I've never kept at journaling consistently over the years. Though I do look back on some that I did. And it is interesting. I see where some of my struggles I had then (for me, mostly struggles of the mind, and anxiety) are still present but much smaller now. Sometimes hardly, if at all, in the picture.
I think it is good to step back, so to speak, and try to look at the big picture of one's own life. What has been going on, over a period of time- say weeks, months, even years. And from that, trying to decipher what the Lord is doing in one's life, what progress has been made, what changes- in character, thought, priorities, activities- would seem to be a good natural step one should take, or already may be taking.
Included in this inventory, of course will be the input we receive from others. Patterns we see in our lives. Maybe in matters that keep coming up until we finally learn the lesson God has for us. Areas in which we recognize good growth and thus can thank God for. Maybe areas of substantial or significant growth that hopefully, in the Lord, we can "cement", so to speak, or better, become more and more settled in.
In the life in Jesus, as we see God at work in all things working together for good (Romans 8), we will, on the one hand begin to see some of the dreams and visions God has given us in earlier years begin to come true. But on the other hand, marvel at God's work in it all. And how it is all truly something beyond ourselves!
I think we need to do this individually. But also in our communities of faith. We need to step back and ask ourselves, together, "What can we see God doing in our midst and through our gatherings and activities?" What kind of vision has God been giving us? What have we learned the "hard way", in our learning how not to do things?
All of this takes some time, reflection, consideration. But life not lived thoughtfully is hardly life worth living. God wants us to stop and look, with an eye and ear to what he may be doing and undoing in our lives, individually and together. That having stepped back, we can better keep in step, especially in the hard times and places, in him. Amen.