This is not the post I meant to write.
The post I meant to write is one I’ve been chewing on for weeks. That one’s about patience, about the bite of patience, the burden of patience, and the blessing of patience.(Alliteration is so fun!) Very serious and contemplative and deep stuff.
Keep your eyes open for that one – it’s gonna be AWESOME.
This one, on the other hand, is one I’m just dashing off because…because of THIS:
Yes, you’re right! It’s a new journal!
Not everyone is a journaler (I don’t know if that’s a word!), but I have been since I was a freshman in college. I would journal faithfully, every day, logging events and emotions and story ideas and frustrations and spiritual insights…I LOVED my journals, and eagerly anticipated reaching the end of one so I could crack open a brand new one. My “hope” chest is crammed full of volume after volume after volume…
And then came marriage. And children. And financial worries and woes. And stress. And packing. And moving. And again. And self-care (of which journaling is most certainly a part) went out the window for years…
But just over two years ago, right when my personal story was getting super dramatic and the growing crisis was reaching a boiling-over-point, I picked up my pen and a half-used journal and started there.
In the last 2 years, as I’ve made a habit of penning my thoughts and feelings and insights and questions (no, not daily- still married, still parenting, still sorting out finances and dealing with stress…fortunately NOT moving, at least not anytime soon!), I’ve found a sense of stability and release and have re-claimed the ability to look at what I’ve written and receive insight on how to manage it. Once it’s on paper, everything is so much less threatening.
And a new journal – ohmygoodnessitsafreshstartanewchapterawholenewworld!
Congratulations if you could read that the first time.
But it’s true, isn’t it?
Something about a blank journal page is so promising and hopeful and exciting! As much as I loved writing in the last one, I couldn’t help but quiver in anticipation as I saw that last page getting closer and closer, knowing that, when I close the back cover of that volume, it’s all history! Sure, I can go back and read and ponder (and I do frequently), but that new volume gets all my creative juices flowing and reminds me that I can write my life however I want to. The last chapter has ended, the new has begun.
It’s a lot like New Year.
And it also reminds me of our Heavenly Father – the grandest Writer and Architect and Composer ever. I am a master of mucking things up (explaining the crisis I found myself in 2 years ago), but He? He is the Author of fresh starts, new chapters, blank pages. That He can walk into a life and re-boot it, wipe away all the mistakes and the wrong turns and the poor decisions and say, “Here’s a new book – try again!” is, by far, a tender mercy beyond compare.
In 1993, I wrote a sonnet. Yes, a sonnet. One of those Shakespearean language nightmares. It was never accepted for publication, but perhaps that was meant to be because now I get to share it. Looking at that new journal, that fresh start, that steppingstone towards greater things, brought it to my memory, and it’s so perfect for this moment:
With pen in hand, I’m poised to make a mark
Upon a brand new page, so clean and white.
The words reflect my thoughts: confused and dark
And jumbled; nothing that I scrawl sounds right.
I dash and scribble, frantically erase
Mistakes that mar the beauty of my piece;
I sweat and toil and gasp for words of grace
And elegance – the struggle does not cease!
The piles of crumpled paper on the floor
Are proof that untried words may have no part;
But patience soon prevails…my eyes, strained sore,
Behold the finished work of priceless art.
The Writer of my life, with no less care
Inscribes in me a text of radiance rare.
God can, and will, rewrite your life. It is His joy to “give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:3).