Pretty much all of my life I have kept a diary or journal, as I mentioned in an earlier blog. Initially I simply liked to write in order to get my thoughts and feelings out where I could look at them and/or to get them sorted out a little. As I got older, I imagined that I was keeping a kind of record for posterity. Our church and family were interested in genealogy, for reasons I won’t go into here, and we appreciated the few journals which remained from our pioneer ancestors very much. We were encouraged to keep our own journals. Besides letters addressed to specific individuals, my first ‘real’ (smile), imagined audience was my ‘posterity.’
Over the years I would occasionally go back and read some of my past journal entries. I was increasingly embarrassed by the pure self-centeredness and the lack of content in my writing. Even after the life-changing experience of my conversion to Christ, most of my journaling still wasn’t something I wanted anyone else reading. After my husband and I actually began to have progeny, this became even more true.
I can’t remember the exact turning point in my journal writing. It was after we as a family had finalized our exodus out of the L.D.S. religion and were in fellowship with people who held Bible studies. It was through several Bible study books which also required journaling I learned about a ‘new and improved’ audience. I began to write to the LORD, in praise and gratitude and to encourage the church or body of Christ. This new ‘audience’ has made all the difference in my writing. I wouldn’t be nearly as embarrassed were someone to read these journals. The only embarrassment might be that I still write informally and don’t often consider my grammar or sentence structure when writing directly from my heart onto paper in this way. If in some imaginary future era ‘the church’ or my children ever wanted to publish these journals, they would have their work cut out for them to make them ‘legible,’ but at least some of the content might be of worth to some real audience or individual.