Below is the Prologue from “Our Secret Journal Revealed,” the book my daughter and I published a couple years ago when she was in college. It’s a compilation of six years’ worth of back-and-forth journaling she and I shared from the time she was 8 until she was 14. It completely transformed our relationship.
My daughter and I used to butt heads. By the time she was in third grade I viewed her impending tween and teen years as an unavoidable avalanche of emotional, strong-willed defiance (on my part as well as hers).
One evening, after hearing me regurgitate the struggles of the day, my husband suggested I try journaling with our daughter to see if writing would help pry open the communication lines. I bought our first journal that night. I prayed, “Lord, I have no idea what to say or how to do this so I’m giving this whole experience to You. Please use this.” The Lord impressed upon me that the significance of the journal did not lie in my ability to “wax eloquent” to my eight-year-old on paper, nor to have everything all figured out. Instead, I was to use the journal as a vehicle to love her unconditionally through my pen, to meet her authentically right where she was, and to acknowledge her for who she was becoming.
Had it not been for the journal, I would not have understood Abi’s inner turmoil of being a child wanting to play with her toys while she simultaneously (desperately) wanted to grow up. The two of us would have missed out on creating the world of “Claude and V