I have a journal sitting next to me now. And it keeps opening to the same page. Must be a rip in the binding. I bought this journal as a sign-in book for my 10-year high school reunion. So the first two pages are old classmates' names and email addresses. But since then, 2008, I've gone back to this soft maroon (GO BHS!) book when I just felt the need to talk to God. This one journal has entries from 2010, 2012, 2014 a 2013 letter to my husband that I wrote and never delivered and even that dated tracing of Liam's and my hands.
One of the best reasons to journal, in my experience and opinion is that it give us perspective. We can look back and see what we were thankful for, what we were worried about, what God was showing us & what we were pleading with God to do. The 2014 entries in this mishmashed journal are all the same format. Two lists.
List 1: Ten Things That Went Well Today.
List 2: Ten Truths for Tomorrow.
As I look back over these words, I am taken back to pain, comfort, exhaustion, determination, uncertainty and peace. How all that can exist in one person on one day is remarkable. It's a testament to what God can create in someone who is searching for His presence. Here's a glimpse.
Ten Things That Went Well Today
1. I made the boys a healthy dinner.
2. I got a nap!
3. I didn't miss him that much.
4. The weather was beautiful.
5. My dad and I hung out and drank a beer.
6. I went to my divorce group and talked.
7. I said out loud that I was unhappy.
8. I killed the spider!
9. I heard the boys laughing hysterically.
10. I was reminded that Jesus wants me now.
Ten Truths for Tomorrow
1. I will love again.
2. My boys and I will have a safe home.
3. My boys will know Jesus.
4. I will be joyful.
5. I will find peace.
6. I will use my voice to glorify God.
7. I will be grateful.
8. I will be healthy.
9. I will place God first.
10. God will provide all of my needs.
That was almost two years ago. Sometimes I find myself missing the days when my divorce was fresh. It's crazy because it hurt. Badly. But it was so beautiful and grace-filled at the same time.
We are so afraid to suffer. We don't want to feel pain, physically or emotionally. Even after my experience I still cower away from the idea of suffering, but I have to look back on occasion and remember that in the midst of suffering God is revealed to us in deep, profound and life-changing ways.
So I encourage you - write it down. Write it as often as you can even if it's only twice a month. Then believe that whatever you write will be something you can look back on and recall God's presence, grace and mercy.