I had an idea last week. It began with a very bad day. I was feeling rather pointless, and looking for comfort, I pulled all my folded clothes off their shelf in the closet and into a heap on the floor. Reaching through the now-empty space, I retrieved a journal from a haphazard pile of notebooks lining the wall. (Hey, when you live in a teeny studio, you learn to double-up on shelves!) The journal I happened to fish out was from 5th/6th grade. What I read cheered me immensely.
Like this entry, for example.
I found this entry particularly hilarious because of the juxtaposition of the pressures of 6th grade with the current problems in my life. My husband and I have been married for two and a half months, but we haven’t been able to enjoy it the way we had dreamed we would. Twenty-five days after our wedding, Anthony was hit by an SUV while he was commuting home from work on his bicycle. We are truly SO thankful to God that his injuries weren’t more serious, but still his right knee suffered three torn ligaments. He has spent the better part of the last month and a half in bed and in a terrible amount of pain and discomfort. And he is far from healed. Although this time hasn’t been without it’s blessings, it has been really challenging for our new marriage.
Hence the pile of clothes on our floor. And a cup of tea while delving into problems of the past that I successfully survived. Reading that journal, I was amused, embarrassed, challenged, thoughtful, nostalgic…. And I found myself not wanting to let that honest and innocent little girl down. She seemed to have all the same emotions that I have now, but she didn’t feel like her life was over, like the problems would overtake her. She still proclaimed her goals and dreams, never doubting they would happen. I felt a good degree of shame at the thought of her hearing my thoughts earlier that day.
I think there is great value at looking back on the written records of our lives, in all its raw and unglamorous detail. We see where we’ve been and gain insight to the present. Sometimes we even find a little comfort and reason to laugh.