Last weekend, I taught at a writing conference. Each time I teach at a conference, I become increasingly aware that our lives weave a story. Some lives are stories of abuse, neglect, betrayal, and struggle. Other lives involve miracles, healing, and thankfulness.
Life stories are powerful. Your personal story is unique and multifaceted. Each life event shapes and adds structure to your story. Do you use your story to help and encourage others? Or do you internalize your story and never voice it?
Following are thoughts on life stories:
Life Stories are Filled with Ups and Downs
Like a suspense novel, most of us have a life story that resembles a roller-coaster ride. Just when it seems all is going well, we round a corner and descend into a perilous plummet of twists and turns. In these life moments, all we can do is hold on, fight against gravity, and wait until the ride comes to an end and we can pull ourselves out and up.
Then, we experience times of peace, calmness, and forward motion. In those seasons, do you remember to give thanks? No matter how life unfolds, remember you don’t have to navigate the difficulties in your own strength. God is available and willing to shoulder your load.
Life Stories are Ever-Changing
We have a saying in our state, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes!”
Life is similar to changeable weather. Your story is constantly developing, written, edited, and then rewritten. If you don’t like the season you’re in, the struggles you are facing, or where this chapter is headed, just wait. Life seasons rarely reconcile in five minutes, but they do change.
Often, we long for status quo, a sense of normalcy that is ongoing and unchanging. But areas of life evolve and with those changes come opportunities for growth and increased wisdom. Don’t fight the hard seasons. Move through them knowing better days are ahead.
Life Stories Encourage and Support
Often, we share the good elements of our personal story, but hide the parts that expose our vulnerabilities or mistakes. We forget others have private struggles they are hesitant to share. Those who look “perfect” to us, are often dealing with unimaginable hurts and challenges we cannot see.
Your story is powerful when shared. It provides connection, encourages, and supports. Others see they are not alone in their struggles. When you share the hard parts of your story, be honest, but highlight positives. Let your story promote hope and healing rather than focusing on a tale of woe.
Life Stories Chronicle God’s Faithfulness
Do you recognize God’s faithfulness in your life story? Many people don’t see God’s hand in their lives and blame Him for their troubles. Yet, no matter what you are facing, God is concerned and available. Believe He exists and ask for His help.
When you are tempted to forget God’s faithfulness, remember times in the past when He has guided and sustained you. Then, renew your connection through prayer.
Prayer is a powerful tool in shaping your life story. Utilize prayer today, trusting God’s timing and presence in crafting and perfecting your next chapter and beyond.
“Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on Him completely; never depend upon your own ideas and invention. Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish, and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead” (Proverbs 3:5-6 VOICE).
Utilize prayer today, trusting God’s timing and presence in crafting and perfecting your next chapter and beyond.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).
To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.