It’s been nearly a year since the first Life Book Journal went live on Amazon! So much has happened that it feels like I’ve lived a life-time.
That first journal was birthed during one of the hardest seasons of my life where we had to leave the life and ministry we’d built for 18 years overseas in the middle of Europe amidst a family crisis so deep that it felt like my heart was broken in a million pieces.
Invite God Into Your Mess
It seemed like my life was in utter shambles and all I could see were the ruin and rubble left in the aftermath.
So how do you write your best life story in the midst of that?
It’s a question I’ve earnestly sought to answer these last twelve months. God has been gracious to me — so kind and faithful. In my darkest moment, my faith wavered and I was tempted to think if it really mattered that I’d tried to seek God? After all, had I not tumbled out of bed and sat with coffee in hand in the stillness of the early morning hours nearly every day?
Maybe you are in a similar place — where you are experiencing deep grief over loss, over broken relationships or a deep life disappointment. And even if all is well in your private world, the nightly news continually reminds us of the pain, chaos and unrest in our world.
How can we possibly write our best life story in a world where evil and injustice seem to be having a heyday?
If I’ve learned anything in the unraveling of my own little world, it’s that no matter how helpless we feel, we can always invite God into our mess. And invite Him we must — invite the presence of God through His Holy Spirit into our individual worlds and the larger world around us.
And even on days when He feels absent or far away, we can acknowledge His presence because He is true to His promise. He will never leave or forsake us.
Eat Daily From God’s Word
During the dark and hard days when my heart despaired, it seemed nearly impossible to believe that I could do anything to live my best life story. I felt that everything and everyone else was in control of my life, and all I could do was hang on for dear life.
But the practice — the habit of pulling out the journal in the mornings kept me anchored in God’s truth. While I did not feel I was overflowing with faith, on most days I went through the motions of writing down what I was grateful for and re-writing the Scripture verse for the day. Often the truth of the verses I hand-wrote brought comfort and peace. It was just the injection I needed to keep going for one more day.
I read them aloud and repeated them again and again. It was hard to imagine on those days that my life could become better — that happy days would come again. The onslaught of loss seemed to pummel my heart to pieces.
It seemed like the enemy of our souls was laughing in my face — how could my heart be fully alive when it was shred to pieces? When all I could see were the ashes and rubble around me?
I’m so thankful for the friends — dear people of God — who prayed for me and with me during those days. I’m sure it was their prayers that kept me from completely losing it.
And these little journals — as I look back through each one — I can see God’s invisible fingerprint over my life. I did not understand why my life as a missionary had to come to such an abrupt end, but now I’m beginning to see how it really was for our own good. We are still mourning the loss but there’s peace in acceptance.
Write of His Goodness
Someday, when we are further along our healing journey, I want to write the whole story of God’s redemptive power in our lives. In the midst of the trials and unraveling of my life, I found comfort in creating the Life Book Journals. I used to feel guilty that I was taking time to do this for myself but I’m learning that doing life-giving activities that nourish my soul are all part of God’s plan for my life.
This last month, I was able to write down some amazing answers to prayers — ways God is redeeming the years the locust have eaten and the answers continue to pour in. And I’m ever grateful.
Friend, no matter what you are facing today, I pray you will have courage to pick up your pen, or your keyboard and invite God to help you write your best life story one moment, one day at a time. Your one precious life matters to Him.