I remember the first time I met my husband – love at first wink. Well, I remember most of it, but wish I would’ve written my heart down on paper, right then and there within the tender moment.
How well do you remember what you were feeling during a significant time in life or even within the last week? I know. Cognitive recall goes only so far and rich details fade away. Even unforgettable things are forgotten with time and clutter.
That’s why I journal. Paper doesn’t forget. It’s what compels me to wipe the dust off of old memories stored in the abyss of a drawer. I want to remember. In an age of texts and tweets, it seems pen-in-hand journaling is a bygone sentiment or considered as unimportant as a little pink book with a lock and key filled with teenage secrets.
Actually I had one of them . . .
But life changed when I began to keep a faith journal. It was around the time my youngest son was born with an illness and life made no sense at all – and while sitting on an old wooden swing under a listening tree, I waited with my Bible and a notebook. There was something about chatting with Deity and writing it down that cleared things up. And since then, scribing life in a journal has taught me to wait well. And to believe and trust while I do.
The wonder of faith-journaling is not about a brain dump or jotting down the happenings of the day – but discovering more of God and uncovering more of ourselves while noticing the holy in the ordinary. It isn’t just reflecting on the past – it creates a way to “remember forward” with a discipline of hope.
Remember the wondrous works that He has done – His miracles and judgements He uttered. Psalm 105:5
People have been journaling for centuries. Throughout Scripture we’re instructed of the importance to remember. The prophet Habakkuk offers a beautiful blueprint in how to write His answer in chapter 2:2; Write the vision – make it plain on tablets so whoever reads it may run and tell others. For the vision awaits its appointed time – it hastens to the end and will not lie. Though it tarries it shall come – it shall surely come.
And that good Word is what has kept me going from the old wooden swing until now . . .
Every one of us has a story. If you keep a journal, it’s buried somewhere within the reams, and when you mine beneath the surface and find the jewels of your story, it may be a legacy of hope for you and for others . . . .
Preserve your memories, keep them well, what you forget you can never retell.
Louisa May Alcott
I have the privilege of sharing the importance of journaling at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference, “Journaling from Blog to Book” We hope to see you there – this week! http://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com