Just a little something from my journal this week….
I don’t know how to describe my heart this morning. Words like desperate, dry, empty, aching seem close to sufficient. I have felt so prone to depression lately, so easily sent into a spiral of despair and hopelessness. And that’s probably because the happiness I had was so temporary, fleeting, and dependent on circumstances. I wasn’t living in the joy of my salvation — the lasting joy. The kind that surpasses circumstance and understanding. The kind that, for whatever reason, God wants me to have, daily.
I took the day off of work and went for a drive toward the lake. Some Casting Crowns songs that hit me hard on my journey: “Just Be Held,” “Follow Me,” and most of all, “This is Now.” God spoke to me in these songs, and then He spoke to me again in my journal reading.
At first I felt bad for reading my old journal rather than His word, choosing yet another excuse to postpone opening that Book, but my journal is full of words from God, and He wanted to show me a few things. Number one, how far I’ve come. That I feel closer to Him and more developed in my spiritual walk, that I have grown in so many areas in which I used to desperately pray for growth, and that many of my heartfelt, passionate, in-the-moment promises I’ve made to Him about changing my life, I’ve actually kept. Or at least tried to keep.
Secondly, He reminded me of times in the past in which I’ve been in the exact same situation as I was in today. Times of desperation and spiritual desolation. And more importantly, how I got through those times. The answer, as has been proven time and time again in my past, is more time with God. That solves everything. And now I’m not just saying that because some voice in my head is repeating the words like a repetitive expression or an old wives’ tale. I know it’s true because I have written documentation that it’s worked in my past.
See, this is why history is so important: we’re too forgetful. We fall into the same traps over and over, and we forget how we got out of them the first, second, and fifth times. Which is a revelation that led to another important lesson: the value of journaling. It’s good to read the Word of God, but it’s also good to remember what’s He’s done in your life and what lessons He’s taught you. Because our God is a personal God, not just some far-off “being” depicted in an ancient book. That Book is alive, and my God is alive. And I know He was with me, today.
So that feeling of desperation takes on a new light now. It’s funny how time and experience can change the filter of a memory. Desperation is a blessing, not a curse. It’s a gift that reveals our missing pieces. The puzzle was already incomplete; desperation was just the pair of glasses that allowed me to see why my picture felt so empty. It gave me the fuel and motivation to seek a solution, to chase after the missing pieces. To “turn to what is good” and to “pursue peace.”
Ignorance is not bliss — desperation is.