September 17, 2013

Jesus-Journeys and Jesus-Journals

    So today I was feeling finally caught up, after supper, ready to chill with 'ill sis while cleaning my room. (I was in the mood for cleaning, okay?) Life seemed finally to have slowed to a reasonable pace. 
    What seemed to be true was a gorgeous, sweet-comfy deception. 
    Literally the moment I crossed into my room to get ahead of the messy monster looming, time slipped from under my feet, turbo speed. I hadn't written a blog post for y'all yet... a Tuesday type of happy-obligation! With 45 minutes until my self-declared bedtime, I'll do my best to give you some short and sweet Jesus stuff. :P
    What have I been learning lately? Let's see... well, after signing up as a youth leader for my church's youth group, I've been warming up to the promise I made to spend 15 minutes each day reading God's word and at least that much time praying. See, previously I had been spending approximately 15-20 minutes with God each morning, so this felt like a huge step. 15 minutes, praying? I knew it was a good thing, but a whole half hour is a big chunk carved out of my morning when I typically leave for work at 7:05. Sigh. 
    But there is this awesome thing called a Jesus-journal (...that is my new name for my previously unnamed battered notebook with writing on both sides of the pages) where I've recorded God moments, high sounding dreams, dark secrets, unknown struggles, and many a conversation with my Lord. So I decided to try writing in it for 15 minutes instead of trying to pray in my head for that long... and it worked!!!!!

    Let me tell you, that journal is going to be one of my treasured possessions when I'm old and gray. I love it already, and reading back in it is an awesome experience. 
    I'd actually started that journal when I was 11, and one side of most of the pages are filled with my younger-years scrawl depicting everyday life as I lived it, and also (to my complete chagrin) way too many references to a certain guy I liked. Yikes. Girls, don't moon over boys in writing. If there is any indication you might not marry the subject of your daydreams, don't dream about them in writing. It's bad enough to fill your head with useless thoughts, but to have them in permanent record is torture in later years. ;) 

    Now, where was I? Oh, yes, the journal. When I stopped writing in it about my girlish life and boys, it got shoved in some drawer for a few years. When I finally resurrected it and delved once more into its mysterious contents, I actually tore out one of the pages to throw away the evidence of my silly boy-dreams. But then I decided that my past was what it was - and that by tossing the pages I would be losing both my shameful secrets and also my sweet ones. So I kept the journal. 

   I turned it over and started afresh from the back - on the flip sides of the pages - and now I'm in the ironic place of writing my sweet Jesus-secrets on the very same pages I'd recorded what is now my shame. 

    I think the Christian life is a lot like that, actually. We all have a past, and some of it is ugly. But if you have accepted Christ into your heart, the Bible says that you are a new creation! The old - it's gone, and the new has come! 
    When you become a Christian, the notebook of your life does a 180. God totally forgives your past and presents you with a whole new slate of future to fill with beautiful Jesus moments! 
    Although God sees His redeemed child as white and pure, we humans tend to reach back to our past, remembering things that bring guilt and shame. Friends, God will never flip your life-journal back over! God wants to live this new life with you as though you had never sinned. Guilt is from the enemy, 100%. Since we are humans, we rember our past. Unlike God, we are fully capable of mulling over what "should have been". And let me tell you, Satan is all over that fact! Satan will flip your life-journal back over and underline your past failures as long as you let him. 
    Let me ask you this: has guilt ever fulfilled you? Have you ever become satisfied from mulling over sins of the past? 
    The sweet Jesus-journey doesn't work like that, friends! 

    When Satan wrestles your journal from your hands and flips it to the past, swing your sword, squeeze your eyes tight, and speak truth. God's word-truth is powerful, a double edged sword! Here Satan, try this on for size: "But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13b-14) 
    Did you catch that? Forget what is behind, sisters! God called you to a sweet Jesus-journey. Strain forward to reach that prize! 


  1. I admire you for being able to write in a journal consistently. I have tried, but the longest I have ever done (every other day) is a couple weeks :)

    1. I think it (writing consistently) has a lot to do with how my brain works. Writing helps me think, so I do it a lot. :)

  2. Wow! I really needed to hear this! :') Thank you Ariel! ^_^ ~Bethy<3

    1. So glad to hear God is using my writing!

  3. What certain boy? JK! I love this... I need to try this Jesus Journal out!

    1. I think you'd be surprised... about both things. :P I love my Jesus Journal!


This blog is for you! Please get all you can out of it by asking questions and giving me your opinions! Let me know how God is working in your lives. If you post a prayer request, I will pray for you!