I WAS DO­ING SOME OR­GA­NI­ZA­TION AND DEEP CLEAN­ING OF MY BE­LONG­INGS. This is the long­est I have ever lived in the same house, and I've ac­cu­mu­lated a lot of things. In the course of this, I came across a box filled with my old jour­nals.

Let me ex­plain. Th­ese weren't jour­nals de­tail­ing events of my life. I made them to write down prayer re­quests and an­swers to prayer, Bi­ble verses I was claim­ing, and most im­por­tantly, per­sonal in­struc­tion I had re­ceived from Je­sus dur­ing my times of med­i­ta­tion that gave me di­rec­tion and helped me make choices. I hadn't opened the jour­nals in years and had in fact al­most tossed them out many times. They were all dif­fer­ent sizes and shapes, and most were barely leg­i­ble, since I am not known for my neat hand­writ­ing.

They were also re­minders of some very chal­leng­ing pe­ri­ods of my life, when a lot of things seemed to be go­ing wrong. When I thought back on those times, I was very grate­ful to have made it through and I didn't even re­ally want to wade through all those old tri­als and emo­tions.

But as I picked up the jour­nals and be­gan to read them, two things hit me over and over. Num­ber one: God has al­ways loved me and looked out for me, even when I was go­ing through the dark­est times in my life. And num­ber two: He has al­ways an­swered my prayers.

As I read through the jour­nals, the dif­fi­cul­ties of the past melted away, and all I saw re­vealed was God's lov­ing care in my life, guid­ing me through very hard paths and de­ci­sions, and help­ing me keep my eyes on Him. Bi­ble verses came alive, and I saw that even if I didn't un­der­stand it at the time, God was an­swer­ing my prayers and help­ing me through. Most of all, I re­al­ized that the faith I have to­day is based on all the lessons I learned dur­ing the most dif­fi­cult times in my life.

If you're go­ing through con­fus­ing or chal­leng­ing times, I rec­om­mend writ­ing down your thoughts. Write down your prayers. Write down the Bi­ble verses you want to claim. Write down the words God gives you in your times of pri­vate prayer and keep them. You may not see your way through right now, but if you hold on to Him and trust His love and prom­ises, He will see you through, and even­tu­ally you will un­der­stand and be grate­ful that you can look back at all He has done.

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