Journal or not to Journal?
Stashed away out of view sat a stack of 91/2 x 6 spiral bound notebooks. Those notebooks contain the records of Life according to Karyl. Sometimes the records are day after day and sometimes days are missing, sometimes a whole month is missing. One could presume from that a lack of consistency in the writer’s life is apparent.
The earliest journal I found was 1980, however, I know that the first journal actually is somewhere misplaced, and should be 1978. Nell Collins, a well-known lady speaker in Indiana and surrounding states, hooked me on the idea of recording my feelings and trivia. The goal is supposed to stimulate a person to go back and look at the changes that have taken place. Some people use a journal to vent.
Since God knows what I am thinking, and is a skillful “discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. . .” (Hebrews 4:12), there is probably no need to write down my frustrations. Rather, just quietly take them to God. As I look back into those notebooks, flipping pages haphazardly, what I see mostly is just me. Transparent me. In fact, it is a bit frustrating to not see giant strides in faith!
Stuffed between entries in August of 1992 I found a letter that I wrote to one of my daughters but never sent. That was the year I moved from Indiana to Tennessee. Because I had to start my new teaching job in mid-August, I moved before the children and Bob moved. The children were all in college and went directly to campus. She had expressed concern. This is what I told her: “So don’t worry about Mom. Today I am overwhelmed with peace, surprised by joy, strengthened by God’s Word, hold to the Blessed Hope, and embrace the Cross of Christ.” If she asked me tonight, in 2012, twenty years hence, I could tell her the very same thing.
Steadiness has been a longed for desire of mine. Maybe I have achieved it more than I realize. Slow and steady progress. Tortoise speed.
Journaling was, after all, not a waste of time. It is never too late to start. You can start today.