Because I'm writing about my perspective of what was happening in Borger, TX when Andy was held hostage in Budapest for his book, I had to dig out my journal from 1998 to confirm details. And because I went to the trouble of digging it out, I decided to read the rest of that journal. I'm so thankful I journal. It gives such great insight into what God is doing and has done in your life.
When I journal, I write down all of my thoughts. There's very little I leave out. I can only think of a few times when I didn't journal what was happening (or what I was feeling) for fear that person might read my journal some time and be hurt by it. So I journal everything for the most part. But I also listen for the voice of God. And I write down His part of our conversation. Do I always hear Him? No. Do I always correctly hear Him? No. But as I read this journal this week, I was awed by some of the things He'd told me. I was also surprised by some of the things that were going through my head at the time. But through it all, the thing that amazed me the most was seeing the beautiful picture of God's grace in my life.
I'd like to explain. This is painfully honest. But I want to make myself vulnerable in hopes someone who doesn't already journal will be inspired to do so.
This is from June 23, 1998. "Today God revealed the stronghold of rejection in my life. It began with thinking on comments made by some people about my gift of prophecy or my desire to lead--in a negative manner. It hurt. I felt rejected by them. Then wave after wave of memory came back of past rejections...(I list people here) I also felt rejected by God because He didn't give to me. Then I began rejecting others before I was rejected--or as I saw signs of rejection."
From August 26, 1998. "What do you want, Becky? First, I want to be focused on you. And I want to love (and not judge) my neighbor. I want to speak and hold audiences captive with Truth! I want to open doors to the abundant, free life! I want to pray and I want to do light counseling. God, why has my mind been so screwed up? After I wrote what I wanted, I felt like it was invalid--like I didn't deserve, shouldn't desire what I wanted. Like it was too fun and not hard enough work. Like I should be scrubbing, sorting, cleaning and doing laborious counseling. What's wrong with this?
Nothing's wrong. You've never accepted your desires as My desires for your life. Becky, I want to loose you to become who I created you to become. I didn't create you to be a behind-the-scenes person. I created you to be out front and vocal. I created you to speak with authority. You and I know you're not afraid of or resist hard, dirty work. But you're a mouth...not a hand, ok? You were trying to prove your love to Me. You thought by doing hard, dirty work you would please me. Cinderella, I want you to rise out of the ashes and come to the ball with Me!"
Fast forward to 2012. I look back over the past 5 1/2 years of being the director of Living Water and see the mind-transforming, life-changing work God has done through this position! God has metamorphosized me. I became comfortable with the gifts He's given me. I've embraced my gift of prophecy, my leadership skills, and my ability to speak with authority. I've stepped up and out. In fact, I hardly recognize the Becky of 1998. And I wouldn't have even been so aware of the transformation if I hadn't stepped back in time through my journal. I was also very touched by the graciousness of God. I was making so many mistakes and walking in so much fear. But God didn't condemn me. He kept speaking to me lovingly and encouraging me to embrace who He'd created me to be.
If you don't journal...man, I encourage you to! And if you don't listen for God's voice, start. You'll be amazed.