27 August, 2012

Journaling

I've kept a journal for as long as I can remember. I think I got my first one when I was in elementary school... I think I was 6 or 7...maybe? Anyway, the point is I started young. Ever since then I've been writing my thoughts down on paper. It's a kind of therapy for me, I guess. Cheap therapy.

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?

3 comments:

Reccewife said...

Oh , I agree, sometimes God's plan and especially His timing is so frustrating until you look back and see how perfect it was!

JG said...

Blogging is the most consistent "journaling" I've ever done. When I was younger I shared a room with my sister and I didn't want to write down ANYTHING anywhere. Scrapbooking also sort of helps. I guess I also "journal" whenever SoldierMan is gone. I always write him, even when we get to talk when he's gone. There's only so much you can fit into a text message or put on facebook.

Meg said...

I just love reading my old journals! One funny thing I found the other day was when my husband was home on R&R (in April) we thought we got pregnant and I was so disappointed when we weren't. The sadness reminded me of when I had miscarried. It actually felt like we had lost something (that we never had)! Then he came home for good 2 months later and we got pregnant and I totally freaked out. I had totally forgotten how badly I wanted to be pregnant just 2 months prior. Emotions are crazy things!

And, yes, I totally get what you are saying about trying to believe scripture. Just this morning I told God that I know in my head that He doesn't give me more than I can handle, but it feels like He does. I don't really know what to do with those emotions. They are so misleading at times!