I'm trying to write more.
(Have I said this before? Have I written a post just like this before? I feel like I have, but, since I write here mostly for my own therapeutic purposes, I'm not going to take the time to go check my previous posts to find out.
So to get back to this post...)
Actually, I write almost every day. I just don't write here. Do any of you keep a journal, with actual paper and pen or pencil? Maybe you throw in some stickers and combine it into an art journal? I have one of those too (no stickers, but lots of ink and pencil and oil pastels), but my "journal" journal is just words.
Yes, I call it my journal journal, but usually only in my head.
It is the best form of therapy.
On Friday, my husband and father-in-law cleared all the many, MANY boxes out of our study, which we are likely converting to a bedroom. My mother-in-law then did some much needed organizing of the school cabinet and craft supplies, and that left me with a gazillion boxes of books to sort. Let's just say, I still have half a gazillion left to sort. Have we really read all.those.books?
I think not.
The point in telling you about the major clean-up is to say that, in the midst of all those boxes, I found three of my old journals, the most recent three, other than the one in which I am currently writing and one other that I finished filling last spring. I'm trying to gather all these journals into my Lane cedar chest. We're talking years of journals. As I find them, they're going there.
But for what purpose?
I was reading some of my words (and there are A LOT of words in these journals), and I started to think about the purpose in writing them. I began this journaling adventure at age 12 when my Great Aunt Ruby gave me my first little diary as a Christmas gift. It was a small book, but I was new at this, so it took me ages to fill it. By mid-high school, I was filling journals a little quicker, though I have taken several, random hiatuses over the years, especially in college and in the early baby years. Now, however, I have consistently written for years and years.
Initially, the words were just adolescent meanderings on the page. When I find those early volumes, I will likely cringe at my girlish ridiculousness and laugh at myself and my antics. I have a friend that told me her journals are filled with boy craziness. I was never boy crazy. I was more like, obsessively and secretly devoted to one boy for years. And years. I switched to a new boy a couple times, but, still, I was fully devoted to the boy. That could be fun to read.
So I have these volumes of journals. The other night, I couldn't resist reading through the fall of 2012 into the winter months. I'm sure this is because I am sadistic or enjoy torturing myself. Wow, how those months hurt. They still hurt. That said, do you know how much JOY is in there? In the midst of all that sorrow? Verse after verse of joy, hope, encouragement, entire passages of scripture that got me through it, moments of sunshine in the midst of the greatest sadness I have ever experienced.
And that's why I write. I will always have a reference for my journey, raw descriptions that are so private and personal that only my eyes will see them while I am on this earth.
But there's the other purpose that I've only recently discovered. When I was sorting my parents belongings two years ago, every item that was personally written by Mom or Dad was a treasure. Love letters written by Dad during their dating season, lists of Mom's favorite things, and even little grocery lists spoke of who they were. My favorites were the brief notes written into their Bibles. I didn't even know Mom did that until after she passed.
I write for the future. Some day, maybe someone will want to read my words, though, as I said, there are so many that I doubt they ever read them all. What I want them to see on those overflowing pages is love. Love for Christ, love for family, love for people. Beyond that, my journey is real, and there have been some heartwrenching moments and some beautiful moments, and sometimes those two collide and become the most intense, precious moments of life. That's what I want them to see. Hope always exists.
Hope always exists.
They will also see my lack of trust, my lack of faith, my lack of joy. But that's authentic, isn't it?
Some day, someone will read my words. I will be gone, but this piece of me will be left. I don't pretend to believe that my journals will be around for generations, but I do hope they help my own children through something, and maybe my grandchildren. Maybe that's hoping too much, but I know how much it has helped me to read my own parents' words in an even less formal form.
I think I'll wrap this up and go spend some time with Jesus and maybe fill another page or two. Blessings to you, reader! Go write something that someone might treasure!