Carving out the words on paper, truly helps me cope.
I pray out to God in dark times, oh yes. Yet in the midst of the intensity, I also need to DO something with myself. I don't want to emotionally eat, I don't want to grab a bottle of wine, I don't want to pack up my bags and leave (although all are tempting at times...). Rather, after a tidal wave of anger or bitterness, when everything feels "toxic", I instead run to the respite of a quiet place of solace, armed with a pen and paper. Mostly just to get everything OUT.
I find that I actually crave an outlet for the confusion, the fear and the despair. That's where my prayer journal comes in beautifully.
My journal entries aren't perpetual. I write very sporadically and emotionally with expressive capital letters, underlines, smudges, and exclamation marks!! (somehow thinking that will get the point across..).
Yet each time I write (regularly and not-so-regularly), I also take time to read my previous entries....to see the prayers that have been written, and to acknowledge the ones that have been answered! What a blessing to be reminded that God HAS been present, even when I felt abandoned and completely isolated. NO place is too dark, for Him.