Monday, January 28, 2008

Before I left for Puerto Vallarta, I got rid of some journals.

On my mind, HEAVY on my mind, have been the journals I kept from 1999 to 2004.
My fear has been that if I were to die unexpectedly, someone would have to go through the boxes in my closet and find these journals.
And these ...
And the other 20 that I tossed before taking their photos.
Those were confusing years, and I wrote down EVERYTHING that was on my heart. Everything. Too many things. About too many people.
I got rid of what I thought was all of them during the night before I left for Mexico. But this afternoon, when cleaning out the other boxes in my closet, I found all of these as well.
Holey Hannah, did I have to write down each thought in such detail?
I picked up a random journal and read a random entry and whoooosh, I was right back there. All it took was one sentence and voila, I was back in June 2000 undecided about where to live after Mark and I sold our home.
Or back to October 2000 and sick about our church closing.
Or Aug 25, 2002 when God closed a door that I wanted to walk through very very badly.
Every hope, hurt, prayer, dream and fantasy were meticuously recorded in those journals. And, whew, as of today, they are gone.
Today in church, the guest speaker started his sermon by saying that we all had a story, that God was in the process of writing our stories...
And when I kept those journals, THAT was my motivation. I had this idea that I was in the middle of this great happily-ever-after story that God was writing about my life, and it was all so awesome, so unexpected, so redeeming after my marriage ended that I wanted to savor every detail in it. I kept track of every prayer request, and every answer. I recorded conversations, scripture passages, song lyrics ...
I lived in a wondrous state of anticipation, excited to see how it was going to play out. I thought I had a hunch... a Disney finale sort of ending ... and it was going to be grand.
Even though the books are gone, I recall that first entry, back in December 99. Mark had been gone one year, and I had this joyous stirring in my heart that caused tiny Sprite bubbles to burst in my soul, "God? Is this from You? Have You placed this longing in my heart? Because it seems impossible. But You deal in the impossible, don't You? You make the unfathomable happen. I just need to trust that You have a plan, and that it's a good one. But, are You sure I'm the right one? I can't imagine how this will all work out, and I'm a little scared, but oh! It seems too good to be true. I feel like a 16 year old again, all excited and giggly and happy."
Well, it DID seem unlikely and impossible.
And it never did happen.
And when God clearly said, 'No', I was devastated. Oh yes I was.
For two years after that I wrote about pain. Long, morose, dark entries about a broken heart and dashed dreams.
Eventually the dark cloud lifted and by then I had stopped journalling. I was tired of the content.
But I hung on to the library of my thoughts, because somewhere in a tiny little corner of my heart, I thought maybe, just maybe, things would have worked out like I dreamed they would, and I could say, 'see, look here. I wrote about this back in 2001. God heard my heart's cry and answered by allowing this happen.'
Things are not going to work out like I thought they would. And I said a final goodbye to those dreams this weekend.
A huge weight off my back. Gone.
Also in my closet were papers.
During our final months of living together we communicated via the written word.
I found the manuscript of our marriage's demise in those papers.
My hurt feelings, his response, my accusations, his defence, my ultimatum, his suggestion. Everything. We wrote it all down.
Oh my goodness.
Who wants to read that? I sure don't want our kids looking those sheets over. Can you imagine?
So, today, those papers were tossed too.

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