A Record, a Remembrance, a Reliving of His Faithfulness

Susan Narjala   |   October 3, 2018 

“God, let my husband be the icing on the cake,” I wrote in my journal, circa 2005. It was an honest prayer of a single girl.

Admittedly, it was also a superbly odd prayer. One doesn’t regularly incorporate baking metaphors in prayer and one definitely doesn’t equate a potential spouse to frosting. Yet, those were my words. I wanted God to be my everything (i.e. my “cake”) and my to-be husband to just be the buttercream.

Thirteen years of marriage later, I’m blown away by God’s faithfulness. He gave me the frosting I wanted – and then some. The thing is, I probably wouldn’t have remembered that peculiar prayer had it not been for my journal from 2005.

I started journaling when I was 13 years old. My inspiration was drawn from Anne, after I read The Diary of Anne Frank. Over the years, my convent-school-taught cursive writing has filled out-of-date diaries discarded by my parents, as well as beautiful leather-bound journals with gilded edges and embossed verses. While Anne Frank wrote powerfully and poignantly about her days in hiding from the Nazis, I wrote about the books I read and the boys I liked.

Fortunately, as I got older, my journal entries started to mature. I found myself simply talking to God through my writing. I, in turn, captured His words to me.

Over the years, journaling has become a natural extension of how I relate with God. My words are unedited, raw, and real. They are meant for an Audience of One.

My journal entries serve as remembrances, like the stones or altars in the Bible where God met with heroes of the faith. Turns out, He doesn’t just meet with the likes of Jacob or Abraham. He meets with us, too.

Journaling is a way of chronicling those meetings. It is a record of His goodness and grace. It’s a record of the hard times, the times of waiting, and even the times He says no. It’s a reliving of God’s faithfulness.

Recording my conversations with God has breathed life into my quiet times. I find myself excited to open a new page and write down what He etches on my heart. Journaling helps me linger a little longer in His presence, think a little harder, delve a little deeper, live a little fuller.

If you’re considering journaling as a spiritual discipline, I would encourage you to give it a shot. It’s not complicated. You don’t always need a big chunk of time to write. You don’t have to be a writer. You don’t even have to have a pretty book to write in (although, as a diehard fan of notebooks and stationery, I would say why not get a lovely book and a good pen).

No, you won’t always have a brilliant new insight into Scriptures or ‘aha’ moments every single time. But, even just stopping long enough to write down a familiar verse brings deeper comfort or greater joy in our lives.

Journaling builds pauses into the rhythm of our lives. It creates selah moments to stop, to pour out our hearts, and to listen to the God of the universe speak into our lives and our situations.

Meanwhile, maybe I’m also creating a little legacy for my children and the generations to come. Maybe one day they’ll read about their lineage and smile at the words of a single girl who asked God for frosting.

 

Photo by Jess Watters on Unsplash

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When she's not smuggling chocolate past her kids or drinking gallons of coffee, Susan Narjala can be found writing, baking and (thinking about) working out. She grew up in Chennai, lived in Portland, Oregon, for the last ten years and is now back in India with her family. She finds nuggets of humour in the everyday, and writes about it on on her blog, www.susannarjala.com

4 comments on “A Record, a Remembrance, a Reliving of His Faithfulness”

  1. Wow, I think this whole article is an echo of my heart. I began journaling around that same time. I’m 43 now amd single. I have boxes full of journals I pray one day my family (nieces and nephew ) might ready and come to know Jesus. Thank you for this encouragement!!!! I have been slacking my normal time lately and this is just my sweet reminder. God bless you my kindred heart 🙂
    Sami

  2. Hi Susan.
    Loved your style of writing. Honest. Candid. Clearly, you are in deep communion with God as I can see. Surely this helps you write soul-stirring blogs and provide food for thought.
    Dr Margaret Thomas

    1. Hi Dr Margaret, Thanks so much for stopping by to comment. I was genuinely blessed by your warmth and concern during my little surgery. Thank you for that and for your encouragement of my writing. Susan

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