As I came to the end of my fifth prayer diary of 2019/2020 and placed it on my shelf, it struck me how having a diary over the years has been an important part of living out my faith.
At the beginning of my recently completed diary was the word JOY written in big letters. I started it in the middle of August last year and as I flicked back through I realised that they were only snapshot of all the prayers that I have in fact prayed over the year. This was a record of my struggles and triumphs, my highs and lows and through it all I could see God’s grace, mercy and love run through it all. What also struck me was the intimacy. It is truly a diary, my innermost worries and anxieties laid bare, circumstances prayed over that I actually would not necessarily share with some one else.
I didn’t write in it every day, but it has been an invaluable tool, when I feel my mind is racing out of control, or when my emotions are high, or simply when I want to give God thanks for something in particular. It is also a great reminder of the times that God has been my rock, has answered my prayers or has seen me through. I am going to share are some of the lessons that 5 five prayer diaries starting in 2013 have impacted me greatly.
This is the beginning of a new series and I hope it encourages you to keep a prayer diary too.
Prayer diary no.1 2013-2015
This diary really encapsulates the beginning of my faith. In particular my return to church and to God. By the this time I had already had my eldest and graduated from university and my second was on the way. We bought our first home in 2014 and by the end of the diary, I have been commissioned as the playgroup supervisor in my local church when we were living in Cornwall. Life certainly moved quickly during this time. It was the beginning of a new season and what comes through is my anxiety over us as a family and also as a couple. We were so far from all of our relatives, but God really provided a family of friends that surrounded us and blessed us.
In the beginning of 2014,I really felt on my heart the words,”Follow Jesus and the rest will follow.” I look back now and know that God was calling me to a deeper relationship with him. At the time I was a little confused but decided to do just that.
I spent a lot of time in this diary just copying scriptures, I think it was my way of just getting God’s word into myself and the process of letting past hurts and mistakes go. It is by no means finished by the end of the diary (or even now), but I can see the shift from the Vanessa that just wanted to hide at the back of the church, to the Vanessa that was willing to go where God wanted her to go. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever see myself as a mother or working in the church as a playgroup supervisor and yet that is exactly what happened.
The last psalm I had written was Psalm 121, God the help of those who seek him.
Underneath I had written, ‘-a promise!’
And it truly is a promise, as well as reminder of what I need to do when I am overwhelmed: to simply look up and remember who is the one who keeps and sustains me.
It was wonderful, going back over this prayer diary and see how far in fact God has brought me. To go back and remember the first lessons and see the first heart cries of my walk and most importantly, to remember how God has moved in my life.
What were the keys lessons you learnt at the beginning of your faith? Do you keep a diary?
As always, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Learning to be brave is a process, find out how I was a reminded of this during a family walk.
Next installment of my Prayer Diary series, exploring what it means to walk with Jesus.
A collection of memories over the last few months, a closer look at family life.
Mother, Writer and Bookworm.