My journals are not fancy – just a stack of notebooks of random colors and sizes. They chronicle joys and sorrows of the past 26 years reflecting my pilgrimage of faith. Some entries are long others only a paragraph, some are tear stained with ink smudged others have scribbles from a precious little one but they all are written to God, my Rock and Savior.
The very first journal entry was titled “Pilgrimage” and dated January 6, 1987. I had been asked to share at a Ladies Group so I wrote out my thoughts. You see, the year 1986 was monumental for me and God walked with me every step of the way. The following is a portion of what I wrote:
“…We began the year rejoicing over life because of the new life which I was carrying. But I became aware of a greater appreciation for life in May when we had our farm accident.” My husband got trapped between truck and tractor. He was on the tractor – a small old one without cab. I was in the truck. “It was only God who kept my husband alive. I had no idea how I would find my husband as I got out of the truck. I could not go back there without first breathing a prayer. Immediately, I felt God’s overwhelming peace…I struggled for many months with the fact that I was the one in the truck. I knew it was not my fault, but I could still hear his awful yell, and I felt like I almost killed my husband. I could not understand why God was allowing me to live with this even though I was committing it to Him daily. It was not until I verbally shared it with someone else that I was released from the torturous thoughts…”Baby #2 was another beautifully handsome boy, but at his 1 week check we found out he “… needed surgery immediately. Yet when he had his blood tested he was anemic. Lord, what next? I remember asking how much more must we go through? I can’t be strong much longer! God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. He is our strength. At birth my husband and I prayed over this baby giving him back to God. Yet as surgery approached I began to hold on to him, I daily had to recommit him to God….I hope I never forget how real and great my God is!”
I think I just relived some of those emotions again while typing!! After this initial entry, I began to pen prayers and sometimes jot thoughts & scripture that stand out to me during my quiet time. I have found that too many times if I don’t write things down I forget them. I don’t want to forget how God answered prayer, met me at my lowest, carried me, blessed me…so I fill notebooks. I tend to go in spurts journaling daily and then I may have weeks or even months before I open my notebook again. It helps me stop and take time to really think about my conversation with God rather than always praying on the run.
Sometimes reading through entries of the past reveals God at work when we didn’t feel or see it at the time. Today, as I took a walk down memory lane, I am once again rejoicing over life…baby #2 is now a healthy 6’2″ man, and hubby and I are nearing 30 years of marriage.