I’ve never journaled much because I figured if I wrote down my most vulnerable thoughts they would eventually be used to commit me into a sanitarium where I would spend the rest of my days eating green Jell-O wondering how full life could have been if I only used my Holly Hobbie journal to draw pictures of cats instead of depictions of insanity.
But the reality is, I was never crazy. I was human. And, where the line occasionally blurs between the two, looking back at the few journals I sporadically kept over the years, the problem becomes clear. Regardless of what stage of life I was in, whether it was as a newlywed in my twenties, or as a mother of young children in my thirties, or during an existential crisis in my forties, the commonality between the pages inked in these decades was a quest to figure everything out. It wasn’t so much wisdom I sought but the clarity of a crystal ball. I wanted the yellow brick road version of life so that all I had to do was follow the path to Oz.
So often I worried about missing out or messing up. I was scared of failing and falling behind. I was certain that there were right answers and a right way, and if I was only smart enough or less directionally challenged, I would know how to do this thing called life. But what I understand now is that the unknown path isn’t something to fear. It isn’t a trap to tiptoe around. It isn’t static or straight, and it won’t save you from loneliness or loss or any of the other uncomfortable feelings of our humanity. It isn’t something to figure out as much as it is your own path to discover.
All of those questions hidden in the intermittent passages of old journals never had the answers. There was never one right way that was going to make life sensible nor one clear path that was going to keep me from making mistakes, from being hurt, or that would dull that desperate ache of our inherent yearning for Christ. If there was indeed a universal answer that one could plug in as a resolution to any question, it would be love. And, could there be anything more illogical than that? Read more