I threw my journal away last Friday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid journaler. I’ve filled six volumes of various sizes (not counting the one I threw away) in the six years since my accident. And then there’s the blog…
Point being, I like to write, and I write a lot. Sometimes I tell a story, other times I work out a problem or process emotions. Still other times I meditate or pray.
The possibilities are endless, once you think about it.
So why was the moment on Friday so notable – and what makes my particular “college composition notebook” different from its millions of siblings circulating the planet?
First off, I didn’t buy that journal. It was given to me by a kind nurse during one of my mental hospital stays. Patients aren’t allowed to have many belongings, whether it’s a hairbrush or a hardcover book. But after learning I was a writer, this particular nurse found a softcover notebook and slipped it into my room. She also left a purple Crayola marker: Patients were not allowed pens or pencils.
That gift was a Godsend and an act of trust on her part. At that point in my illness, doctors had certified me a suicide/homicide threat. A guard was stationed at my door every night as I slept.
But in spite of those labels, that nurse saw the real me – the girl with the Spirit of God still inside her. She treated me and even my writing as valuable.
I knew exactly what to do with my new journal. I’d already memorized part of Psalm 139 before that particular hospitalization and I began to scrawl the verses in bright purple marker every time evil voices entered my head.
At first, the notebook pages filled by the hour, but my hand grew steadier and the entries less and less frequent – until I was well enough to be discharged.
By this time I was too attached to Psalm 139 and the notebook to end what God had begun at such a dark point in my life. I committed to memorizing the entire Psalm by the end of 2022, using my navy blue notebook as my trusty companion. I’m set to finish memorizing in September so my well-worn friend didn’t quite make it to the finish line. I suspect that’s because I scribbled so many pages with a giant Crayola marker.