Sorted Stories

I’ve been under the impression, for most of my life, that existence as we know it is a story (and everyone’s story is important, whether or not they think so).

A lot of things have tried to kill my story over the years, including me.  I always felt like I was in a bad story, or the wrong story, and was always looking for a way out of it.

When I was a small child, the story I wanted to live in was The Chronicles of Narnia.  I wanted to be in an adventure, and I wanted to be a hero.  I wanted Aslan to be my God, instead of having the real God of my own bad story (who did none of the things that Aslan did). 

I constantly thought of ways to leave my story, or end it all together (more than any child should).  You never realize in the midst of conflicts, obstacles, dramas, or tragedies, how big the story is and how necessary it is for you overcome those things.

In “The Art Of Being”, Matt Odmark suggests that God’s story is the great story, and everyone is a part of it.  Or perhaps, God has a story in mind for each of us, which all woven together create his large grandiose story afghan.  However, we have the option of ignoring God’s story, being a loose thread, and creating separate shallow stories of our own.  He goes on to say that God’s story for us isn’t always what we would choose for ourselves… take Hosea for instance.  If Hosea had chosen a story for himself, he would not have chosen to marry a prostitute, who continued to be unfaithful to him.  However, that was God’s story for Hosea’s life, and I’m assuming that God compensated Hosea in some peace-beyond-understanding kind of way (like giving him the everlasting fame of having his own chapter in the Bible…. Makes me wonder what I could do to get my own chapter in the Bible).

It’s the idea of trusting that God knows the best story for you, one that he had in mind when he created you, and you have to choose to die to all the other stories.  It’s a weird mixture of intense faith, and intense uncertainty.  Trusting that God will lead you where you need to be, but not knowing where that is exactly…… and not being able to verbalize that to your nosey relatives when you see them at family reunions and they want to know why you’re not in a career or a marriage.

I know God has a story for my life, and looking back (you could call this “the regress”), I see life where I used to see death, and purpose where I used to see chance.  I see God&my story, instead of the wrong story.

I’ll give you an example:  for most of my life, I considered myself to be an accident.  My parents weren’t shy in admitting that they didn’t plan for my arrival.  However, it was only within the past 2 years that my mother finally told me that my conception was a miracle, and that it pretty much defies science.

From as far back as I can remember, and until I was an adult, I received a lot of convincing messages/lies concerning who I was in the story, which is what made me believe I was in the wrong story.  Because if you hear the same thing said about you over and over, you start to believe it, whether or not it’s true.  And it’s easy to convince someone that they’re not a hero.  Because if no one believes in you, and you can’t believe in yourself, then what kind of accursed story have you been thrown into?  If you have no ownership in the story then how can you participate in it beyond being an object for the use and abuse of others? 

Looking back… I can say that when you’re thrown into a pit, it’s not because you’re meant to live there. 

If you can climb out of the pit, then your story will not be the same when you reach the surface.  You can’t see the whole story from inside the pit, and you might think you’re in the wrong story because of it…… but if you climb out, and you look across the landscape… you will not only see all of the pits that you’ve climbed out of, but you’ll see an entire world that you’ve climbed into… a big beautiful story that’s been waiting for it’s hero to emerge.

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