Last night I read one of our favorite books to my daughter Abbey entitled, "A Book" by Mordicai Gerstein. It is the story of a little girl who realizes she is a character in a book, but doesn't know what her story is. So she goes off in search of her story, trying to figure out if she is in a mystery, a historical novel, a science fiction story, a fairy tale, etc. etc. I won't spoil the ending for you, but rest assured, she does indeed figure out her own, unique story.
I love "A Book," because it reminds me so much of myself; really, of all of us. We all begin our lives without knowing the plot. Only the Author of our lives really knows how it will play out in the end. But we all search for our own unique story, wanting to discover into which "genre" it will fit, who the main characters will be, what the climax and the solutions, and especially what the ending entails.
My own story certainly has not played out exactly the way I "wrote" it in my mind when I was a little girl...
~Sexually abused as a four-year old.
~Forced to move so many times, I attended eight different schools before I graduated from high school.
~Failed at two marriages.
~Developed chronic pain from stupid diseases inside my body.
No, none of those subplots were in my story. But something happened along the way, along the pages of my book.
~I found myself in the arms of Jesus when I was a terrified four-year old at the mercy of a monster.
~I developed a high level of tolerance and acceptance for all types of people that many never know because of having lived so many different places and from having attended so many schools. Life-long friendships were developed that miles have never been able to separate.
~I have compassion and empathy for chronic pain sufferers that I would have never had if I had not developed this disease. And more importantly, it has allowed me to model strength through adversity to my own children.
The events of my story have shaped me into a victor, not a victim. It is a story that has often brought a sense of failure and discouragement but as my life proceeds, I see more and more clearly all that yet remains to be done. And I am learning to look for the good in every situation and to seek out grace and mercy from the ordinary and not-so-ordinary lines of my story.
"But the vessel that he was forming didn't turn out as he wished, so he kneaded it into a lump and started again." Jeremiah 18:4
Isn't that a great verse?
He is allowing me to be a new vessel, still worthy of being used to help others. Despite my past; the settings, the characters, the pain of my life story, God has kneaded me down to a lump of clay and is remolding me and now using me for good.
And I am pretty sure that my beautiful family is proof that God is my loving Author and wants the rest of my story to be a ‘dram-edy’ with lots of laughing and some serious stuff thrown in to keep me relying on Him.
Everyone has a story. Take time to listen. Take time to care.