Once upon the whole story.
I love stories. I don’t necessarily love my story. This doesn’t mean I’m not blessed and gifted and empowered. It just means parts of my story have not gone as I’d imagined, once upon a time.
I certainly love parts of my story and some of its characters, for sure. However, I’ve discovered within myself an unwillingness to embrace other defining plots points and developments. I eschew those chapters, minimizing them and packing them away so as not to be defined by them.
By in large, I feel this is a good thing...a smart thing. I’ve chosen to focus on joy and doesn’t Jesus himself say, “count it all joy.” I’ll pause there and assure you...yes, I’m aware Jesus did not say that. The author of the book of James, typically thought to be the younger brother of Jesus, that James told us to count it all joy. Or rather, he wrote it. Or, perhaps someone took dictation for him. How am I to know? The point I’m attempting to make in this rambling paragraph is that we tend to attribute the need to “chin up” and “soldier on” as something Jesus called us to do.
So, I’ve done so...quite of my own accord. Until recently. I started reading others stories and pondering their bravery, their authenticity, their transparency. I liked it about them. I wondered what it might be like to fully embrace my whole story and not just the highlights reel.
Now, nothing here is a new idea. I’ve heard more podcasts (remember, I’m a hipster) about the “instagroomed” life versus the dumpster fire reality for a very long time...since podcasts were a thing, for sure. Maybe that was the first ever podcast...”breaking news folks, we polish up reality for social media!” Eh, maybe not. Who’d listen to that?
So, here’s something I think people will want to listen to. It’s time...go tell your story. Dance your dance, sing your song. If you’ve been waiting for permission then I hereby declare myself she who gives it. Dust off all the chapters and start heralding their news. Drive that plot forward with the full range of character development supporting it.
It doesn’t have to be a giant story, it doesn’t have to be told loudly or from a giant stage, just live the full you. But, here’s the thing...don’t expect it to go how you thought.
In another podcast, I was offered this little nugget. Resurrection changes things. It was stated in the context that sometimes we pray for our past dreams and expectations to be resurrected when what we are really seeking is reanimation of a dead thing. Reanimation is gross. It’s never exactly right; it is mechanical at best and malfunctioning at worst. It also gets smelly fast.
So, don’t expect those parts of your story you’ve forgotten about to reanimate...you don’t want that any way. You want resurrection – completion. You want changed, made new, used for His purpose. Let’s resurrect our full stories and run with them!