I heard it while getting ready for work a few weeks ago.
“I didn’t know I had a story.”
The particular woman who said this is Robin Roberts’ (co-anchor of Good Morning America) mom. She is in her 80’s and has just co-written a book because someone assured her she does indeed have a story.
From the outside looking in, her story seems more interesting than our own. We don’t have any famous relatives or great adventures to talk about. We haven’t traveled the world or witnessed any miracles. No claims to fame. No great fortunes. Just simply lived lives, doing what we can with what we’ve been given. Day to day work, either in the home or office, doing what we love, or what we can to pay the bills.
The truth is, you too have a story.
I am convinced, that each of us do have a story and more importantly, that our stories are valuable. Created by a loving and intentional God, our stories are penned by His plan, and scripted with His promises. None are a mistake. What we see as coincidence or chaos, sagas or serendipity, He can weave together for a solid story line that blesses all who read it. Our mistakes are in thinking that the details don’t matter or that our story is not as important as someone else’s.
I have drafted 3 blogs in the last month and none of them have made it to “publish.” This one is being posted today in honor of what would have been my mom’s 79th birthday. She would have wanted me to write. We lost her 4 years ago but continue to learn how interesting and exemplary her story was. Like, Mrs. Roberts, she would not have said her life was special in any way. However, in an effort to learn and to grow from all that she experienced, she did take notes as she navigated her days and years. We have a variety of half-filled journals and index cards filled with quotes, affirmations and evidence of progress in this journey called life. They are treasures to us now.
At the risk of sounding morbid, there is nothing like a funeral to get us thinking about our lives, our legacy, what really matters and what really doesn’t. Pictures are shown. Tributes are spoken. Through it all, looking back together, we see the predominant themes that tell the story. Two weeks ago as we said goodbye to a precious friend who was an integral part of our church, I couldn’t help but think of her story. She was a quiet, behind -the- scenes kind of gal, but as one after another shared at her funeral, her story once again unfolded. Chapters could of been titled, “Amazing Love,” “A Servant’s Heart,” and “Fighting the Good Fight.”
As you look at your life thus far, do you see recurring themes? Who are the main characters? Is there an adventure slipped in there that enriched your life? Are there still mysteries to be unraveled regarding your heritage? Are there “chapters” that you can see and title? Do you have a hobby or ability that you could write the book on? Is there a principle that has guided your choices and helped set the course for your life? How would you describe yourself in three words? If you could accomplish one thing in life, what would it be? What are you most proud of thus far?
Every question you ask yourself will take you one step closer to seeing the bigger picture. That is your story. The pieces fit together better than you think. In hindsight, things always make more sense.
My mom treated everyone with love and respect. Their age, race, or station in life did not matter. She had lifelong friends that she kept in touch with all through the years, no matter where in the states she moved, all the while making new friends wherever she went. We learned from her how to be a good friend, how to treat others, and that everyone is valuable. She showed us that details do make a difference, that it’s the “little somethings” in life that are the gifts, and that you can’t have too many office supplies! Thank you, mom, for all that you taught us with your life. We miss you so much but are so glad you were born!
Still, Taking Pages From Your Book…