Have you ever kept a journal or written in a diary? Do you ever go back and read them? I hope you do because it’s a good way to see how God has worked in your life.
When I was a teenager, I got a five-year diary for Christmas. For the next five years, I dutifully wrote down what happened each day. When I filled it, I got another five-year dairy that I continued my life’s story in. I remember some of the entries: my pining for a boyfriend; teen parties with friends; my dating years: things I did with my girlfriends; and trips with family and friends. I remember a few other teenaged thoughts about what was going on around me that are best kept to myself.
The sad thing is that when I got engaged to Hubby, I decided the past was over, and I burned both of the diaries. I regret that action very much. I’d love to read what that young, naïve girl was thinking. Like a time capsule, they would have allowed me to take a peek into a long-past era.
In 1976, I started tracking my days by writing on calendars. That was a momentous year because I started dating Hubby and married him that September. I continued writing on calendars for the next 20 years. Some days had a lot of “notable” events; other days were dull. I wrote of our children’s arrivals, of calves being born, of the delivery of new chicks, and all the other things our farm life held. My children’s accomplishments were recorded on those calendars.
My writings slowed down when I started college; too much to do and too little time. It picked back up after I graduated and continued until our son left home for college. After that, there wasn’t much to put on them. Hubby and I went to work, came home, watched TV, and went to bed. When most of the days became the same, I quit writing on calendars and started journaling.
I’ve filled several journals with writings about my feelings and gratitude. I recently found a journal started in 2000 and ending four years later. It’s mostly a gratitude journal, but it covers a time when I had several jobs, we moved twice, and our son started college. While I was reading it, the emotions of that time were there on the pages. I wrote about my uncertainty with new jobs, our moves to new places that left me feeling disconnected from my comfort zone, and my fears for my children. Some of those feelings I’d forgotten. Some I remembered. Most of my worries turned out in a good way. My children turned out to be wonderful adults married to other wonderful adults. I can see with clarity that my many prayers were answered.
That’s the value of journaling. It can be confirmation of how God works in our lives. His blessings may be easier to see from a distance than it is when we’re in the midst of the troubles. I’m so happy I did this. There won’t be any matches getting near these treasures. They’ll be there for my children to dispense of when the time comes.