January 16, 2003, my divorce was final. Below is the latter part of my journal entry on that day. If you are going through a difficult time today, I hope these words give you hope. I hope they help you realize that in the middle of your storm, God’s presence and goodness is always there.
I know these things for certain:
1. I’m blessed with a beautiful son.
2. I have friends that carry me, make me laugh, and love me.
3. My parents love me, and my happiness is their greatest concern.
4. There is release in forgiveness.
5. I am strong.
6. I’m not afraid to love or put my heart on the line.
7. I’m ready to, pardon the cliché, spread my wings and fly.
8. Doors are wide open.
9. It is good to laugh long and hard every day.
10. I’m better than okay.
11. God has only good things for me.
12. Tribulation produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And, hope does not disappoint.
13. This, too, shall pass.
14. I love my life.
15. I miss my dogs.
16. I love to dance.
17. Running releases stress.
18. I’m the luckiest girl on earth.
19. I’m thankful ’02 is over.
20. I’m thankful for ’02.
Life is an incredible journey. I learn and grow from every second it offers. I’m in a great place, and I’ll be in a better place tomorrow.
I continued to read more of my old journal last night. I read the frustrations of a fifteen and sixteen year old girl wanting to date one Bryan Landreth. We’ll save that for a completely different post. I’m just thankful I’m not sixteen any more. Can I get an amen?
I read an entry written in 1998 about loss. About losing my Grandfather five months after he danced at my wedding. About losing a best friend to a rare disease only one month after my Grandfather’s passing…….
About how we learned so terribly young to not only tell those dear to us we love them….
but why we love them.
I not only drew closer to friends and family during this time of loss. I grew closer to my Creator. I wrote in that July 9, 1998 journal entry:
“God has really been stirring in me a greater need for intimacy with Him.”
We already know that when we draw close to Him, He draws close to us. Or, perhaps, He draws close to us waiting on us to draw close to Him. Either way, when we do, we learn this:
“The greatest revelation one can obtain is the knowledge that God loves them very much.”
Ya know, even eleven years later, I still believe this to be true.
God loves us so, so very much. He loves us no matter what we do or don’t do. His love is unchanging. And, when we really get the revelation of how much He loves us, we can walk knowing we are forgiven. We are free. And, we belong to Him.
Long before I started this Randomness journal online, I had this journal.
This book has been in my life since October of 1986. Susan Woodward (Mimi) gave it to me. See?
That was twenty-three years ago. TWENTY-THREE! That would have made me 11 years old. I pulled out that old journal last night. I have written in this journal every year since 1986 until 2003. My very first entry began like this:
The title of my entry was “The First Time the Lord Spoke to Me.” I read through the writing of an eleven year old with a thirty-four year old heart. I can still remember her and what she felt. I read about a young girl wanting to hear God speak to her about a situation. I wanted to hear a yes or a no. I simply heard a trust that my parents’ decision is the will of God.
I can remember my father telling me “no” concerning an event I wanted to hear a “yes” to. I wrote, “Before the Lord spoke to me, I just knew I’d be disappointed if dad said no.”
When God speaks, it should bring us peace. It should make trusting Him easier, because His thoughts are so much higher than our thoughts. It was such a simple concept for me to grasp at age 11. But, at 34, I forget, on occasion, to be solely dependent on Him and what He says.
I forget to trust His voice.
I forget to trust His voice in scriptures.
I need that eleven year old girl to remind me more often that His very voice can calm stormy waters and bring peace to an unsettled heart.
How do I ever forget that?
Incline my heart to your word. Psalm 119:36
It’s been my intent for very long time to begin chronicling my journey through life, if not for posterity’s sake, at least for my favorite four little eyes – John Henry and Anna. You may not always agree with me. Heck, I’m sure you’d throw my finite mind into lunar orbit with some of your thoughts, too. For real. But, you may find that while we may hold different opinions and bear different burdens, we are all the same in wanting to do life, and do it right. I don’t always get it right, but dang it, I give it my best shot every day. As a follower of Christ, it is my heart’s desire that my home always bring glory to Him. Granted, some days, it just brings the what for, especially when you say things like “Anna, please don’t pee in John Henry’s suitcase.” What? You’ve never said that? For real.
I’ve endured a heart broken, and I’ve been blessed beyond measure. I’ve cried myself to sleep, and I’ve been filled with joy up to my ears. I struggle with worry, yet I am full of hope. I hope I learn from my life lessons, and I hope that just maybe they will inspire you. So, make yourself at home, and stay a while. Maybe we can learn a thing or two from each other.