Image courtesy of: findstuff22
"What does it look like to live a good story?" asked online Prodigal Magazine.
After reading several highlighted posts, I thought I could write a post on how to not live a good story from the perspective of one who has lived half of her story (assuming God lets me continue).
To be very clear, I am not complaining about my life. I am grateful, overall. But I am acknowledging areas needing growth.
I know the age thing is relative, as I hear people older than me, maybe groaning, "What is she talking about?" Anyway, I recently discovered St. Augustine wrote The Confessions of St. Augustine when he was past 40.
In The Confessions of St. Augustine, he wrote: "Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!" I can relate.
Although I came to faith when I was eight, it is only in the past few years, I have begun to touch and play in the ocean of God's love and goodness, frequently. Now I revel as its refreshing waters splash around my feet and fill my soul.
I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace. St. Augustine, The Confessions of St. Augustine.
I have not lived a bad story, and when I silence my inner perfectionist, the truth is parts of my story are good. My high school sweetheart/best friend and I have been married for 20 years.
After struggling with infertility, God blessed us with our girl about 10 years ago. I am infinitely grateful for her.
He has used mothering to expose and heal deep soul wounds. It has been a painful and slow process, but worthwhile.
There are parts of my story that I wish didn't exist, but God keeps reminding me lately that He will redeem all of my pain in His time. (Romans 8:28,29). And now I actually believe Him.
What kept my story from being fully good was I had not experienced the fullness of God's goodness because my heart was divided.
Looking back, I wasn't fully following Him because I was still trying to please key people from my childhood (an unhealthy addiction).
And it has become increasingly clear I cannot follow both. God deserves all of my heart and life.
Fear of rejection, or fear of someone's anger and/or disappointment, or fear of failure is a terrible way to live.
Following fear will not lead to living a good story.
But fear of God, the kind of holy reverence, that makes you worship Him, trust Him even when the way is dark, and obey Him because He is a lot wiser than you, is good. And will lead ultimately to living a good story.
A fear/reverence of Him combined with a greater love for Him will lead to living a good story.
God has been teaching me this past year that I must follow Him, and Him alone, if I want to live a truly good and full life. Full of His joy and good purposes for my life (Eph. 2:10). It does not mean an absence of conflict or hardship, but it is a new-found confidence in His ability to redeem any trials I face (Romans 8:28,29).
As I was writing this on May 22, I read Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:
Don't let the impact of the world shatter your thinking or draw you away from focusing on Me. The ultimate challenge is to keep fixing your eyes on Me, no matter what is going on around you.
What does it look like to fix your eyes on Jesus, follow Him, and not fear, so you can live a good, or even great story?
- To follow Jesus means to not look at what He is asking someone else to do. Learn from Peter's mistake (John 21:18-22). Don't compare.
- Follow Him fully, and Him alone, and not someone or something else plus Jesus. Learn from my mistake.
- Trust that He has a unique call for your life (Eph. 2:10). There are good works that only you can do.
- To follow Him with our eyes fixed firmly on Him and not fear will most likely require you to get out of your comfort zone. But He will be WITH you. (Isa. 41:10)
As I fix my eyes on Him, I am living a better story than the one I used to live. Most days, I write my story with faith in His love and goodness instead of fear's dark ink.
What have you got to lose, but fear, as you follow Jesus and live your best story?
P.S. If your fear issues are rooted in abuse and/or abandonment, you may need to seek professional help.
FYI: I found Prodigal's link because I subscribe to Emily Freeman's encouraging blog (chatting at the sky). I highly recommend checking out the other posts and/or linking on Prodigal's site.
Linking with beautiful Emily Wierenga and team at Imperfect Prose ...Congrats on her book, Chasing Silhouttes Pre-order here.
© Soul Stops/Dolly Lee 2012. Limited License: Okay for noncommercial use if you ask me, then attribute this post to me and link to my permalink and blog.