Do you remember your first love? Have you ever rolled back the pages of time and taken a glimpse at the younger you?
This morning, I pulled an old journal from the book shelf to make room for new books. This particular journal had musings from before I met my husband and I thought it high time I dispose of it.
I hadn’t read my thoughts for a very long time. So, I cracked it open and traveled back thirty years to when I was fresh out of college and searching for God’s plan for my life.
What a fascinating venture it was to revisit the young woman I’d been—chasing dreams of novel writing, companionship, and love. But, what intrigued me most is how saturated the entries were with prayers, Scripture, and my hunger for the Lord.
The pages were filled with praises and one-on-one conversations with God. I was amazed how eagerly I sought the Lord’s wisdom and guidance. My whole future was uncertain at that point—who I would marry, how the Lord would use my desire to write, where I would live. Every decision was placed before Him, and my heart was His to direct.
HOPE AND ANTICIPATION
It became obvious that, even then, my desire to write permeated my thoughts. I read dozens of entries in which I’d received rejections for not only the novel I’d written, but articles and short-stories as well. At the end of the year 1990, I had but one article accepted, and yet, the entry read, “I would rather have one article in print that is inspired by the Lord than twenty of my own making,”
Amen! That is still my prayer today.
After reading numerous selections throughout the two-year span of entries, I sat back in awe, inspired by the depth of love for the Lord that younger me had.
There were days of uncertainty, fear, and sadness, and yet the overall spirit of my journal entries was one of praise and surrender. My words were fringed with such hope and anticipation of what the Lord would do.
THIRTY YEARS LATER
Now, thirty years later, all the unknowns from that pivotal time have been realized. The Lord brought about my dream of being a published novelist, gave me a man of faith to share my life with, blessed me with two fine boys to raise, and supplied all my needs.
But, reading my journal made me realize something crucial. Though my faith remains intact and my love for the Lord has endured through the years, the cares and busyness of life have sapped me of my first love. Much of the joy and dependence on the Lord has become suppressed by the very answered dreams I’ve been living out.
EMBRACING THE LORD’S PRESENCE
A bout with cancer which began last fall knocked me for a loop, I called upon the Lord and the prayers of people to bring about healing. And I truly believe He is answering those prayers. And though I’ve enjoyed moments of sweet surrender and embracing the Lord’s presence during this trial, reading my journal this morning brought renewed understanding of what it means to truly love and trust the Lord.
God is using this cancer trial and glimpse at my younger self for my good—to draw me back into the joy of His presence. And, for that, I give thanks.
I decided to tuck the journal back on the shelf (minus a few pages that my husband might not appreciate). Its value seems too priceless now to dispose of. When I’m tempted to rush through my daily Bible readings and prayers or to make snap decisions without seeking His guidance and blessing, it will serve as a reminder that there is nothing more precious than my relationship with the Lord.
On my walk today, my heart was filled with the joy of just drinking in the Lord’s presence. May it be the first of many as I seek to rekindle my first love.
Have you sensed your first love for God falling between the cracks of a busy life? How have you worked to rekindle your relationship with Him?
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