amwriting

The Power of Your Story

Currently, I am working on a writing project about transformation, which I hope to share with you in the spring.  In review of my life in recent years I find myself nostalgic.  Old photos remind of us of a time when --- who we were, dreamed of becoming, and who we are today.  Photographs are moments caught in time, that now flood our minds with memories of seasons, heartaches, heartbreaks, and joy!

In particular, this photo (below) reminds me of how far I have come in the last 10 years.  Today, I have hope anchored in my soul knowing how far God will take me.  God has no limits in his dreams for his children.  How far he will he take YOU? 

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What Is your story?

(Stay with me).

I have shared before from ages 19 to 30 my life became very messy. Nearly, the subsequent decade, would be about me healing, pursing faith, letting go, and stepping into confidence. I think most of us have a story of transformation. 

My life became immeasurably whole when I committed myself to prayer, to encourage others, and to tell my story of what my belief and practice of Jesus’ life has done in me.

If there’s ever a time to boast it is in all God has done and who HE will always be!  I love old photos of when my siblings and I were kids because I am reminded of the joys in my childhood.

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Now and then...

The picture below is from earlier this year and reminds me of the work and healing in me.
What physical picture or memory reminds you of the miracles in your life? Change doesn’t happen overnight. Healing takes time, but the fruit is peace, joy, and hope anchored beyond circumstances.

I think for my friends who do not believe in God or have a rocky history with church —- I get it. I think there is more than enough happening in our world that may lead you to think faith is not helpful. Lots of people speaking on 'behalf of Jesus' and often things church leaders say can smell a little like pooh. I am a pastor and I get it.  Yet, in my experience I know so many faith leaders who are honest, vulnerable, and have INCREDIBLE stories of God's goodness in his or her life who speak truth.  YOU have those stories.  

I leave you with this picture of me declaring to a room of people not that I am awesome. Instead, that I have failed...been hurt...hurt people, and have been disappointed —- but God rescued me. This has made my life awesome!

My rescue didn’t start at church

My surrender started in my bedroom at my parents house with a single prayer asking God to help me.

I still make mistakes. I have bad days. I long for things that have not happened yet and become disappointed.....I cuss a little....nobody’s perfect. But I am trying. I know you are trying to live your best life everyday and God sees us!  Maybe you do not have a blog or platform but you can and should declare to others the things God has done in and through you! Your story will encourage someone and we are at a time when encouragement is necessary.  We need authentic stories of what God is doing in your life. 

What God has done in me has made me feel MORE like me! I have so much more room to grow, but growing in Christ has made me more like myself.  I pray you feel the same!

The prayer I prayed at my parents house when I was broken and all of the prayers prayed since -- He heard me.

I listened.

(As a lover of literature) to quote Robert Frost “...that has made all the difference.”

Sometimes YOU have to be Your Biggest Fan

I was once offered a position as a morning radio show producer on a very successful radio station.  My initial thought was “YES!”.  For a rookie in radio an offer of this caliber was the coup de gras. With a decisive phone call this offer could have sparked a long and successful career in the business.  I should have picked up the phone and dialed the programming director immediately to accept.  Instead, I panicked.  I called people who were not wise counsel.  In fact, I began to receive responses like:

“I don’t know do you really want to move?”

“That’s a big job do you really have enough experience?”

“I do not see you doing something like that?”

“Maybe you should start smaller”

Have you ever had well meaning people give you advice or an opinion about your life, that when you tried on the idea it felt like a size too small?  The excitement of your possibilities felt like a Triple XXXL.  However, the overwhelming pessimism of your well-meaning “friends” began to make your dream feel like an Extra Small.

I turned down the job.

I have given up the ghost on regrets in my life. You cannot hold on to the would-of’s, should-of’s, and could-of’s.  Yet, I often think back to that offer simply to remind myself (and YOU) to never underestimate your ability to become who God destined you to be.  When opportunity knocks: answer, pray, decide. This could be the answer to prayers you already prayed long ago.  Also, we may need the wisdom of a trusted friend who encourages us and understands our journey to offer practical insight.  However, never let anyone talk you out of your dreams because of his or her fears, insecurities, or regrets.

I am a writer.  In order to be a writer I have to write.  The return on writing is having people read my writing.  Writers, like any other artist, have to self-promote.  The drawback is putting yourself out there for people to endlessly critique, form opinions, and misjudge.  Yet, in so many ways I assume the critiques, opinions, and judgements add to the beauty of writing --- because now you are a writer who evokes emotion.  

What is the thing that you love?  What is the thing that you have held back from doing because of what people might say?  What have you wanted to do, but are afraid to be vulnerable? What is thing that wakes you up at night, but you are unwilling to try because of the fear of failure?  I would attest that God who has made us with such fine craftsmanship to serve him and love people would not want to see our gifts wasted on fear.  When people judge…..when the naysers come with their pessimism…..when they say it cannot be done…..keep going.  I guarantee you are on to something.

SHINE.

“Before you were born, I set you apart.” - Jeremiah 1:5