Last night I went on a de-cluttering spree in my bedroom. It was time.
Make-up bag overflowing, clothes poking out of overly stuffed drawers, and the papers, oh the papers…..
I believe a bedroom should be a place that says “Here is where you can relax, drifting away peacefully into sweet slumber and rest.”
The last few months my bedroom has been saying “Here is where you can drop another arm load of stuff from the living room because company is coming over.”
(Don’t judge, I know I’m not the only one…)
Trash bag in hand, I began to go through the mountains of STUFF.
It was time to throw away the broken, outdated, no-real-reason-to-keep-it STUFF.
Old make up – tossed. Old lotions – tossed. Old pair of shoes with a hole in them – tossed. And the papers, so many papers – TOSSED.
Then I came to the drawer that held my journals.
All through middle and high school I wrote in my journals. Sometimes meticulously recording events to preserve the memory. Mostly allowing whatever emotion I was feeling to fill the pages. More than once I found myself in trouble because of this.
A teacher I was close too during one of those “troubling times” when someone else read my journal and the ensuing teenage drama followed, said to me “Never write anything down that you don’t want someone else to read“.
I didn’t learn the lesson.
Eventually my journals were taken from me, misrepresented, and then thrown away. In my hurt and anger over the situation, I bought a stack of blank journals, determined to keep writing MY way, without any remorse for the hurt or pain my words may have caused others.
The thing is, I’m not the same person anymore.
Last night as I sat and read through these journals, I was both convicted and astonished. Convicted because of the words I had written. Astonished because it was a clear picture of just how lost I was.
Earlier this week I read Romans 12, and it’s been lingering in the back of my mind.
Romans 12:6-8 : “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
As I thumbed through painful memories and emotionally focused writing, I had to ask myself WHY. Why was I holding onto this broken, outdated, no-real-reason-to-keep-it life? Then as I found myself questioning that, I felt the Holy Spirit whispering to my soul this…
Writing is a gift, it doesn’t belong to you, it was gifted to you by The One who Loves You Most. Use your Gift Well in This New Life you now have In Christ Jesus.
I didn’t throw the journals away.
Instead, I went to my husband. The only person in the whole world who knows where I keep my journals, and who has for five years respected my request that he not read them. I asked him to burn them. When he asked me if I was sure, I took a breath, looked at them, and then looked at him, and told him I was absolutely sure. I was ready to let go of my life before him, the hurt, the anger, the rebellion, the person I no longer was.
I was letting go of that old life, to fully embrace THIS life. This life with my Savior, with my husband, with family and friends.
The only journal I kept was the one I started after my husband and I married. I kept it so I can journal with purpose.
To write Truths when my emotions try to dominate me.
To write praises of thankfulness for things the Lord is doing in my life and in the lives of those I love.
So that the next time I sit down and look through my “journals” – they will be pages of purpose – pointing back to a Glorious Life Giving Savior.
So that the next time someone wants to pick up my journals and read through them, what they will find will be something that has purpose.
Never write anything down that you don’t want someone else to read.
I think I’ve got it now.
29Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.