As a young girl, I always kept a journal. I think it started when I was 8 years old and continued on through college. At first it was a ‘Dear Diary’ format with the little gold lock on the side. It later evolved to free-flow thoughts and prayer journaling. Once I was married, and in a house of my own, my mom brought over a box full of what must have held 20 handwritten journals. Most details of my childhood and young-adult life captured inside these tethered pages. I stowed them away for over 10 years until a few months ago, when we were cleaning out the garage, and my OCD’ness took over momentarily and I threw every one of them in the big, black trash can. I’ll never read these again, I thought. I lived that life, I know what happened, and when will I ever have time to re-read all this stuff?
I haven’t thought much about those journals since.. that is until I found one lonesome journal in my closet recently. It was dated September 1995- March 1996 which is when I would have been attending the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. I had left home for the first time ever. New faces, new school, new town. I haven’t opened those pages in a long, long time. Perhaps, ever. Reading through them tonight, my prayers specifically, it was evident that not only God listens, but He also delivers. I’ve always known this but reading some of the specific prayers I wrote and knowing where I am today made the hairs on my neck stand up.
Most of this particular lone journal were ramblings about my 18 year-old self trying to make sense of a new environment, missing home, wondering when a particular so-and-so would call again, weighing the pros and cons of transferring home to Florida State University, and asking God for a sign.
I am reminded of God’s grace that is absolutely undeniable as I re-read some my prayers from that time.
“…I’m glad so-and-so called, but at the same time that doesn’t help me. I am getting my life back together. I’m working out, running, going to church, working in school, haven’t drank in I don’t know how long. For once I don’t have to worry about anybody but myself. Then God will allow His plan for me. I feel like something good is about to happen. The Lord has not forgotten me, I’m sure.”
“Please help me decide about where you want me next year. Let it seem clear where I should be. Let my friends here understand and not be hurt.”
12 months later I came home for Christmas break, and the night before I was to head back to the University of Alabama for spring semester, I decided to transfer home. Just like that- I hadn’t enrolled at FSU, I had an apartment leased in Alabama, I was already enrolled in classes, sorority dues paid. God always has the ultimate blue prints. Six weeks later, my dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. God does listen, indeed, and watching His plan unfold, in hind sight, is nothing short of miraculous.
It was a nice reminder that God was there, is here now, and will always be.
As a side note, I took my friends Hope and Catherine to a psychic, Sister Faye, while they were here in Feb 1996. Sister Faye told me then that I would meet a dark haired, olive skinned, good looking guy in the next year. There would be some type of object between us, possibly a desk. Incidentally, I met Mike later that year and he delivered a glass coffee table to my parent’s house, since he worked for the furniture store as a delivery boy. That same glass coffee table now sits in our living room.