Keeping a journal where you record those thoughts, those little things that pop into your head in day-to-day living, is revealing, interesting, and sometimes convicting. You know, the thoughts you not sure from whence they came. Of course, that’s only the first step. We really should go back and review them. This year, prompted by the Holy Spirit, I decided to go back to the earliest journal I possessed and begin reading. I had a few writings in 1991 but the most complete Journal I have begins in 2000. While reading I had a light bulb moment. I decided to rewrite in a different journal those things which truly reflected my journey with Christ.
“Why”? The years prior to 2000 were of a prayer journal nature. I wrote Bible verses which spoke to me and prayers for others. In the year 2000 my writing style changed. I began writing more of what was on my heart. My journal became more conversational. Many pages are filled with items which have nothing to do with my walk with God. In order to get a clearer picture I’m weeding out that which does not pertain.
Last evening I completed the year 2001 and dove into 2002; what an eye opener. Our memory is interesting. We tend to set aside, or temporarily forget (unless reminded) things which aren’t directly in the forefront of our thinking. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Here on the written pages I discovered the Lord had placed a desire, a project in me. The project came to light as I prayed for my high functioning autistic son and his new wife. My husband and I had just moved from California to the state we reside in now. God had called my hubby to employment at a small church as the Pastor to those over 55 and the overseer of their Hospital Visitation Ministry. How could we leave our mentally challenged child in another state? Believe me, it was not easy. Had we not believed God was in the midst and leading us here our story would possess a different scenario. Perhaps this is why my journaling took on a different direction in 2000. I had a written record of God’s workings in my life. I knew then and I know now we were obedient to God. He has blessed our obedience continually. He promised to look after our son. God has been faithful to his word!
The first few months I filled my time with settling in, decorating for the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas and helping hubby in his new position. But then what? God had given me an answer, but I missed it or didn’t fully understand the message until now. Interestingly enough, 7 days later, after the Lord planted that seed in my wee little heart, the Associate Pastor called and asked me to pray about taking on a leadership role in several ministries. I was exhilarated! 2 of those ministries were near and dear to my heart. This new prayer consumed my thoughts. I came from a fast growing church in California where I held a position of high regard, had many friends, and felt valued in my work. I found myself in a new state, knowing no-one, alone at home, praying for the child we left behind, and feeling purposeless. I lost sight of what God was doing and where he was working. The request from the Pastor fed the deep void in my soul for companionship with others and getting my self-worth through “at-a-girl praises”. Here I am 13 years down the road, almost to the date. Is it too late? I hope not.
I am ashamed to admit this, I, however promised vulnerability this year. This same idea popped into my prayer time and thoughts several other times in recent years. Don’t remember exactly when … but have a clear memory of those heart whispers. It is time to move forward. It’s past time! Again, it’s a God sized task. I’ve nary a clue how to accomplish the project. I can hear you…. “What’s the project?” Here’s a clue from the pages of my 2002 journal, “Lord, I’m feeling overwhelmed. I wouldn’t even know where or how to begin. God replied, “It begins by getting up at 6:00am and dedicating yourself to me”. The Holy Spirit led me to read Psalm 82 and this passage, “Deliver the poor and needy. Free them, (J & J) from the hand of the wicked! They do not know, nor do they understand.” But Lord, I said, “They do know” …. “No!!! They do not – they know of me. They love me, they believe in me. Now teach them about me. Teach them the how’s and why’s of me. Lay in their hearts truth. The truth will set them free. Teach them the tools to understanding. Then they will know and when they are old J and J shall not depart from it.” “Lord, I feel like Moses– a huge task – help me in my unbelief. Then the thought… It’s not about me. It’s about you through me.
The Lord was definitely speaking; sadly I got derailed. Rejoicing I’m back on track! “Letters to J&J” now on the agenda.
Wednesday we take a look at Gratitude Journals…. My first entry in my Gratitude Journal, this year… “I am grateful I serve a God who never gives up on me.”
Until next time,
“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious; slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness”.