I am going over to Prodigal Magazine to link up with a writing project entitled “What Does It Mean To Live A Good Story”? But I am not ready to write this piece. Not quite yet. Honestly, its a bit scary.
So this is where I get brave and think with my fingers. This is where I process and ponder and ask for His grace to be authentic and brave. And real. And encouraging.
And this is the one where I say that isn’t the most important part of living a good story being awake, fully alive, real and honest.
Isn’t being eyes wide open a really good place to start. Being present and aware and connected to all of those things around us, around me, anchors the heart in the lines and paragraphs, in each and every word even, of our good story.
If I fall asleep on the pages or doze off mid-sentence, then I am sadly not present.
There are the parts that are dog-eared. You know the ones that are marked with brilliant yellow highlighter and turned down page because they are special. We want to go back there and stay.
But what about the parts which are riddled with conflict, or pain, or sadness. What about the chapters that are just plain difficult to live once, much less re-live a second time.
Oh but these are the part where the main character is afraid, very afraid. This is where fear and doubt creep in. And she tries hard to be brave. These are the parts of the story where we hide our eyes and look away. We hold our breath and glance away or get out the kleenex.
These are the parts where the husband leaves for a season, and she doesn’t know when and if he’ll return to the home. And with the brave and the pain come healing and change. And transformation grows out of the dark, wet soil, stained with tears.
The important parts hold uncertainy. The critical life-altering chapters bear a fork-in-the-road, a turn or a twist in the life direction.
This is the part of the story where the main charachter digs down deep, cries out for God and is shaped and molded, held and loved and loved and loved some more.
Every good story has Hope and a longing after love in the center. A good story has suspense and uncertainy of the outcome.
There are parts where the heart longs so deeply after the love of another. But waiting is often the most important part. Without waiting and preparing we would miss so much. The waiting through, the working through, the being shaped in the middle, this IS the story. This is at the heart of the good story. This is the part we sink our teeth into, it the substance. We savor the sweet and the bitter of the tears and the joy. We taste it all and it is good.
With out waiting and wondering and Hoping there would be a beginning and an end, but what about the messy middle. Oh, these are the parts where the story gets good. These are the meaty parts with heart and soul and courage. This is where we linger. This is where we live. This is where change happens. This is the formative part of the story for our main character.
I know an important chapter of a very good story where a mother waited and waited for a baby to love. To join a little family that had love to wrap around another. A good story ripens and with the ripening and preparation for birthing the story, the characters are shaped in unimaginable ways.
Our life stories look so different when we glance back and study them from where we are TODAY. But the only way to live, is to go forward. To live forward. One day at a time. To go forward with honesty. Go forward with authenticity. Go forward through the closed door, the brick wall, the muck and the mire with boldness and faith. And a very brave heart. Open for all that He has for us.
We often would not write nor script what we have lived. But embracing each word, line, verse and chapter as learning and as our own, makes our story a good one. Because it is ours. Because it is good since it is ours.
Every good story has an ending. I don’t know one that doesn’t end whether I am ready for the ending or not.
That is why the messy in the middle, the meat of the center, the rarest, rawest parts are so important. They are the good story. They are the good parts.
This is where the bruising comes, the banged up knee and the bloody noses of life. This is where the bankruptcy is declared, and infertility deals uncertainty, and kids change schools, and parents get sick, and friends face tragedy, and loved ones are lost. And you know all this. You have your story too.
But a good story well lived takes all the pages between two covers and braced by one spine, and seeks to wrap it all in Grace and all in a thankful heart.
And say this is mine. This is my story. And tomorrow will bring joy and surprise and a chance to do a bit of editing and changing of decisions and perspective.
I am not quiet ready to write my piece for Prodigal Magazine. But I am close. And I am getting braver. And I am preparing with eyes wide open. But for today,I have a story to go live. And for that I am very grateful.
How about you. You can tell your story too. You can go over there or you can leave me a comment about living a good story.
Thank you for your Grace, here, today.
wishing you His Grace….