I came to the end of another journal today. I've kept a journal since I was 9, and I still have all my journals from age 13 on.
Looking back is hard. And some of the reason it's hard is pride. It's flat out embarrassing looking back at some of the things I thought, wrote and did. I look back and know for sure, my God is so merciful and patient and faithful to me, though I have been a liar, a thief, a gossip, sexually immoral, quick to trade Jesus in for a man who would make me feel good, and much more. I've been a coward and a complainer, but Christ has been to me the God-Man, drawing a line in the sand, lifting my head, withholding his right to condemn me, and making me want to go and sin no more!
I'm tired of fighting sin! I long for the day when my thoughts aren't a battle from the moment I open my eyes and depression doesn't suck me in like a black hole. But, by the grace of God, I'll keep fighting the good fight of faith in Christ.
There are so many hurts from the past. Oh, that I would see with eyes of faith; that I would see God's promises kept and Christ's beauty forged in the fires of my life and the aroma of His goodness emanating from my brokenness. Yet, I find at 39, at the end of another journal (one that started as a determination to keep the promise of my youth in marriage and to pray for my husband), that I am a smoldering flame where I thought there was fire. I am a bruised reed when I thought I was a pillar.
And I lift my trembling hands and bend my weak knees and cry out tired prayers and rest all my hope on the One who doesn't put out irritating smoky embers like me or crush cowardly broken reeds like the one I find I am after life's trials thus far.
I wanted to be a "woman of valor", but peering past the obviousness of the condition I find myself in, I see my Lord stirring a flame and splinting what's broken, and a long way off, I catch a glimpse of what I long for: to see Him face to face, and to be made like him, finally fully redeemed.
So I press on. Looking back so I can recall His faithfulness despite my folly, but then forgetting what's behind, because He's given me today. And it's a long obedience in the same direction with the promise that He who began a good work in me, will be faithful to complete it compelling me to put one foot in front of the other.
A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth. -Isaiah 42:3