A leather bound journal. Really it is the security blanket of a man. An object that carries dreams, thoughts and the promise that no matter what thought, event, or dream that might slip in-between the plates of my skull can be written down and kept in good care. I lost it recently for a few days it was missing and this reality nagged me, scraping the backs of my knees so that at any idle moment I might be spurred to try and remember where it left my care.
Sometimes I muse about my little girl having this ragged green teddy bear. It is a totem of safety for her. She has nearly rubbed the white bit of it’s face bare while sleeping and sucking her thumb. Yet I am loosing my mind because I can not remember where this journal that I write in infrequently is. So knowing that the God of the universe not only knows where every atom of creation is and cares abut me. So I bent my knee and prayed. Lord open my eyes show me where my journal is.
If you will consider; I have been looking for this journal for two and a half days with no success. Within minutes of praying the journal was found in my bed. The bed where my wife had been. See she was in the hospital and had been for at least seven days at this point. I had been living between the hospital, work and my bed; working to give the kids a solid predictable schedule and security. I needed my security blanket. I needed my journal. I knew I would not write in it because there was little to no time to do so and what time I did have I was escaping my reality.
When I found my journal I felt a medley of emotions thanks giving, stupidity for not realizing it had been so close this whole time, shame that I needed something like this, and joy that God does indeed care about our petty issues. I felt a chord of emotions. A chord like is played in music.
As life has progressed on its forced march I have felt emotions in increasing bundles like this. Love, happiness and sorrow at the lot of a foster parent. I will one day give up the children I love but how blessed I am to have loved them. Excitement, dread, happiness and anger that after ten years of trying and then finally giving up we got pregnant. Sorrow, anger, happiness and relief that we subsequently have lost that baby but my wife survived through the process and now she sleeps in the bed next to me. Happiness and confusion that I feel these things in a deepening way but have literally no idea how to process it all.
If you are wondering his name is Elijah Rook Blakeley and I would be remiss to never write his name down. He came and we stacked stones in our hearts like the Eben-Ezer that he is. He left and we are once again stacking the heaviest stones of all because we will never forget.
In the past my baptist upbringing calcified on the surface of my person like some kind of functional cocoon. I carried on for many years as a whole person fully believing in God while what was inside melted into a goo only to reform into another being entirely. You can never separate the caterpillar from the butterfly. For one always begets the other. So how has all this emotion and tragedy changed me?
Well two verses come to mind.
Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
Nehemiah 8:10 – Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to the Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the lord is your strength.
From here I can say with all confidence the more joyful I am in God, the stronger I will be. The other that is currently running pretty consistently through my mind is this:
Job 2:10 – … shall we accept good from God and not trouble…
Yes a chord, a medley, a bundle, a concoction, a veritable mixture of emotions and realities. Tragedy has struck us so very hard. In-fact when I started writing this very article this week Elijah was alive and now by the end of it he has passed away. In this I have found by God’s wonderful grace an ever increasing joy. There is nothing more pleasurable or desirous than God himself. I am his and he is mine.
Also published on Medium.