Friday, January 13, 2017

Stories

Stories.  Movie and books are full of stories.  Words are everywhere, creating stories all around us.  And lately my heart and mind has been fixated on this particular word: story.  It's been mulling around in my ever constant thoughts, it's been showing up in my quiet times and in the loud times at work.  And then just yesterday it's what I felt God pressing on my heart to share with a group of middle school FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) students. 

Life is a story; a story full of individual chapters, cliff hangers, flashbacks and foreshadowing experiences.  As I've pondered this, I've also come to look at the Bible in the same fashion.  It is full of stories of the lives of those who have gone before us.  And in these stories, we are privileged to see chapters of their lives.  For some, we get to see the beginning chapters (ex. Moses, Jesus, Samuel, David), but for others we are only able to see a glimpse into a couple of chapters of their story.  Yet even those glimpses provide powerful testimonies of God's faithfulness, mercy, goodness and love.

What about in my life?  In yours?  What chapter of your story are you living out right now?  That's the question I posed to the students yesterday.  What is God writing in your life at this exact moment?  Is it a chapter of trials and pain?  Joy and blessings?  Family issues or school trouble?  What is it that is going on in your life right now?  What is this chapter going to look like for you? 

Somehow yesterday I wound up sharing about my middle school experience with the kids.  I did not set out with an intention of sharing that information, but that's how God works sometimes.  It's a bit difficult for me, a teacher, to share with the kids the tumultuous time I had in middle school.  The bad grades, the major band geek I was, the family strife and the trouble I got in to.  I mean who really wants to share that they received failing grades in middle school?  Not this teacher!  But then I was able to share about how those chapters are part of my story and have brought me here today where I have the honor and joy of working with middle schoolers....and actually LOVE it!!! 

There will be chapters in your life that are ugly and you may wish you could delete them.  I'm guessing King David felt the same way!  But look what happened.....instead of deleting his affair, David humbled himself and God wrote a story of redemption full of blessings (after a little bit of pain) and creating a powerful legacy from it.  So those ugly chapters in your life...well, God may want to do something beautiful with them.  And those chapters may be the testimony that someone else needs to see and hear in order to be encouraged to press on through difficult times.  Sharing a part of your story, a chapter, is your testimony.

God is in the midst of a creating a new chapter in my life.  I'm still learning to put words to it, they are still stirring deep in my soul.  This chapter has been one that I've longed for, for so long that I don't know how to share it.  It's not what I expected, but it is so much better than I could ever have imagined.  Maybe in time I will be able to put words to this chapter.  But for now, I am able to look back at all that God has written in my life and I can see His hand....His mercy, grace, provision, protection, forgiveness, redemption and most importantly...His love.  And for now, that is my testimony.  God is good and He is love.

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