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.
Thank 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.