White picket fences or none at all, 2.4 kids and then an adopted one for good measure, athletic husband will never have a heart attack, wrinkles won’t come with the finest age cream, the retirement fund won’t run out, God will answer this prayer but not that one. Don’t we? Don’t we think we know how our stories will turn out?
I will never do this, and I won’t do this. I will always do that one thing I promise I will continue. We are the authors, aren’t we? Writing our own stories. Only when we come to the end of ourselves do we see who writes the beginning, and who writes the end. And who knows all along our merry or not so merry way who the author is as though we were ever made to author our lives.
I just finished a book with an expected ending, or maybe it wasn’t so expected after all. It all truly depends on which way I looked at it, or which way I looked at all. Or whether I looked or considered how the lives of the characters would turn out. It was only when I arrived smoothly, smilingly, happily at the end of their happily-ever-after story that I found myself with a new seed of faith for an almost 46-year-old story. My own.
And I wondered, I wondered this. Could my story turn out this way? Like theirs did? Could my story turn out differently than it looks like it will? Will the characters in my life end up in different places than I have expected? Will I arrive at an altogether different destination than the one I have simply settled for? Who really is in charge of my story? Who authors it? Who is my author? And what is my story?
Oh, as though I know how my story will end. How it will finish. How even it will continue. Or for even how long. Like I would know all this. Whose story is it anyway? Mine, right? Is it really? Is it my story, all my own? Or because of the places my life intersects, merges, crosses over, walks side by side at times, with other lives, is it my story or theirs? Or ours? Or is it more than this?
It is. More than this. More than mine. Not yours either. No, it isn’t yours for the taking just because you once walked a stretch of a mile with me. Call it my story; it has my name on it. But now I know better. Much. It is my story for His glory.
He chose this story for me. And though I have choices all along the way, I ask myself this question. Will I live my story for me, or will I live this life for Him? Him who? Him. The One. My Author. That no matter how hard, how treacherous, how challenging, how awful, how funny, how real, how anything at all, my story has been thus far, will I lay down my story in the hands of my Author and let Him lead me in the choices I make?
For after all, I was created for Him. My story is nothing in my own hands, but in His He is able to do anything and everything for one sole purpose. His glory. And if this is true, and true it is, then who am I to think I know which way I will go in six months, in six years, let alone in six single breaths?
Why not instead let the story unfold? And when I get to these hard seasons, like the one I walk in now, why not remind myself I do not know the end to what He began? I only know this.
I do not want to be one of those characters in an author’s story who runs off with the author chasing after. I have done enough of that already. I want to do this differently now.
I want to let my Author lead the way. His way. For His glory.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2 KJV