Love Your Story, Even the Hard Chapters
God communicates to you through your everyday life and the unfolding of your own story. Call it providence or what you will, but God does personally reveal himself to you through your daily experiences. Through the good and bad things that happen in your story, God is guiding you along the path He’s set for you.
With that in mind, your story matters and every part of it is important.
But it’s easy to hate parts of your story. Maybe your story isn’t panning out the way you expected it to. Maybe you wish you had a different set of physical qualities or character traits. Or maybe your story is boring and doesn’t compare to the epic sagas you watch in the theater.
No matter what is causing you to hate your story right now, don’t give up. Your story is just beginning, and God has a lot in store for you before your story comes to a close.
Love your story: God created you just for it.
God created you. And despite popular belief, He didn’t use a cookie cutter to do so. God didn’t copy and paste you into existence. Scripture says that you are wonderfully, fearfully and intricately crafted by God.
David says, “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them” (Psalm 139:16).
God is a creative storyteller. And to tell the true story of your life, a one-in-a-trillion story like no other, He created you — uniquely, complexly and perfectly tailored to live the days He’s formed for you.
This doesn’t mean you’re perfect. Like all protagonists, you have a lot to learn and you’ll have to progress through the story one day at a time. But there’s a purpose and design behind every “flaw” and “imperfection” you struggle with, and God will reveal those purposes at the perfect time. So part of loving your story is loving who God created you to be as the main character of it.
Love your story: God wrote it.
It’s easy to compare your life’s story to that of others. Facebook is a great way to do so. With the click of a button, you can instantly be reminded that your life is very different from your friends’ lives. They’re all dating, and you’re still single. They’re all married, and you’re still single. They all have kids, and you’re still single. You’re still single.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re wishing I would stop saying that. It’s like lemon juice on a fresh papercut.
But wait a minute. I don’t think God titled this chapter in your life “Still Single” or “Not Dating: Continued” or “No Boyfriend Yet.” You might be focused on this aspect of your life, but that’s not how God sees your life right now.
What if God’s title for this chapter in your life is much different than yours? What if it’s: “Searching for Love and Finding Jesus” or “Learning Patience and Trusting God” or “Destined for Greatness, Not Marriage.”
Part of loving your story is loving where God has you in it. God has a perfect plan for your life, not a perfect life for your plans. He’s written your story, and He knows how it ends for His glory. This is where I could easily quote Jeremiah 29:11, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll quote Romans 8:18:
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Love your story: God wrote himself into it.
When you think about reasons why you should love your story, maybe you struggle to come up with even a short list of redeeming qualities. Or maybe you have the opposite problem, and you can list off redeeming quality after redeeming quality like your God’s second-greatest novel to humanity. Hopefully you find yourself comfortably in the middle of these two extremes.
There will always be parts of your story that are easy to love as well as parts of it that are hard to appreciate. Maybe you have an amazing job, but it comes at a price and you struggle to maintain relationships with the people you love. Perhaps you are extremely comfortable and content being single, but you had to survive several unhealthy and heartbreaking relationships to get there. It’s possible you have an amazing love and passion for God today, but you had to find it as a result of tragic circumstances.
Like every good story, you have to take the good with the bad. There’s always going to be some conflict that you’re struggling with until your story is fully resolved at the end. And that’s the most important part about loving your story: the ending. Unlike Dorothy, Frodo, Hermione and Forest Gump, you know how your story ends. The author and finisher of your story doesn’t believe in spoiler alerts. He’s already given away the ending of your story:
I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:28)
What’s more, He wrote himself into your story to guarantee your happy ending. Try letting that sink in. God wrote your story into His, and He wrote himself into yours. That’s a story worth loving and certainly a story worth living to the fullest.
So always try to keep the chapters of your life in perspective. They’re just chapters. And little by little, they’re working their way to an amazing, climactic ending that will result in more happiness than you could ever imagine.
About the Author
Matt Stickel is blessed to share people’s amazing, heart-breaking and inspirational stories for a living. He regularly writes and shares stories about lives being transformed by God’s grace at the rescue mission he works at in Colorado Springs and regularly challenges others to pause and think about important topics like introversion and depression on his own blog. He’s happily married to the most encouraging and hard-working wife. He enjoys simple pleasures like cooking yummy food, reading history books and taking long hikes in the woods with the aim of getting lost.