In the beginning…
Once upon a time…
It was a dark and stormy night…
Each of our stories has a unique beginning. My story started differently than yours, and yours began differently than everyone else’s. But regardless of how our stories began, each of us lives out the story of our life every day.
If you’re like me, you don’t stop very often to think about “the story of my life.” You’re too busy living it! But recognizing the pattern of events in your life, the ebbs and flows of your story, can make a huge difference, both in your future and in how your story ultimately ends.
Because when you understand the negative ways your past may be influencing your present, you have the power to make different choices, better choices.
Reflection may also give you a clearer understanding about which things in your life you can change and which things you can’t. And this prayerful reflection can become a guide to making wise and God-honoring decisions as you move forward.
If someone asked you to tell your story, what would you say?
You might start with where you were born and how you were raised. You might describe your favorite teacher, your first crush, your first car. You might include that time you scored the winning touchdown or that other time you threw up right before singing your first solo. Maybe you’d mention the big move your family made or when you left home to go to college. If you’re married, you might describe how you met your spouse. And if you’re not married, you might describe the kind of person you hope to meet one day. If you’re a parent, you might scroll through some photos on your phone or tablet and show off your family. Or maybe you’d discuss your latest promotion at work or when you hope to finally launch your own business.
Most of what you tell other people probably sounds pretty good. Maybe you’re proud of your story. You’ve overcome some obstacles. You’ve survived some challenges. You’ve accomplished some goals.
Sure, you haven’t been perfect or lived a flawless life, but who has? You’ve made your share of mistakes. (Lord knows we all have.) Some decisions you got right, and others… well, let’s just say they’re not as easy to discuss. You’ve had lapses of judgment. If you’re like most people, you’ve made emotional decisions you regret.
Chances are you might have some chapters in your story you’d rather not share with anyone.
You might have secrets. You might have done things you wish you’d never done. I know I have. Though I’m not proud of it, I’ve lost my temper and wounded people I love with my hurtful words too many times to count. I’ve given in to my selfish, sinful desires and let down God, myself, and others. I’ve neglected my family at times, giving too much of my heart to the church. Now that two of my daughters are grown and married, I’d give anything to have more time with them at home. And these are just a few of my regrets. I’ve got many more I’d rather not put in print.
Maybe you’ve ended up somewhere you never wanted to be. You didn’t mean to blow it, but you did. You made decisions that took you farther than you ever intended to go. You did some things that cost you more than you ever thought you’d have to pay. You hurt people. You compromised your values. You broke promises. You did things you can’t undo. There are no do-overs like when you were a kid on the playground.
Sometimes you skip over those dark chapters of your life. Other times you embellish your stories on the fly, making a version you like better than the truth. You brush past the ugly parts and tell the happier highlights. When you’re honest, you know that the truth about your story weaves all of your decisions together: some good, some not so good, and some still uncertain.
No matter how you describe your story, there’s good news. Your story is not over.
It’s not too late to change the story that you’ll tell one day. Regardless of what you’ve done (or haven’t done), your future is still unwritten. You have more chapters to write, more victories to win, more friends to meet, more of a difference to make, more of God’s goodness to experience. Even though you may not like the plot so far, with God’s help, you can transform your story into one you’re not ashamed to share. You can start something new.
It’s not too late to change the story that you’ll tell one day. You can start something new. No matter how desperate, uncertain, afraid, or stuck you may feel right now, your story isn’t over.
While events cannot be unwritten, they can be redeemed. No matter how desperate, uncertain, afraid, or stuck you may feel right now, your story isn’t over. You may think your story is tragic or unbelievable or horrific or boring or funny, but you don’t know how it ends. It’s not too late to change.
Your best decision is the next one that will help you be the person God created you to be.
Excerpted with permission from Divine Direction by Craig Groeschel, copyright Craig Groeschel.
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So, what’s your story? Do you like where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going? Or do you need to ask the Lord today for help in changing direction to change your future? Today’s the day to start! Come share with us on our blog. We would love to hear from you about getting divine direction from God! ~ Devotionals Daily