Wednesday, May 25, 2011

For the Love of the Journal

I have this love-hate relationship with my journal.  I love to look back and see where God has taken me on this journey.  I hate that I don't journal with regularity.   I used to wonder what the 'right' way was to journal.  After all, how could you or should you track prayer requests and answers?  And what about the details that should be included?   Should I just put in the big stuff or should I include things that really didn't seem so significant, but might be significant later.   So my life with the journal has been a bit of hit and miss.  

Journaling was probably never meant to be this difficult.   For goodness sake, it is a spiral bound notebook with lined paper.  It is mine to do with it as I please.  I'm not doing it for a grade or for a project for school.  No one sees it but me and God forbid anyone should see them after I die.    They probably wouldn't make any sense to anyone but me anyway.

Monday night after our prayer meeting at church, I wanted to come home and look for something in one of my old journals.   As I dug through them and found the one I wanted, I started reading bits and pieces of it.  At first I was truly on a search for what I was looking for.  But then it became more like a meandering journey of the mind through the past several years.    

As I kept reading and perusing the pages that constituted a good portion of my life with Christ, I found something very disturbing.   Don't get me wrong, there was lots of good stuff and things I am totally clueless as to why I would have written down at all.  But what disturbed me the most was my waning faith.

There I said it.  My faith was shrinking right there on the pages of my journal.   I kept reading it and wondered what happened to the woman that started the journaling to begin with.    If trials make you stronger and draw you closer to Jesus, then I should have been having large leaps of faith growth.  But that wasn't what was there.  

On the pages of the first journal I saw a "childlike, endless, God can do ANYTHING He wants" faith.  I saw a faith that believed in and expected miracles.  I trusted that if God said jump, well then, just jump and He will catch you.     But then this "oh I am more mature in my faith, don't want people to think I'm strange" woman showed up.     We share the same name, but I'm not nearly as fond of her.    This person I had become was too logical, played it too safe.

Only one or two journals before that I was asking God to interrupt my life.  To draw me so close to Him that I wouldn't question what He asked of me.  I prayed for a dangerous, give it all to Jesus kind of faith.  

Sometimes it is painful to look back, but sometimes it's absolutely necessary if we ever want to move forward as God intended.    I am so incredibly thankful for my journal and for God allowing me to see the truth in it.   If people think I'm strange then that is fine with me, because I would rather be strange and full of faith than 'normal' and faithless.  

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