I am a storyteller. As long as I can remember I’ve loved to tell the joke much more than to hear it. I revel in the moment when a good tale begins and I know it’s going to end with laughter. It may not come across in my writing, but I’m funny. Really funny. It’s one of my favorite things about me. If I was on Deal or No Deal and instead of the million dollars, my suitcase held a fantastic sense of humor, I’d hold out to the end no matter what the banker offered me.
I won’t deny spending countless hours mentally crafting the perfect Facebook post to make people laugh. Time well spent.
And I don’t just end with the jokes. I am constantly writing stories, letters, dreams, all inside my head. Living in the moment is often hard for me because I spend a lot of time crafting dreams and tales of the future. Endless dates have been spent drawing out future places to travel and live. I read adoption blogs like it is my own life changing right there on the computer screen. I become way too invested in TV. I still think about Hurley, Jack, Charlie, Sawyer, Freckles, and the rest. It’s been 5 years friends. I have a zombie apocalypse plan. There is nothing I love better than a great story.
This obsession with a great story is what made me fall even deeper in love with God. When I first fell for Jesus I spent all my time reading the new testament, thinking there was little of relevance in the old. And then I turned back my bible to page one and discovered the most extraordinary, deeply complex, beautiful story of love and redemption that I’ve ever read. Let me tell ya, that God, he’s a storyteller.
Yet on Jan. 2nd my child almost died. It was two weeks before we knew if she would even make it and even then, we were unsure if she would recover to any extent that resembled my little girl. Did my faith waiver? Not really. I still belived that God was all good, all love. But I can not tell you how many times the words I could have written a better story than you ran through my mind. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal to you, but for me, it had a heavy impact.
Because that question wasn’t really about my faith wavering, it was about my hope. I was losing it….and fast.
During that time someone posted this on Facebook: “I understand that Christians have hope in the fact that there is life after this one, but how do we find hope in the middle of our struggles right now?”
I wrestled with this question for days, intertwined with my thoughts that I was a better story teller than God. What would I say to someone who asked me How can you have hope in Jesus when this has happened to your child? When he is allowing this nightmare to continue? When you are begging from the deepest recesses of your soul for Him to give you a miracle and He is silent?
To know you have hope and to be able to understand why are two very different things. I needed an answer, if only for myself, because I knew I would love Jesus regardless, but I wasn’t sure where myhope in today was going to come from. It was wafer thin.
During this time I couldn’t pick up my Bible. It made me feel too vulnerable in a time when I needed strength. However the best thing about reading scripture is that in times when you can’t pick that book up, so much of it remains inside of you. I could hear the word of God in my heart.
My favorite verse is Micah 6:8. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. I love it for so many reasons and God has led me in the direction of finding justice and mercy for those around me. It is my life’s mission. Humility however, can be a hell of a thing to get a handle on. Especially when your daughter is on a vent and you are busy screaming I COULD HAVE WRITTEN A BETTER STORY!
As I struggled, God placed that scripture on my heart. But I didn’t know it was from him, since I have that verse hanging on my wall and it’s my next tattoo. Yet I was only focusing on the mercy and justice part. Jon and I’s New Year’s Resolution was to get our foster care license. Come on God, I was thinking. Why would you take us away from doing something so good? Mercy and Justice. Way easier than humility.
My thoughts moved to the idea of walking humbly with God and I realized that claiming to be a better story teller was a far cry from humility. It’s arrogance. And selfishness. And such a lie.
I was sitting in a moment of the greatest story ever written – the story of humanity – and I hated it. But here’s the thing. I’m not the main character in the story. God is. And that’s actually what I’ve always loved about his story – he weaves a tapestry full of color and uniqueness that is all about love and allows me to be a part of it.
This revelation did not bring me great joy to be sitting through such a horrible thing. I am still greatly disappointed and hurt by God allowing this situation. But it did give me back my hope.
I have hope because the greatest story teller ever is doing something huge and original and magical with my crappy chapter. That is beautiful. Overwhelming. Why he would include me, or any of us, is beyond my understanding. But He does. He wants to. I will never understand the full impact that today, this moment, or my life has on the story of humanity until Jesus can tell me that himself. Somehow that doesn’t really matter. Because after reading God’s story of love and knowing that a love story is the ONLY story he would ever write, I can have hope that today will matter in the long run. Today will bring about mercy and justice to someone, somewhere. Today matters in the story of humanity.