I know many people who journal or who keep formal diaries, but I've just never been disciplined enough to keep a written record of my day to day. For some, they do it just to chronicle the events of life and for some it's a chronicle of what they are learning in bible study. I guess for me I just never really developed it into a habit. I have written however, maybe not terribly regularly, but I have written on this blog.
A blog, well one like this one anyway, is admittedly different than a formal diary or journal. For most part, while I may be expressing deep personal thoughts or experiences, I've also..
(sorry, be right back, my tea is ready)...
... been very intentional at most times to use my posts to teach. I guess it comes with the territory when you are a caregiver my profession. I've spent my life making mistakes and learning lessons, and so I have felt led to share those lessons with others.
I don't even know why, but I found myself reading backwards this evening through my blog. I didn't even realize that come November I will have been keeping it for 5 years, and while it may not seem like a long time at a glance, it is amazing how much can change in that span of time.
Tonight I read stories of preparing for Cedarwood staff training, traveling to different places, cleaning my apartment, paper grocery bags, sipping starbucks coffee at the base of Mt. Fernie, and even chronicling crazy dreams I had as a kid. Suddenly I was transported back in time, and it was good.
I remember a number of years ago a close friend of mine was dealing with the grief of suddenly losing a loved one when he made this observation about his life. It was something along the lines of, "Through all my faith struggles, if I wanted to deny God's goodness, I'd have to deny my entire life up until this point..." Now I'll be honest in that faith is not really a huge struggle for me; for whatever reason God has gifted me with a strong faith even through some pretty huge trials. However, that's not to say I don't sometimes need encouragement, and encouragement is exactly what I found as I read through 4 and a half years of blog entries. The encouragement is that God has always been there, working and evident and real.
It's amazing how easily we forget isn't it. We get so caught up in the here and now, and the emotions that accompany it, that we forget what was and what has endured. In my last entry I wrote about a statement made to me that caused me a lot of pain, but in hindsight the pain only came because I chose to forget everything up until that point. In a moment of loneliness, I chose to ignore a lifetime so far of rich lifegiving relationships. I'll admit I've done it before. I've allowed myself to get stressed about finances, forgetting how God has faithfully provided exactly what I needed at the right times (sometimes quite miraculously). I've become slack in my prayers, forgetting how God has answered them faithfully time after time (not always with what I asked for, but with a clear and Good answer). I've even let myself fall into judgement of others, forgetting the uncountable number of times God has shown me grace in a clear way that was beyond missing.
I have many friends who are struggling in their faith- some of them have left most of it behind, and for some it is alive but just a glimmer of what it was. I don't always know how to say it in person, but I try as best I can to convey that sometimes we need to look back to where we were and why we were there. "Did you at one point in your life have faith like a child? Was it not a beautiful thing? What changed.... what got in the way... and what are you forgetting?"
Anyway, I enjoyed my trip back in time tonight. I go to bed reminded of many wonderful things...