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".

Blessings,

Linda

18 comments:

  1. Just wanted to stop in & say hello - as it seems we are travel companions on this 21 day journey/challenge. Looking forward to reading more of The Rest of Your Story" as details become available. :)

    I really liked this tho't & what you followed it up w/: "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."

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  2. A very wise woman I know once said, "Our life is a story, but the story has many chapters. Some chapters can be tougher than others, but the book can still be good!"

    May God bless you as He writes this particular chapter and the rest of His Story in your life!

    Looking forward,
    Stacey

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  3. I have been thinking about what you said about not knowing the end of a story until you write it. There is something to be said about reflection and how reflecting on something---even things that went wrong, helps us to shape the future. I have a lot of reflection to do about my competnecies for my graduate degree I am earning. It is nice to look at it from the perspective of a Novelist and think 'you don't have to decide the end---yet...'

    I do hope that the end of me is a 'happily ever after' which only happens in heaven and not in earthly stories.

    Cindy Lou

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  4. I am hopping over right now to get started, Linda. Thank you for telling us about this!

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  5. The only One that knows the rest of the story from the beginning to the end is the Creator of all stories. :) We just get to learn it along the way. This is a wonderful idea. Thanks for telling us about Holley.

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  6. Good stuff, Linda! The line about not forcing our lives and lining up our plans stood out to me. I'm guilty of that sometimes, and it never works! Only He can take all the broken pieces of our lives and make them into a beautiful vessel that He can use!

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  7. I love the image of our "unforgiveable" sins burning up in the flames of His glory!

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  8. Sweet post of how loving and remarkable our Savior is...He remembers our sins no more. Your quote at the top Isaiah 43:18-19 says it all!

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  9. What a powerful story, Linda. I can almost smell that campfire and the sweet scent of grace! I hear your heart in your words, and that is a gift. Thank you!

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  10. Dear Linda,
    You're a lady I want to be following as you follow Christ. I'm getting ready to enter my 4th decade and I'm excited that the newness that God continues to have. Your passage from Isaiah is one of my favorites.
    And...thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Prayers for the journey,
    Suzanne
    "Manna for the Journey"

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  11. You made me search myself a bit. I too liked that story of the burning of the unforgivable sins. I guess we all have them, don;t we. Thanks for sharing your heart, Linda.

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  12. thank you for this, Linda... you are always so open. you help me. love to you. emily.

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

    Oh, Linda, I needed that gentle reminder today-- thank you!

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  14. Hi Linda!
    I'm stopping over from Deidra's enjoying her posts about thrift shopping and wishing we had more thrift shops in my area of NY.

    but... let us not be thrifty with our time spent with Our Creator.
    * * *
    Sharing His Good News with Spirit filled women like you, Linda~ is a treasure to me. Holley is a wonderful writer ... I'm sure her prompts will be very thoughtful.
    The Lord tells us to ask for our daily bread...just what we need for today. I'm finding that each moment, decisions are made... each creating ripples of consequences ...even though some may be small and seemingly insignificant... no one knows the depth of their measure.
    I pray for "my daily bread"
    ...the bread for the journey... and try to encompass it with the whole of my heart ♥

    This, for me, also requires prayer, since I often let my own thoughts take over and am deaf to God's gentle whispers.

    I've been meaning to print my posts, since in a way, they are a diary ~
    Do you print yours? They are the story of a beautiful spirit ~ Yours!

    blessings, always ~ Maria

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  15. I have read Holly over at InCourage and always enjoy her words. This series sounds like a wonderful faith-growing exercise, Linda. Perhaps I'll head over there and explore a bit. Thanks for sharing this, friend!

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  16. Oh, Linda, I needed to read this tonight - thank you.

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  17. Very nice post.
    I am going to go over there and read hers (o:
    Thanks for sharing her with us
    and for your words (o: or story.

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  18. They say this with a smile and it's clearly the part of the process that most delights them."

    Work from home India

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