use to anyone.||(F) See above. I can be of loads of use.|
|I will therefore not be worth having around.||(F) “Therefore” (based on false premise) means the whole thing is False and also, even IF it was True (which it’s not), God would clearly still value me and love me and want my love even if that’s all I had to give (think of Mary vs. Martha).|
|Therefore, I may as well be dead.||(Crossed out and with these written all around) FALSE, FALSE, FALSE; NOT OF GOD; FROM SATAN; A LIE; UNTRUE!|
Loren Pinilis says
What a cool application of journalling. When I was your age, I just wrote and vented. You’ve already learned such a valuable skill in TALKING to yourself instead of just LISTENING to yourself.
I also wanted to post, as a tidbit, that these pictures are taken exactly where I filled in the journal and that the pictures of paper are the original sheet that I wrote them on. I included them so that people could see how sloppy it is when I actually write it down. I write all the sentences on the a separate line and then always end up trying to cram my answers in the right hand side of the paper (I don’t recommend this). My answers are always longer than I anticipate (there’s so much truth to be had if you only look for it!).
For anyone with any questions on the entry (perhaps who has dealt with similar problems) I would be happy to share more if that would help anyone.
Kari Scare says
About a year ago, my counselor (who is also a pastor) had me do something like this, but it was in a web format. He had me write down all the fears I had about myself and then match up scripture that were truth to counteract that fear. The activity was much like what you describe here. I’m a big fan of journaling. I do it daily during my prayer time. Helps me focus.
Thanks for sharing! It’s so mind boggling how clever Satan can be; but so much more powerful to be able to see the truth behind his lies.