Our Stories

We all hold stories. Good stories, hard stories, stories of faith and failure, stories of peace and pressure. These stories shape us, but sometimes it feels like they might break us. We create meaning from these stories. The meaning comes based on our age, our resources, the information we have at the time and the influence of those around us. If we have help, this meaning can be true and right. But sometimes we make sense of these stories all by ourselves…

I was on a run today and began to remember some old, hard stories, ones that held a lot of unknowns. When looking back, I noticed my most anxious times in life are held in places when the answers were not near or in sight. Places where I decided God was deaf or blind or cruel and I had to figure it all out. Atleast that is what my broken human brain decided in order to make sense of things.

We all have something that sends our bodies over or under or out of whack. If we paid attention a little more to those cues, those anxious cues, we might find a story there: A time when we didn’t know what to do or where to turn, a time when we felt confused or alone or ashamed, a time when no good answer was in sight and the waiting was hard…

I believe our bodies hold our stories and many times the meaning we try to make of this world and its pain, just isn’t grounded in truth. We try to make sense of the hard with our human minds, our human resources and with the humans around us. But that’s the problem, we are human. And as believers, we know humanity is broken. So have you ever considered, many of the stories we hold and their meaning are based on broken human understanding? So maybe, just maybe, we need to revisit these narratives through an eternal lens instead of our human one. Maybe we need some help.

I began to pray through these hard stories this morning, pray for an eternal perspective, pray to see the heavenly resources that were present, pray to see what God had placed in the unknown to support me during these hard spaces. I began to remember my grandmothers, biscuits in their kitchens and honeysuckles in their yards. I saw my mom braiding my hair and ironing my favorite striped dress as a child. I saw my church family and my dad’s strong hand on my shoulder. I saw my boys playing in the yard and my husband hugging them. I saw friends and neighbors. I began to remember all the stories of how I’ve been held and surrounded during the unknowns.

You see, the body holds ALL the stories, the hard ones and the good ones. We forget the good ones sometimes. And just as the stories of the unknown scare me, there are so many stories of how God sent many known things to me. I want to spend some time there, in what’s known, what’s true. I want to revisit some of those hard places with the mind of Christ instead of my broken one.

I want to access heaven’s eyes as I remember. How did heaven see my stories, my pain, my not-knowing?  Because you see, heaven knows. Heaven holds my savior and both my fathers, and a mighty angel army that fights for me and you. And those heaven-eyes are the ones I want to use when I approach something hard, don’t you?  I think there is something prideful about assuming my brain can interpret anything correctly without the help of the One who created it. So, that begs the question, what stories do I need to reconsider and maybe just surrender? What interpretations have I made that were formed when I had the mind of a child, or a confused teen, or an exhausted young mom? 

Jesus is good and strong and He knows it all and holds it all. He is full of wisdom and kindness. He created us and He was there in the midst of every story, the hard ones, the good ones, the ones that shaped us and the ones that might break us. He is also a great story teller. I wonder, are there some stories in us that He might tell a different way? I’ve come to know Him lately as a truth teller and someone I can trust. Maybe, just maybe, we could use His help, we could trust Him with these stories, to heal us in the hard ones, and to highlight the oh, so good ones. 

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