Night nestles around my home. Day has finally given up its light to make room for the stars and the moon. The sounds of the city settling are drowned out by silence, and peace descends as I ready for sleep.
Slipping into bed, I pull out my leather diary and open it, laying it on the comforter. I stare at it, willing myself to find words to write. Frowning, I realize I’m blank. I can’t come up with anything. I had hoped this night would be different…
A sudden noise from the kitchen alerts me that the towels left in the dryer are now dry.
I get up, leaving the warmth of my bed, and travel to the kitchen in the dark. I slowly gather the towels out of the dryer and put them on the kitchen table for the next morning. Dog whines from her crate in the dining room, asking quietly for one last bit of attention. I whisper “good-night” to her, before walking back to my lamp-lit bedroom.
I come to stand next to my bed. My blank diary pages look up at me sadly. Empty. Asking, no, begging for words. To be written in. It’s the same request every time.
Unexpected anger is my response this time. I don’t have the words! This is why I don’t do diaries! They take up time I don’t have, and I have no idea what to put down! It’s all so stupid!
I sit down on my bed and scowl at the book. Having a diary seemed like a good idea a long time ago. Yes, I wrote every once in awhile, but it was mainly small smatterings of notes to myself. The intimate parts of my existence rarely made it onto pages, so why should I bother?
It was such a shame that only the careless facts, the every-day drudgery, the un-painful and un-challenging, ever made it to ink.
Looking back on all the great things God has done in my life, all that He’s accomplished in me, I can see a mountain of stories and hope. Yet, all that is recorded for my future children to read is a tiny fraction of that mountain. Hardly anything, at all.
If I like writing so much, why can’t I find time to record what’s important? The history of me? The history of God’s work in me? Of us?
If only I wanted to. If only I’d desire for the history to be kept. The pages might be filled. Instead, the pages beg.
I avert my eyes from the book, mad at myself, guilty tears forming.
Then I remember.
God isn’t mad.
He understands me better than I do.
He knows that my habit is to remove pages from my mind before they are ever recorded in a book. He knows that I am flighty, wishing to live more and pause less. He has worked with me for years to bring a new perspective to my past, so that I’m not afraid to look at it… So that I don’t keep pressing forward, forgetting the past, page by page.
The pages that I remove are not lost by God. Not even for a moment.
Every time I choose to forget and move on, He catches the page. He holds onto it. With a knowing smile, He files them away for me. Always encouraging me not to give up. Ever whispering that in my surrender to Him, He will help.
It’ll be okay. I love you.
I take a breath, slowly closing the diary, rubbing my fingers on its soft leather exterior.
Pages removed are never lost. Such a mystery.
I don’t even know how He does it. Do I even have to?
I don’t want to be the culprit of removing pages anymore, God.
Please, help me.
Thank you. I’ve been worrying over missing pages … stories of God’s work in my life that I simply don’t remember. This truly helped me … God does keep them, doesn’t he? If he captures my tears in a bottle … then surely he keeps the story they hold as well.
Karenee , that is an awesome reply. I couldn’t have said it better.
@d170947d19bfdb3f9d01ca1ce865cb5c:disqus That was so gently said… I’m grateful for your words. Psalm 139:16 for both of us.
I wish I could read my father’s diaries. It might give me a broader picture of the past.
@7da0209ee7e991bdfdedea6f5bda696d:disqus Amen. I sure do wish my father kept had kept a diary. His stories aren’t too bad, though… (;
God asked me to journal years ago. I would be faithful for a couple of weeks and then would find the journal 2 years later. Oops, again. It gives me GREAT comfort to realize that He has a record of how He has worked in my life and I’m sure He can bring it to my rememberance when it is important. Thank you for that Peace, it wasn’t there before I read your article.