Each of us is on a journey.
Most of the time we don’t know exactly where we’re headed and even if we do, we’re often unsure of how to get there. We often feel lost, lonely, and labeled. Discouraged, disqualified, and disappointed. Worried, weary, and winey. We suffer sadness, setbacks, and sabotage.
Yet we keep going despite uncertainty. Falling forward. Learning and leaning in, hurting and healing. Holding steady through storms. Yanking back the clouds to eagerly absorb the sun-soaked, brilliant moments.
Our lives, our journeys, are composed of both the breathtaking and the breaking.
Since becoming a Christ-follower at age 18, I have kept a prayer journal to scribe such travels. The pages have provided me with a secondary outlet to pour out prayers alongside my spoken utterances.
As the years have unfolded, the journal pages provide proof of God’s handiwork, documentation of God’s faithfulness in my life, and in the lives of others, and provide a tangible way to see the countless occasions God has answered prayers.
Even when circumstances seemed utterly hopeless, and when his seeming silence was bewildering, God was still there. Scanning the pages, I see that the no’s were merely delayed yes’s—a hold-out for his best when I would have happily settled for good.
The written wrestlings within these pages—sometimes through tears, often amid doubts and questions as I struggled to know God and understand his ways—don’t declare me faithless or damaged. Rather, they offer assurance that I am a beloved child of God attempting to understand her Father’s ways, to grow closer to him, and to trust and love him more deeply. Thanksgiving prayers soak the pages too, recording the times I’ve been surprised and delighted with the extravagant love of God.
For the next few weeks, I’ve decided to share some entries from my prayer journal in hopes the sentiments may offer solidarity, reverberate inside your own heart, provide a way to express some of your own pleas and desires, and kindle hope. I’m calling this series, The Journal Journeys, and I hope you will enjoy traveling through the pages with me.
I’m certain that reading these prayers aloud will be a vulnerable, intimate, and emotional experience. But I’m hoping they will offer a measure of comfort and encouragement if you are grappling as hard as I am to lay hold of hope and process faith in your journey with God.
The first excerpt I have chosen refers to a season of struggle in our life but seems appropriate to begin with as it speaks to our current situation with COVID-19. You can watch the video or read the entry below. At the bottom of this page, I have included a song for you to meditate on. So looking forward to journeying with you!
January 5, 2016
We have been greatly helped by you. You have not forgotten us. You have made the impossible possible, and have brought us through the hardship of this very difficult time.
We have not been privy to an explanation as to why. No understanding as to what to do next. No future knowledge except to live each day at a time, one foot in front of the other, moment by moment.
“You have also given me the shield of your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great. You enlarged my path under me, so my feet did not slip.” Psalm 18:35-36
I like the verse above because not only have you saved me, but it shows your continued help in my life. Through great disappointment and disillusionment, your right hand has held me up. You dealt gently with me.
When the way was dangerous, like a precipitous path, you enlarged the path under me so my feet did not slip. You kept me safe. You didn’t whisk me off the path. No, I still had to pass through, but you made a way—you made it possible to pass through.
And maybe we have passed through now. Maybe we are just coming out on the other side. I can’t pretend to have much of a clue what you are doing, but I feel as though a change may come.
So now, because you tell us to ask (Matthew 7:7), I ask you to help us—as you have continued to do—to find our way. Help us to be wise, to know what to do, to make wise choices.
Your will be done,