and we all have one. Our stories change from day to day. I love to hear the back stories of people and places. One of my favorite things to do when we travel is to look up the weird names of the towns we pass through and see how they got the names. So much fun. So interesting!
But each one of our stories holds the key to why we are the way we are, how we got to be where we are, where we are headed and what drives us.
I have "wallered" in my past. I have wanted to let a moment in time define me. But it was just a chapter. And those hard chapters are best to learn from and move past. Take what you learn, and shake the dust off. Find ways to see those faces that hurt you with joy and supernatural love (love of God - no way I am strong enough to do that), or to use the times you feel you failed as experience for the next hurdle. Gird yourself (encircle with sword - or tools) to defeat the next battle. And what story does not include some kind of battle? It is what builds the character in our faces, they give us the ability to face the future without fear and a chance to offer grace because we know what it feels like to be defeated and to win.
I adore a good story. Mine is of a girl who hoped to sing and lead others in worship and who succeeded at such for a time and who wants to again. One who used her good works as her righteousness and was disillusioned when she found her good works did not mean life would not hold pain. A girl who loved others even when they were not always well loved. And one who trusted unwisely and sometimes very unwisely stepped into situations that would cause her to doubt her faith, to withhold friendship and to be sorry she allowed her hurt to drive her away. And one who found an old friend and married him - her complete opposite, who had three precious boys. But all in all it has been a life full of joy. Though I wish I had fought harder in some cases, I am thankful that God gave me the hard times, so that I can hold out hope to others. And throughout it all there was fun - even in the midst of hurt, there was laughter, and there was love. I was not laid out totally.
I want to encourage those who find themselves in the same place to surround themselves in the fellowship of those who love God and to be HONEST in their struggles. There are others who are feeling just like you. They need to know they are not alone in their quest to move past the hurt. They need to be encouraged to KNOW that every person despite what their shiny social media stories depict, that there is pain there and they are real people who struggle mightily with the same things you do. We all put our best story forward. I encourage you to be honest about yours. Give us the good and the bad. Don't waller like me - but share it so others can know there is always hope in the midst of the yuck of this life. And there is much joy in this life as well. The yuck kind of helps us enjoy those joyful moments even more.
Share your story with me! I want to hear it!