I don't know if it's the pack rat in me or maybe I just cling to certain things from my past, but I have almost all of the journals I've ever written in. I'm sure that first one is hanging around in a box somewhere, waiting for me to open it and laugh at my silly 6 year old self. I'm sure a few of them have gotten lost over the years (and moves), but it's safe to say I have almost all of them. Considering I'm 26, there's quite a few!
Over the last few years I've sort of changed the way I journal. I used to use the journal kind of like I blog... Kind of. It was a space where I vented and talked about the goings-on in life. I always wrote more when big things were happening. Anyway, as I was saying, that's changed. Now I usually keep a prayer journal instead. I'm sure it has a little bit to do with blogging - the things in my day-to-day life are "journaled" here instead of on paper. I don't know why I started doing it; I only know that I did.
Last night, I ran across the journal I kept when Joe was deployed. Man, oh man, that one is full of memories, pain, fear, anxiety... You name it, it's probably there. Because I'd written it, it didn't take me long to read through. As with any kind of journaling, I also stopped for a while and then picked it back up. And I didn't start this one until he'd been gone for about 4 months. So there's that too. Anyway, there were so many ups and downs. It's funny how you sort of forget things - things that happened, how you felt, things that didn't happen, things you wanted to happen... In the last year I've almost completely forgotten all of those feelings. Throughout the 8ish months I journaled, there was one constant - okay, there were two:
One: I missed my husband so much it hurt. On an hourly, daily basis.
Two: I wanted to become a mom with every fiber in my being.
I haven't actually, completely forgotten my desire to become a mom, but...it's sort of faded. I forgot the pangs I would feel when learning someone else was pregnant (with the exception of my bestie), or when someone else had a baby. I forgot how often I prayed Psalm 37:4 - "Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart." I forgot how often I prayed "Your timing, God." I forgot how often I prayed, "I know it will be better in Your timing, not mine."
Looking back, I realize that I prayed those things and tried desperately to believe them. If you're a Christian, I hope you understand what I'm saying. Sometimes you can know what God's Word says, but still have a hard time actually getting it. That was me. I knew that one day I would be a mom. I knew that Joe would come home. I knew it. But I couldn't see it. I couldn't plan it. I couldn't know when it would happen or anything like that. Not having any kind of control? That is hard.
Now that our little miracle is here... I can fully appreciate the fact that God's timing IS better. If I had gotten pregnant when I really wanted to, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed it as much as I did. I would've had to tell Joe there was a baby in my belly via Skype/email/phone instead of waking him up that morning. I would've had to tell him we were having a girl in a similar fashion, rather than him going with me to the ultrasound and seeing our sweet girl. She would be here and be a miracle either way, but this? This has been so much better!
Finding that journal has really stirred my heart. It's reminded me that God's timing is always best, even when we can't really believe it. I think God understands when we have a hard time with that. And I think He's proud when we pray it to help ourselves believe it. It's reminded me that I need to spend more time with Him - reading Scripture and journaling/talking to Him.
Finding old journals is always fun and interesting. I think by running across this one, God is trying to tell me a little something. And I'm pretty sure I'm ok with that. =)
Have you ever found an old journal? Were you surprised at what you read?