Living Your Story

When I was born there were some complications with my birth and the doctor told my parents that they should not expect too much from me.  My parents were very young and simply believed the doctor. My story started out with little expectation and a life in front of a television to pass the time and waste the air.

My story took an abrupt shift when I was introduced to Sister Mary Gabrielle.  She was to be my first-grade teacher.  My mom told her about the doctor’s report so that she would know what she was getting herself into with me.  This old school nun, in the black and white robes and habit, looked directly at my mom and said, “That is the stupidest thing I ever heard.  He is just lazy.  I can fix that.” 

Before the day was out, I had gotten paddled.  My parents had been called but Sister Mary Gabrielle had begun the process of changing my story.  Toward the end of the year she told me how proud she was of my progress.  It was a rare compliment from her, and I drank deeply from those few words.  My story was now different

Over the years many have helped to redirect and shape my story.  Some of these co-authors were needed because I was writing my story with some very negative scenes coming up.  Others were there to help keep my story moving when I was stalling out.  But they all contributed to the story.

Because of all these people who have been so diligent in helping me to write my story I feel compelled to help others do the same. 

Up to this point, what is your story?  Are you fully happy with it?  Would you like a different script all together? 

How would you describe yourself as the main character in your story?  Do you describe yourself as a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess or a criminal?  Is your description of yourself helpful in your day to day life?

At any moment those descriptions might be accurate for any of us, but is that who we really are?   

1 Samuel 22:2

All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.

These men who joined David in the wilderness did not come with much to offer.  Later many of these men would threaten to kill him.  These were not the cream of the crop.  Today we might say those that they were high school dropouts, the unemployed, criminals, addicts, losers, etc. 

Hopefully your description of your leading person is better than that.  But even if it is that negative, consider this.  David obviously saw something different.  We see these men from time to time in the Scriptures and we see a summary of their lives in 2 Samuel 23.  These men killed giants.  They accomplished great feats of daring.  These are David’s Mighty Men.  Look at yourself and create a description of the potential you.  That is your lead character. 

Now that you have your star.  Create a story that considers the journey to become that person externally as well as internally.

Sister Mary Gabrielle gave me an accurate beginning point.  She did not sugar coat who I was.  We must take time to figure out who we are really.  That is a deep process that takes time and courage.  But is a critical component of your ultimate story.  Describe who you are currently.

Every good story includes a desire.  For you that desire includes becoming your real self.  To live out of your inner hero.  God has planted something inside of you that must come out.  What is that desire?  Now don’t think short term here.  You are living an epic tale, not a short story.  You might desire a cookie.  But that is for a moment.  What will be satisfying long term?  That is the desire you should be expressing.  This is the theme of your story.  It is what creates the energy and passion of life.

A second element that every great story has is that there is a problem.  How long would you watch a movie that never had a problem presented.  The main problem is that you are not who you were designed to be.  But there is more.  There are likely a whole host of problems for our hero to solve on their way to the promised land.  List out the problems that you can see.  We need these problems to give us purpose.  To forge us and sharpen us.  Embrace the problems.

While we are embracing the problems, a solution will present itself.  That solution might be a job, relationship, an education or some other direction.  Here we seek God to help us create the solution.

No matter how good the solution is we will interact with the next element of a great story and that is an adversary.  Now most of us don’t like our adversaries.  We would rather not have them.  But you know they are there.  There are three types of adversaries.

There is the external adversary.  These are those who will lose power if you succeed in living your desire.  They will stop at nothing to prevent you from living that abundant life.  This is the devil trying to talk Jesus out of obeying the Father in the wilderness.   

You also have an intimate adversary.  Often these adversaries are not attacking you out of hate.  But they fear losing you.  They love you as you are and fear you changing.  This is the mother trying to talk you out of joining the military or the grandmother giving you a cake when you are on a diet.

But our biggest adversary is the internal adversary.  The voices in our heads can be deafening.  “Doctors said you were going to be a loser.  The kids in school called you names.  Remember that time you failed?”  That voice stops some people.

Ultimately, we need to be thankful for our adversaries, because as we overcome them, we become stronger.  They force us to work harder, to think clearer, to love better and to live healthier.  They push us to become all that God designed us to be.

The resolution of your story is you living in your whole self, in God’s whole world living in the desire that He gave you. 

Write out your story.  Share your story.  Live your story.