In the process of unpacking and setting up my office, I came across a collection of my old journals. I have journaled on and off for nearly 20 years now, so I took some time to read through some of my previous writing. Here’s what I discovered:
- Fond memories were refreshed and I smiled as I remembered significant people, places and events in my life.
- Some of the things that seemed so pressing, difficult and painful at the time are now just small footnotes in my story. Time does indeed heal many wounds.
- On the other hand, there are several issues and growth areas that have surfaced repeatedly over the years. I guess at least I’m consistent. :- But it was enlightening to realize and identify these patterns of behavior.
- On the subject of patterns, it was also encouraging to see positive patterns and themes over the years that have clarified and solidified my personal identity and calling. For example, back in 1994 I had no idea that some early leadership experiences at the camp where I worked would shape the course of my ministry and Ph.D. studies nearly two decades later.
- Some of the people mentioned in my entries are no longer a part of my life, for a variety of reasons; others are some of my most trusted friends today. All, however, have shaped me during our season on the same path.
- Through all my reading, I felt a deep gratitude for God’s grace and guidance over the years. He has remained faithful, just as He promised.
When’s the last time you took a look back via a journal or other reflection?