Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Rest of Your Story

This is Holley. If you have never met her, you are in for a real treat. For the past few months I have been reading her blog. Most days it reads like a devotional just for me. She is a gifted, award-winning writer, and she has begun a series you just don't want to miss.

She is writing about the phenomenal privilege each of us has of writing the story of our lives in cooperation with the greatest Writer in the universe. Here is just a little of what she has written so far:

"Today is always the starting place for the rest of your story."
The idea that even as I begin the sixth decade of my life, I can have a fresh start writing the story the Father wants to write with my life excites me.
Then Holley questions what our role in the writing of our life story is:

"What does a good and faithful servant do?

I paused, considering...

Listens and obeys.

And just like that, the answer cameboth to the question and the striving in my story.

You see, we are not the Author...we are much-loved servants. We listen to the voice of our Master and live out what we hear. Because of Jesus, we don't have to do, be, strive MORE.

We're already accepted. We're already loved. We're already enough.

When we explore our story from that place, it becomes not a burden but an ADVENTUREa glorious unfolding of all God has in store.

I've heard novelists declare they don't know how a story will end until they write it. They say this with a smile and it's clearly the part of the process that most delights them.

I hope we can be that way too...not forcing our story, lining up plans, demanding our plot. But instead receiving, rejoicing, reveling in the truth that the Author LOVES us."

Each day Holley asks us a question, going ever deeper into the question of how we will write the unique story of our lives.

Thursday's question had to do with our wanting to change our lives so that they measure up to what we think the Lord wants them to be. We desperately want to edit out the parts where we have failed; the parts where we have made wrong choices and not been the person we know we should be. She asks:

TODAY'S QUESTION: What's one little thing that helps you give God the red pen and make peace with who you are?

Ah - that is a very good question. For so long I have struggled over my sins of the past. The feelings of shame and disappointment can paralyze me - keeping me from going forward and finding what it is the Lord would have me do with today. The little accusing voice echoes in my ears, "Who are you to think you can do that? Look at all the things you've done wrong. You have no business thinking you can do something good now."

Years ago, at a Women's Retreat, the speaker asked us to write down the sins in our lives we simply cannot seem to forgive ourselves for on a piece of paper. She then collected them and prayed a deeply moving prayer over us. Then she said that she was going to take those papers outdoors and burn each and every one of them. Something happened in my heart that evening. I suddenly understood how thoroughly the Father removes my sins, and that it is essential for me to forgive myself. Intellectually I always knew that. Emotionally my heart just had never cooperated. That night I felt a huge weight being lifted from it.

It was the beginning of truly understanding how much the Father loves me - of getting it from my head down to the depths of my heart. There are certain passages of scripture that do that for me. One in particular is Psalm 139. Verse 16 forever changed the way I look at my life:

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in Your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

What an astounding thought. Not only has He made me uniquely His own creation, He has already written the story of my life. There may be parts I would wish to edit out, things about myself I wish I could change, but I know that in His hands the story will be a good story. He has made me just exactly the way He wants me to be - not like any other person. Somehow, as He works in my life, all the chapters will come together into a lovely whole.

Please consider joining us in this journey of discovering "The Rest Of Your Story".