Friday, September 4, 2015

Random Journal Day - September 4, 2015

One of my favorite blogs to follow is Dawn, who blogs at  On the first Friday of each month, I link up with Dawn for Random Journal Daywhen we share an entry from one of our journals...

Whether we share an entry from yesterday, or last month, or even one from several years ago...we just share what's on our hearts or in our journals!

September 16, 1998 was not a very good day for me!  The newspaper carried this article a few days later under the Florida Times-Union's Law & Disorder section, that pretty much sums up what happened to me:

Secretary beaten at church job
Author:    Mary MacDonald, Times-Union staff writer
Date: September 18, 1998
Publication: The Florida Times-Union Page: B-5

A church secretary was bound, beaten and robbed in the office of a church on Jacksonville's Westside after she opened the door for a man who asked for a glass of water.

The man, armed with a small handgun, forced his way into Edgewood Avenue Christian Church about 3 p.m. Wednesday, a police report says.
The gunman struck her with the weapon, knocking her to the floor, then demanded money. When she said she had none, he dragged her into the church auditorium and bound her hands with the cord from the venetian blinds, the report says.  He covered her mouth with a tablecloth...

That's enough of that article!  On to some more positive thoughts from Eleanor Roosevelt:

Well, the purpose of today's Random Journal entry is not to re-visit "what happened" on that day; but to focus on "the aftermath"...

To focus on the "where am I today?".

In the days, months, even years that followed Wednesday, September 16, 1998, I used writing - journaling - as a form of therapy.  At one point a few days (maybe even weeks) later, I wrote:

Writing, journalizing {not sure that is even a word}, this is very therapeutic.  I've never been very good at keeping up with a daily journal, but feel there are times when journalizing is a good idea.  As I work through the events...the trauma and experience, and the "after effects", the use of writing will be helpful.

And I did!  Many pages fill a notebook, a scrapbook, and files on my computer...

So, "where am I today?"  Well, actually I have come a very long way from that day almost 17 years ago!  Each year, that date is ingrained in my brain and I remember; yet, some years I am so involved in LIFE that I completely forget the date.

Yes, I am aware of it now because I had thought (only briefly) about sharing my journaling for the "write31days" challenge during October; but feel it would be too depressing, and I'm not sure I'd have enough content for the entire month.  Anyway, I have already done the writing, and felt the "therapeutic" value of that writing!  Still pondering the possibility though!

What I will share - and leave you with today - is journaling from September 16, 2008, the "anniversary", if you will, of that date!


Has it really been that long - 10 years?  Since 1998 so much has happened in just a short time, if 10 years can be considered a "short time"...

In that 10 years my life has continued, with ups and downs, family additions and changes, church changes, even work changes.  But during that 10 year period my life has continued, and that is the whole point - my life did not end after that unfortunate "accident" 10 years ago.

My life has continued; I have continued to be the person - the wife, mother, daughter, friend, employee - that I was back then, but with some changes to how I view life and others.

I am slowly forgetting - what happened is not consuming me as it did right after it happened.  Of course, I can still remember what happened; I can still remember the date; I can still remember the approximate time, 3:00 p.m.; I can still remember who found me; I can still remember the many people who came to the emergency room; I can still remember the many people who sent cards, called, brought food or other gifts...

But that's not the important part of remembering.  What is most important to remember from the whole incident is this:

GOD LOVES ME and so do a whole lot of other people!

And, God is not finished with me yet; He apparently has plans for me and I must stay in contact with Him in order to follow His will.  How do I stay in contact with Him?  Through prayer and Bible study, of course!

{Written September 16, 2008}

So, today - almost 17 years later, after the attack; and 7 years from writing this entry...

What I can say about "where am I today?" is this...

I am where God wants me to be in order to fulfill the plans that He has for me and my life - whatever that is and wherever that takes me!

I put my life in His hands almost 17 years ago; I leave my life in His hands for the rest of what life there may be!

No, my story is not over yet...there is so much more life to live and so much more of my story to share!

And that, my friends, is today's Random Journal Day!  Join me the first Friday of October for more thoughts from my journals!


  1. Barbara, I am sitting in the car place waiting for some car repairs/ maintenance and reading/commenting from my phone. I am so thankful for your courage and grateful that you have shared this tender memory and journey of victory in His grace. I am wowed, humbled and just floored with this horrible act committed against you. It breaks my heart to think of your surprise, shock and ensuing pain at the turn of events on this day in your personal history. Praising God with you...for his faithfulness in bringing you through. I am sure it has been a challenging journey. Live and hugs, Dawn

    1. Thank you, Dawn! I really pondered whether to share this one or not - this being the "anniversary" month...I had originally thought to share something I wrote for a contest MANY years ago when I was a teenager - complete this..."I'll never forget the day that I..." and I wrote "...discovered that brothers are people, too!" Well, needless to say, that didn't get used - mostly because I haven't located where I put it away "so it wouldn't get lost"!

      So, yes, I used this; and, God DID bring me through this terrifying time of my life...I visited that church (where I worked but didn't worship) and assured the congregation that I was NOT quitting them...yes, it WAS a terrifying time - but today I can look back and know God saw me through it all...

      Thanks for reading and commenting - and mostly, for letting us share our "journals" in this way each month!! I always look forward to it - and to reading others' as well!

  2. Barbara- What a testimony of God's care for you...I think journalizing is a great word to describe how God carried thru this incident in your story and how God has carried you to this day...I am honored to get to read and be a part of your story through this online community

    1. Thank you so much, Kel! I wasn't sure if I wanted to share this; I've shared some of it under word prompts like "Fear" and "Brave" or "Courage"... There is much more journaling (journalizing?!) that I have done; and maybe one day some of it may work its way into my blog...but for now!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    2. Thank you for sharing this. I bet that 17 years ago seems a mere moment ago sometimes and a million miles back usually. Thankfully you've written your way out of that traumatic event. I can't imagine what it took. I pray that you can no longer imagine either. I thank God for you, and for what journaling has given you, and what God has done in you through it.

    3. Thank you so much for your words, Carolyn...yes, 17 years seems long ago...yet, sometimes just yesterday! I have been able to write about this event, and it does make it easier. I no longer think about the trauma or the time it took to "get over" it...we don't really ever "get over" it though. My memories now dwell on the after; those who were there for me; what I learned about myself and safety and loyalty.

      I appreciate your thanking God - for me! - WOW! Prayers and thanksgiving are so precious! And, I appreciate YOU for doing so!

      Thanks for reading and commenting...I am "slowly" making my way through others' blog posts for RJD and for the Blog-tember I am also doing.

  3. Barbara: Thank you for sharing this intently personal story. We serve a God of love. He was there with you.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! God IS love and sometimes we have to be shown in different ways! I do - and DID - know this; but what happened, well, it just reinforced that He "has my back"!

  4. What a timely post, Barbara! It sounds like the headlines of today or the shocking stories that come up on my FB newsfeed. Some of those stories really seed fear and panic in me. I can only imagine what you felt in your traumatic moment--but you were faithful to record your journey authentically so that not only you--but others in turn--can read and learn faith building principles in God's control of life, healing, and circumstances. Thanks for being willing to put yourself out there!

    1. I guess I never put it all together how "timely" my experience was to what is happening in our is so hard to hear about so much violence - and a lot of them in our area are kids, and the police officers and...well, you know as well as I do, Miss Kathy! It is just way out of hand!

      I pray that anybody who does read this post - and others I may share from that experience - will be able to know God's love and that He IS in control of our lives! I do have quite a bit more journaling that I may eventually share...but, just not sure the content would be helpful to others; think it may be too much "bad" for people to dwell on...yet, that is what we hear day after day after day!

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

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  6. A few bad chapters does not mean your story is over: love that! I personally was gladdened to hear that time does heal the wounds that trauma leaves (thank you for offering this comfort). Am so pleased to call you a friend, Barbara, and so proud of you.

    1. Don't you just LOVE that quote?? Yes, time really DOES heal the wounds of trauma; perhaps not the memories, but the wounds for sure! So pleases to call you friend as well...appreciate your reading and commenting on my posts. Love keeping in touch with you!!!


Thank you for stopping by to read my post today! I appreciate your reading and commenting - your comments are a welcome encouragement for me to continue one of my favorite things - writing!

You are special to me; and your words help in more ways than I can number...Thank you just isn't enough!