Little black books have such a bad reputation. They have become synonymous with players, swingers, or anyone who strolls through life collecting names and numbers of individuals they plan to use and easily discard. There are no emotional attachments to the names, nothing permanent that strikes at the heart of the owner of said book. Oh, perhaps, memories of a particular night with a particular person might strike an emotional chord and elicit a brief reaction, but mostly, there are no long-term connections. The goal of the book is quantity, rather than quality.
I, too, have a little black book. Well, actually, it’s flowery and has cute little woodland creatures on the cover, but it still is the receptacle for things I gather. Several months ago I began collecting inspirational quotes, bible verses, and things I’d read. A person or group I followed on Instagram or Facebook would post something that applied so directly to my life, it seemed it was written just for me. I would screenshot the item on my phone and save it in a photo album called “Encouragement.” Sometimes I would just scroll through the pictures and drench myself in the uplifting words all over again. One day, I realized I wanted something more tactile, something I could actually hold in my hands and absorb the words inside the book through emotional osmosis. Last week I began printing out these little snapshots of wisdom and placing them in my book.
I printed them in the order I had added them to my phone. I was about 2 months’ worth of quotes into the album when a word popped into my head.
I noticed that as the weeks and months of this year have progressed, the quotes and verses I was drawn to were changing. Way back in December and January, I was broken, wounded, fractured and oh so lonely. I craved words that were a balm to my damaged heart, phrases that kept me from shattering completely, and verses that promised, absolutely promised that one day I would understand and rejoice! It’s pretty hard to think about rejoicing when you are a puddle of emotional goo stuck to the bottom of someone’s flip flop.
Towards the middle of winter, things became a bit different. The promises to hold on, and that God is working everything towards my good were the predominant themes. I could feel a bit of hope beginning to grow here. I was writing more, learning more about myself through my own words (and the responses of my readers), and taking the time to really explore what, exactly, I was meant to be doing with my life. The puddle of goo was becoming more formed.
Within the last week or two, a distinct change has come over me. I find my collectibles now center around thanksgiving, joy, hope and deliverance. Deliverance! Remember the goo? I used to be so afraid to feel happy because I knew, I just knew that life was going to sneak up behind me and smack me over the head with a brick the next day as punishment for daring to be happy. Now, I know I will have good days and bad. I will have ups and downs. Life will ebb and flow. But I no longer fear the other side of happy. I know that regardless of what I experience on a daily basis, I am not alone.
I continue to collect quotes and verses. I may even need another book at some point. But let me tell you this: seeing that movement did more for my battled-hardened, weary and scarred soul than you could ever imagine. I can truly say that I am finding much to rejoice in and for. Who knew?
God knew. He knew because he figured out all those quotes and sayings long before I was even born. And he knew when I would need them most. I, however, plan to have an emotional attachment to all the words in my book. I never want to forget the journey I’m on and from where I’ve come. My Little Black Book has now become a map.
Wonder where it will lead me next?