A few weeks ago I started the massive project of cleaning out my office. The task was somewhat daunting, but I was excited about the prospect of having a dedicated place for my quiet time. I decided that the easiest way would be to take everything out and start fresh. While doing this I discovered my journals, the oldest one dating back to 1997.  I flipped through the pages briefly and tossed them aside. This week I was prompted to read one and I was amazed at what I found. My oldest journal began when I was 14 years old. Reading my journal proved to be bittersweet. There were many happy memories, but I also was reminded of how lonely I was. There are so many things that I would love to tell my 14 year old self…

The next journal picks up during high school. The content didn’t dramatically change and the underlying tone was the same. A sense of loneliness and longing to be anyone but me. As I read through the pages I felt a small pang of sadness. I was about to stop reading when I picked up the most recent journal. This journal picks up in 2010. I was 27 years old. I flipped through the journal and noticed a stark change. The pages were not filled with the general musings of days gone by.

This journal was filled with prayers.

I tried to think about what had changed from the journal of that young lonely teenager. I wish I could say there was one definitive moment. There wasn’t. There was no burning bush. There was no miraculous sign.

The year my daughter was born it was suggested to me to start a gratitude journal. I started writing down everything I was thankful for. There were days when I would write page after page. Then there were times that I struggled to write a full sentence. During this time I began praying a very specific prayer. Everyday I would write this same prayer. Day after day. Month after month.

Father,

Every glory and praise belongs to you. Help me to honor my commitments. Through your power, allow me to be a woman that seeks after you alone. Help me to follow you in full obedience. Today I will add value to those I come in contact with. Show me how to be present mentally, spiritually, and physically throughout the day. I strive to be a fully engaged parent that guides my children as you lead me. 

Sometimes I didn’t feel this way. Sometimes I didn’t feel moved to pray at all. I still wrote this prayer. Every. Single. Day.  God used this journal to see me through some very dark times. It was filled with my prayers and scriptures of truth.

So what’s true?

“I the Lord do not change.”

Malachi 3:6

Sometimes the beauty of our faith is simply knowing that God remains unchanged. Life presents us with challenges and heartaches. We can take comfort in the fact that God remains as he has always been.