8.18.2011

remember

do you keep a journal? when i was in high school i wrote almost every day in a "diary" type journal, where i talked about what happened that day, which boy i liked, what was going on with my friends. i stopped writing in it soon after i met joel [my husband] sophomore year. and then i only wrote every few months. but it's fun [and sometimes embarrassing] to go back and read, and to remember.

as i've become an adult my journaling and has turned to God. i know a lot of people who keep a prayer journal. i used to scold myself that i didn't, because i thought it had to a bullet point list of prayer requests, which didn't seem very exciting to me. mine isn't that way. it's dialog. just spilling out my heart to Him in prayer, in written form. it is sacred to me, so intimate. some of the greatest revelations come from this time. i don't do it every day, and lately it's been very intermittent.

today i picked up my journal and started reading. after weeping through the whole thing i realized why this journal is so precious and vital to my relationship with Christ. because maybe i don't have a bullet point list of prayer requests, coupled with the date they were answered? but maybe life doesn't unfold that way, in neat little pairs. maybe it unfolds messy and raw and desperate. maybe God answers slowly or carefully or in little glimpses.

i read through the past year of my life, as recorded in prayer, and i remembered. i remembered His overwhelming faithfulness through the hardest year of my life. i remembered His life-giving peace, like a river, that literally kept my soul alive. i remembered all the things He showed me from His Word and from His Spirit through prayer. i remembered.

and sometimes that's the only way to believe and trust for right now. to remember what He's already done. to praise Him over again for those things He's already accomplished. to realize as i read through that journal today, there were even more little prayers answered. an overwhelming burden lifted as i remembered that He is my God and He has never forsaken me, even in my darkest hours.

So my spirit grows faint within me; 
my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago; 
I meditate on all your works 
and consider what your hands have done.

it is so important to remember. i would encourage you to start a prayer journal, for this very reason. when you're able to relive parts of your life, the really important ones that you've laid before the throne, your perspective on today will change. you will trust and hope in a way that you couldn't muster before. He is faithful and all His ways are good. psalm 77 is especially poignant with this theme of remembering. here's just a bit of it [verses 7-12]:

“Will the Lord reject forever? 
Will he never show his favor again? 
Has his unfailing love vanished forever? 
Has his promise failed for all time? 
Has God forgotten to be merciful? 
Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” 
Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: 
the years of the right hand of the Most High.” 
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; 
yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. 
I will meditate on all your works 
and consider all your mighty deeds. 

one of the most important things i read in my journal today, which was just what i needed to remember, and maybe you need to hear it too [taken directly from the journal page]:

T
hank you Lord for speaking to my heart today, when I was desperate. So gently You spoke: "Aly, I see you. I know what you've suffered. I promise you that I will not waste your tears, your pain, your struggle. There is a reason for all this and everything will come to fruition in its time. TRUST. Wait. Place your every hope in me. I am faithful, reliable, trustworthy."

as i read that little excerpt this morning, i remembered that specific day, when the Holy Spirit spoke this over me as i was washing the dishes, just a complete and blubbering mess. He is faithful, my friends. remember the great things He has already done for you, big and small. and remember that He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. and if you like the idea, start a journal, or open the one you already have and start reading.



8 comments:

  1. what sweet words! i love going back and reading my old journals. i think i'll do it this weekend :) thanks for sharing your heart! xoxo

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  2. Love this. This is funny, because I just uncovered some of my journals from some of my best days in college. The most fruitful of my life {not to mention the early days of my relationship with my husband}. It is such a blessing to read back through and remember God's goodness!!

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  3. beautiful.. i regret not recording more in a journal of all God has done and how He has met me. but this is inspiring me to start it up again. love to you!!

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  4. So beautiful! Just found your blog and SO glad I did. Looking forward to getting to know you!

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  5. I just started a prayer journal again! This post really inspires me to keep up on it. Xoxo

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  6. Well put! I like how you talked about things not working out neat or in pairs. It's raw. I used to hit a block when journaling...I felt like it wasn't worth writing unless it was perfect. Lots of scribbles later (I always write in pen), my favorite entries are the ones where I let go of worrying how it would turn out. I needed this reminder, thanks!

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  7. I got rid of so many journals because I didn't want to remember the feelings of being so lost. Of course, I didn't know Christ then. Now, my journals are true history books and I cry as I reflect on where I was and see just how the Lord was there, even if I didn't know it. I don't know about you, but I keep track of EVERY detail when I can, just so I can see the fruits later on :) Blessed by this post girl :)

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  8. Oh this is so true and such a good reminder. As I'm sitting on the couch reading via my phone, its been one of those days that's just tough and scary, those days when it's even more necessary to look back on how faithful the Lord has been!!

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