Do you keep a spiritual journal?
On the pages of my journal is where I’m honest with myself about myself – my feelings, foibles, and fears. It’s where I come face-to-face with my wants, my weaknesses, and my wrestlings. Where I record my struggles with life. Where I pour out my mind and my heart as I strive to hear and understand God’s direction. Where I try to make sense of things that just don’t seem to make sense.
Here’s one entry from January 13, 2011. I’d had carpel tunnel surgery a month earlier, which did little to relieve the numbness in my left arm and hand. In fact, my condition worsened. “Inflamed nerve endings” was the diagnosis and the Rx was Tylenol with codeine. I’d never experienced such debilitating pain, and I hope I never do again. An MRI eventually revealed three herniated neck disks, for which I had surgery six months later.
In the midst of the pain, I wrote, “I never thought to pray myself for God to take away the pain and heal me. I’ve asked others to pray – for the neck to heal – but in its time. I don’t expect a miracle. Why? Because I believe that God is in control of my life, and that He has allowed this for a reason. There is a purpose for the pain.”
Then I skipped a space and wrote, “I’m almost 60. My body is slowing down.”
Nine months later, on September 12, I wrote:
“Today I begin my retirement from teaching. I am sad. Teaching is my passion, and I loved teaching at PCS. But I know at this time it’s the right decision. I’m weary in body, mind, and spirit. I must tend to all areas to get my life back in balance and to find renewal, restoration, and healing.
“I’m spending the morning feeding my soul (with reading and prayer). This first week I’m making a personal retreat to have time alone with God, not necessarily seeking His will, but seeking HIM. I will rest my body, which is exhausted. . . . Yes, I have responsibilities and obligations, but my first priority is restoring health in my body, spirit, and mind.”
I confess: I’ve been neglecting my spiritual journal. I’ve let my life get out of balance again.
It’s time to get back to recording my spiritual journey. For I need to pour out my heart to God, let Him help me make sense of the senseless, and come face-to-face with not only myself, but the God who loves me and guides me and is present with me every moment of every day.
You have a journal, too, Lord. It’s called the Bible. May I read it every day because on its pages You pour out Your love for me. Amen.
More tea: Read Psalm 62