Unloading My Sorrow

“How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I make decisions alone
with sorrow in my heart day after day?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look at me! Answer me, O LORD my God!
Light up my eyes,
or else I will die
and my enemy will say, “I have overpowered him.”
My opponents will rejoice because I have been shaken.
But I trust your mercy.
My heart finds joy in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD because he has been good to me.” Psalm 13 (GW)

The poetry of Psalm 13 is an example of what is often the subject of my prayer journal. It was especially so during the time of the COVID pandemic. As I reflect on the first several months of the pandemic, I, like so many others were sheltered in place fearing our turn to potentially contracting the deadly coronavirus.

On September 25, 2020, I went to the emergency room wondering if I had appendicitis or the coronavirus. Instead, I would be diagnosed with leukemia. Later that evening after my husband left the hospital, I sat at the window of my hospital room marveling at a beautiful sunset. I praised God for allowing me to become a wife and then a mother to two amazing sons. Even at the end of the worst day of my life, I found joy. God is here!

“Sorrow is better than laughter because, in spite of a sad face, the heart can be joyful.” Ecclesiastes 7:3 (GW)

Turning sorrow to joy.

“We must focus on Jesus, the source and goal of our faith. He saw the joy ahead of him, so he endured death on the cross and ignored the disgrace it brought him. Now he holds the honored position—the one next to God the Father on the heavenly throne.” Hebrews 2:12 (GW)

While I had put on a brave face, I unloaded my sorrow in my prayer journal. After years of journaling my prayers and staying focused on my faith in Jesus Christ, I can look back over the pages of my prayer journals to read how the Lord had shown me His mercy. I had recorded it not only to express my grief but my acceptance of His answers. Each time He led me back to His Word so I could be reminded of His promises.

Prayer Journal Prompt:


Am I secretly grieving? If so, why? What is causing my sorrow?
How do I unload my sorrow?
Where can I find joy in my life?
What does it mean to me, “Sorrow is better than laughter?”

(c) 2016-2023 All Rights are Reserved

The Holy Spirit Knows My Heart

When I am afraid, sick, or in crisis-mode, my anxieties weigh me down. It is though I am running circles around my worry rather than kneeling over my anxieties to pray. Yet when I do pray, what weighs me down is uplifted with a sense of peace, a stillness with a vision of the way forward.

Stubbornness prolongs my pain.

“The LORD says,
“I will instruct you.
I will teach you the way that you should go.
I will advise you as my eyes watch over you.
Don’t be stubborn like a horse or mule.
They need a bit and bridle in their mouth to restrain them,
or they will not come near you.” Psalm 32:8-9 (GW)

Learning to pay attention.

I have learned to do pay attention to His teachings first thing in the morning by reading God’s Word and devotionals. This is when I write in my prayer journal. If I am feeling rushed in the morning, I can expect that my day will be stressful. It is though I never spent my time with God at all. It is oftentimes because I do not know how to express myself. I look back in my prayer journal and I can see the rambling of my words. Then I feel ashamed. I remind myself that Holy Spirit knows my heart. He understands my rambling voice.

“But if we hope for what we don’t see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. At the same time the Spirit also helps us in our weakness because we don’t know how to pray for what we need. But the Spirit intercedes along with our groans that cannot be expressed in words. The one who searches our hearts knows what the Spirit has in mind. The Spirit intercedes for God’s people the way God wants him to.” Romans 8:25-27 (GW)

Turning shame to praise.

I am not to let the busyness and distractions of my life interfere with staying attuned with God. My prayer journal has helped me to write my way through all my crisis’ to stay focused on Him who knows my heart. I give all the glory, power, and praise to God who watches over me. He also sends people who share in my love and praise of God into my life. I am grateful for those who walk with me in His light and pray for me.

Prayer Journal Prompt:


How can I create time to spend with God?

What keeps me from forming a journaling habit?

Who do I know that can help me draw closer to God?

Do I feel the Holy Spirit’s presence when I pray?  Why or Why not?

What does it mean to me, “But if we hope for what we don’t see”?

(c) 2016-2023 All Rights are Reserved