I keep a journal. I wish I was a serious writer like some of my friends who write without fail every single night, but I’m not. In fact, I’m not even close. Over the course of my life, I’ve probably filled up five or six journals. In fact, the one that I just ran out of room in was started in February of 2005. It is filled with my musings and life happenings over the past – wow – almost 5 years. So as you can see, I’m not serious but I do write on occasion. Maybe once or twice a month.
It’s been a wonderful delight to go back and read about my feelings while dating, being pregnant, having sibling spats, marital highlights or ministry concerns or special occasions. It’s intriguing to see how God is allowing my journey to unfold and the work He is doing in me in the process.
A few years ago, I started attending a Bible study group through which my relationship with the Lord was revolutionized. My faith was stretched and expectation of God increased. I will never forget the day the study leader encouraged me to write down the things that I was anticipating that God might do in my life over the next year or so. He told me to consider what my hearts desires were and what I thought God was challenging me with and come up with a list of expectations. He said that I shouldn’t write them down as a request but rather as an affirmation statement – as if there were already done.
Here are a couple of things I wrote on February 9, 2005 – the very first page of my latest journaling book.
1. Our ministry is being used by God as a bridge between black and white groups and charismatic and evangelical denominations.
2. We own land that has a pond, huge trees and lots of room for the boys to play and our ministry to grow.
3. Jackson and JC have received Christ as their Savior.
4. My week is filled with hours of uninterrupted study/writing time for me and uninterrupted work time for Jerry.
At the end of my list (which included several other items) I wrote: Do these things Lord . . . or something better. A few days ago, on December 31 when I wrote my final journal entry in this particular book, I was compelled to flip back and read some of what I’d written in past years. When I read this first entry, I was overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude to the Lord. Most of what I’d written, the Lord had done – or something better.
Almost immediately after penning that first page in 2005, GB Ministries began miraculously to be offered opportunities to minister in environments that were a bridge to connect races and denominations. Since that time, we’ve been in more diverse crowds then we ever before. In 2008, we didn’t get the land I had in mind when I journaled, but God has given us something better than what I was originally requested at a fraction of the cost. With my older boys going to school and a mother-in-law who is the most servant minded woman I know, God has given us hours of time to parent well and work well. And most importantly in 2008, both of my oldest sons received Christ as their Savior. AMEN!
What a joy to have written down, in faith, what I expected to see God do – and then go back and be reminded of His faithfulness to me.
I’ve got to start a new journal (I think I’ll do that tonight when the kids go down) and I think I’ll start it the same way I did the last one; with a list – simple prayerful statements affirming my belief in God’s ability to accomplish HUGE things in my life. I can’t wait to read it 5 years from now and stand in awe at the faithfulness of our great God.
What will be on your list?