Hey, my friends. Welcome to another bonus episode of Let’s Encourage One Another. Today, we are going to look at the spiritual practice of journaling, and I am going to offer you 13 journal prompts specifically for seasons of change and transition.
With it being fall, I know it is a natural season for change. Summer is coming to an end, kids are starting school, and some students are heading off to college. Routines are getting adjusted and Bible studies might be starting back up. The relaxed pace of summer is giving way to a more structured lifestyle, with more responsibilities—or at least different ones.
But there are other kinds of transition, too. Maybe you are starting to care for a family member who can no longer care for themselves. Maybe someone you love just moved to a nursing home. Maybe you moved to a new house, or a new city, or a new country.
Perhaps you’ve stepped down from a volunteer role at your church, or lost your job, or are dealing with a new health concern. Or maybe, you’re just facing the fact that you are getting older and your body isn’t quite what it used to be.
So here are 13 journal prompts for any season of change or transition. I’m not going to elaborate on them, but I want to give you a bit of space for reflection between each one. Of course, you can pause the episode to go ahead and journal through them now, or go to lovedoesthat.org/seasonsofchange to download them as a free PDF.
13 Journal Prompts for Seasons of Change
Okay, here they are:
- How will this change or transition impact my daily life?
- What questions do I have about this change?
- What feelings or thoughts does this change stir up inside of me?
- What part of this transition might be hard for me?
- Is there something I can do to make that part of the change easier?
- Are there any expectations or beliefs that I am being invited to release or surrender to God?
- Is there a loss connected to this change that I am being invited to grieve?
- What words describe who you are, regardless of what changes happen in life?
- What part of this transition am I excited about?
- Is there something that God is inviting me to celebrate?
- How might I use this change or transition to grow as a person or in my relationship with God?
- What does my heart yearn for in this new season?
- How can I invite God into this season of change?
A Prayer for Embracing Joy and Sorrow
In seasons of change, there is often both joy and sorrow, and we can hold both at the same time. So as we end today, I would like to offer you a prayer from Douglas McKelvey:
Let me neither ignore my pain,
pretending all is okay when it isn’t,
nor coddle and magnify my pain,
so that I dull my capacity to experience
all that remains good in this life.
For joy that denies sorrow is neither hard-won,
nor true, nor eternal. It is not real joy at all.
And sorrow that refuses to make space
for the return of joy and hope, in the end
becomes nothing more than a temple
for the worship of my own woundedness.
So give me strength, O God,
to feel this grief deeply,
never to hide my heart from it.
And give me also hope enough to remain
open to surprising encounters with joy,
as one on a woodland path
might stumble suddenly
into dapplings of golden light….
Let me learn now, O Lord,
to do this as naturally
as the inhale and exhale of a single breath:
To breathe out sorrow,
To breathe in joy.
To breathe out lament,
To breathe in hope.
To breathe out pain,
To breathe in comfort.
To breathe out sorrow,
To breathe in joy.
To breathe out joy.
In one hand I grasp the burden of my grief,
while with the other I reach
for the hope of grief’s redemption.
And here, between the tension of the two,
between what was and what will be,
in the very is of now,
let my heart be surprised by,
the same joy that forever
wells within and radiates from
your heart, O God.
Free PDF + Invitation to Journal Gently
Don’t forget, you can grab a free PDF of those journal prompts at lovedoesthat.org/seasonsofchange.
But if journaling resonates with you, if you naturally reflect and process through writing, then I invite you to consider joining the next round of Journal Gently, which starts on October 3. Journal Gently is an 8-week program designed to help you process grief and trauma together with God through writing. You can learn more at lovedoesthat.org/journalgently.
Okay, my friends, that is all for today. Until next time, let’s encourage one another…
Learn more and register for Journal Gently, an 8-week program designed to help you use writing as a way to process hurt, grief, and trauma with God.