As the last few pages of this journal fill up, I can’t help but look back and remember how it started.
From my very first entry:
Saturday July 16, 2016
I have come to the end of my rope. I cannot remember the last time my heart was this troubled. I have felt so burdened over the past several months and it has increasingly distraught and distressed my heart. Jesus—I need you. I cannot go through this life without you. Oh Jesus, would you be with me now?
And other entries, like:
Monday July 25, 2016
I come to you again—broken, bleeding, hungry, desperate. Heal my heart Jesus, as only you can. I woke up this morning feeling sick to my stomach. Feeling desperate. Gut-wrenched. My heart feels tender and sore.
I cried a lot today. God, I cried out mostly to you, begging you to hear my cry. I begged you through heavy sobs, to not allow my heart to break again.
This went on for months:
Sunday September 11, 2016
Here I am again. Lost, confused, feeling hopeless and sad. Please help me. I need you desperately.
I look back on those entries, from almost a whole year ago, and I marvel at many things. I marvel at how deeply, vastly, desperately lost I was. I marvel that I have recorded, day after day, my growing weariness, depression, and desperation. I marvel at my own observations in that time—how I knew how far my heart had wandered, how I knew all my problems stemmed from my growing separation from Jesus as my first love. I marvel at my desperate cries for God to hear me and heal me.
In every way, shape and form, I was tormented and deeply depressed.
And it was all because I was far from God. He wasn’t my greatest love, and so my life was greatly agonizing.
Lord, I look back on those days when I cried out to you to hear me, to heal me, to save me. And I marvel God, that you did.
In every way, you answered every prayer.
God you met me where I was—in the deep, dark, musty pit, and you pulled me out.
You didn’t let me stay in my place of utter desolation. You reached out your hand and invited me to take a different path, one I would have to choose, but one of peace and joy I had forgotten the taste of.
I look back at those entries and I marvel at the girl who wrote them, and how different she is from the one now penning these words.
I marvel because your goodness and love Lord, will always and forever be the most real thing to me, as evidenced in the transformation that happened throughout the life of this journal. In this journal I cried, dreamed, prayed, wept, rejoiced, envisioned, grew, learned and changed. And every part of it, Lord, is you.
Every entry, every dream, every prayer, every cry, every sermon—it all points back to you. Your goodness, your love, your faithfulness, your mercy. This journal is proof, for the rest of my life, of your healing power, your deep love, and your constant pursuit of me. If ever I doubt, and Lord I pray let it not be so, but if ever there is a question of your healing, working power, I pray you would direct me back to your Word, and to this journal.
Tiffany—God changed your life. You were far, you were sick, you were lost, you were broken. He picked up every fragmented piece and restored you, made you like new in spirit and heart. All to Him you owe; boast in Him alone.
September 30, 2016
My heart is very much at rest. My soul is very much at peace. There is a joy and hope I have for my life that wasn’t there before. The condition of my heart, which is more than just what I feel, is proof of that. The pain of loss pales in comparison to the hope I now have for my life through the sweet grace of God. I am forever indebted to my Savior, and yet he calls me free. He calls me righteous. He paid the debts I so desperately owe to Him, and He tells me I owe nothing. Who am I that I should experience this grace and redemption and restoration? No one, but he loves me and provides for me anyway. My life Lord, let it sing how great you are. Let all I do be in honor, in worship, in awe of you alone. You, Jesus, are my great reward.