This morning I filled the last page of this journal. When I finished writing, I felt the urge to flip through it and read some of my past entries. Some pages were very sobering, but I felt a great sense of peace when I closed the book and put it away. This journal represents an incredible journey that I began 10 months ago.
Last May, I blogged about some weeds that Robert and I discovered in our marriage. I am so thankful to write that we have located all of those weeds, and over the last 10 months we have dug them up and have taken numerous steps to make sure they never come back. We have had 41 counseling sessions (some individual and some together) and around 20 meetings with our spiritual care team (a mentor/accountability group made up of 2 amazing couples). The people we are surrounded with have spoken so much truth and healing into our lives. They've prayed with, encouraged, reprimanded, supported, and helped carry us through these difficult 10 months. I am so grateful for them!
We still have a journey ahead us, but I believe we are on the downhill side of this massive mountain. That's why there was such a peace about closing my journal and putting it away. I remember the climb up was filled feelings of despair and hopelessness. I remember when I reached my point of powerlessness and handed it all over to God. This journal represents his power, healing, loyalty, and love. I have no doubts about the rest of this journey because I know he is with me. I have truly learned to trust him, to put my mind at rest and know that he is ordering my steps...even when I can't see in front of me.
I wrote this morning that closing this journal felt like closing one chapter of my life and starting a new one. I had hoped that the beginning of 2012 would have started my new chapter, but I never felt like the old one was quite closed. I wrestled with the fact that I didn't feel comfortable finding a name, scripture and resolution for this new year. But now that this journal is finished, I feel like I'm ready to take that step.
Here is an excerpt of what I wrote about 2011 (full blog post here):
I wrote down that this year my goal would be to learn how to truly trust God. To completely surrender to him. To put my complete hope in him and his ways. I wrote goals down of becoming more supportive, selfless and patient with my family and goals of learning self-control and perseverance.
I even gave this year a few scripture verses to encourage me on my journey. Job 13:15 - God might kill me, but I have no other hope. Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God is with you, the mighty Warrior who saves, he will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.
It's exciting to look back and see that I have learned how to truly trust God and to completely surrender to him. I've learned to hope in him. The 3 verses I chose were a constant strength to me last year. It's nice closing that chapter and knowing how far I've come.
I'm ready to focus on what this year will hold. How will I grow in my relationship with the Lord and with my family? What will I learn about myself? Who will I be and what will I have accomplished when this year is over? Things to ponder and pray about.
I'm going to use this place as a place of accountability to help me make the time to pray about this new chapter and what name and verse it should have. Maybe next week I can write about that...