I read over an old journal today. One I began over 20 years ago. In many ways I'm still the same. Still struggling with the same things...like in 1989 "many times I refuse to take the risk that's involved to wander out of my safe environment" or in 1997 "today was a difficult day. I'm feeling very dull and like I'm in a fog lately. I pray the Lord will give me a clear mind and thinking.... I cried today about...."
I've been journaling for a long time. Almost 20 years ago I wrote that I wanted to "write a little each day, so I can go back and remember the special memories that happen which may otherwise be forgotten".
I'm glad I have this journal. In some ways it's painful to look back and see what I was thinking about, agonizing over and trying so hard to understand. Because I wrote some things down I can be easily transported back in time to that exact place where I was. It's nice to know my motives were good as I sought God's help in everyday life. I wanted to do the right thing. Make things better. But I did discover that I just didn't have control over everything that happened. That was a bitter pill to swallow. I know I still wrestle with that.
One thing is evident. I did a lot of praying for my family. Why things broke down is a mystery to me. Why God didn't answer all my prayers is unknown. I do know God pulled me out of a very destructive place and plopped me down into a place where I feel safe. For that I'm grateful.
This journal reveals a lot. It speaks loudly of my hopes, and my prayers and my love for family and especially my daughters. It is clear where my heart was... If my love was ever doubted, these written words from the past would erase any uncertainty.
It's bittersweet to read over such wonderful times and also such painful times. Experience is still the best teacher so I will accept both as part of what has molded me into the me of today... The journey and molding continues.