As 2010 comes to a close and 2011 begins, I have done a lot of reflecting over this past year. 2010 has been a very significant time in my life, from finishing college to beginning a career and to all the hardships in between. This year has been very rough and challenging for me spiritually. I had more down days and discouragement than I had ever experienced in my entire life. I went through many trials and tests from the Lord, and through it all I’ve come to appreciate and love this year more than ever. Although I know this year was absolutely rotten with all my spiritual struggles, each one helped strengthen and deepen my relationship with the Lord. I don’t regret going through all those trials to be where I am at today. The outcome has certainly outweighed the hardships and made this a wonderful year, because I have seen God working in my life for the best. I was able to take a look at my life around this time last year and see how spiritually dry I was to where I am now- significantly refreshed and doing much better, although I continuously need work in lots of areas of my life. As I thought about all the wonderful and trying events throughout this year, I realized that I would not have remembered half of the things that occurred had I not written them down in my spiritual journal. I would not have been able to see how far I’ve come from one year to the next had I not specifically stored it somewhere outside of my brain.
I can remember last year, when I worked at a Christian bookstore, when an older gentleman came up to me and asked what the purpose of a journal was. I explained to him the purpose of a journal, but I also included my way of using a journal- to write down significant spiritual times in my life such as answered prayer. I started a spiritual journal, because I had been so awed by God’s work in my life that I never wanted to forget it, should my memory fail me. It has helped give me a continuous attitude of thanks for His loving-kindness, no matter what. My spiritual journal has been an invaluable tool in my life as I am able to recollect the Lord’s goodness in all the awful situations when I turn to the latter pages and see how He made all things well in the end. I would challenge you to consider doing the same thing as the year 2011 soon approaches.