Last week, I began writing my book again.
It’s been a little while since I last looked at my manuscript, and to be honest, it needed a lot of work. I’ve known this for quite sometime, and at the request of my agent, I began working with a professional editor to reorganize and make the necessary adjustments needed to bring the manuscript up to publishing standards. Once this is done, it will be pitched to Christian publishing houses, so over the next few months I can certainly use some prayers for my book to find its home so that my story can reach the masses.
I bring all this up to tell you where my head has been lately. I’ve been immersed in the story God entrusted me to tell once again, and what’s emerged is a new sense of one of my story’s main themes which is that God’s plan for our lives is greater than anything we could hope for.
I’d be lying if I told you life is easy. I’d be lying if I told you you will never see tragedy or pain in your own life. Heck, I’d be lying to myself if I said all my difficulties are in my past. Truth is, life is hard. Jesus tells us in this life “you will have many trials and sorrows.” It’s pretty much a guarantee. “But,” Jesus says, “take heart, because I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
My story has not always been an easy one to accept. My story began with a tragedy. With the loss of my dad. For years, I longed to author my own story. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could go back and just erase all the messy stuff in our pasts? I thought. Like a judge, we could just “strike ‘that’ from the record” of our lives.
All the little struggles growing up? “Strike that.”
My sister’s disabilities? “Strike that.”
All my poor choices? “Strike that.”
My parents’ divorce? “Strike that.”
All the times I hurt others? “Strike that.”
All the times others hurt me? “Strike that.”
And of course, Dad’s murder? “Strike that.”
Here’s the thing, though, about authoring our own stories: Our stories would stink! You know what’s awesome about God? What makes Him uniquely qualified to author our stories for us?
He’s omniscient (all-knowing).
He’s omnipotent (able to do anything).
He’s omnipresent (in all places at all times).
He’s immutable (unchanging).
He’s holy (completely set apart; worthy of all worship; perfect in goodness).
He’s righteous (just).
He’s sovereign (has complete control).
And He’s merciful.
And this is to only name a few. Once we grasp what all of this really means, I think we stop trying to fight our stories, and instead, we can finally trust our loving God and embrace the story He ordains for our lives.
The story God entrusted to me is far richer than anything I could hope for. And even though it took me eleven years to come to this point, I truly do embrace my story. I don’t want to strike anything from the record of my life, including my dad’s death. Now, that’s not to say I don’t miss him terribly. I do. Every day I miss my dad. But God has shown me perspective. He’s allowed me to see and understand His purpose in my pain.
It turns out, all was grace.
And just as He promises, I have seen God work all things in my life for good. Honestly, I never thought it possible to see any good come out of my past, let alone to see good emerge out of my dad’s murder. I mistakenly thought any good in my future would result in spite of my past not as a result of my past. Yet, I had grossly underestimated the redeeming power of God.
So, as grace poured out upon me––as I witnessed true redemption––I began to entrust my story more and more to God, knowing His plan is always the best plan.
What in your past would you like to strike from the record? How might this situation have been ordained by God for your ultimate good? Share in the comments.