Writing A Better Story

I wish I could say I always get it right.  But I don't.  Because more times than I would care to admit, I fail.  Miserably.  And I literally dislike the person I am.

I say things I don't mean.  

I withhold forgiveness too often.  

I fail to love enough and sacrifice very little, all the while demanding more.  

I can be selfish and greedy, narrow-minded and judgmental.  

And the thing is, I know almost in an instant when my bad behavior rears it's ugly head.  I can know in my heart and in my head that a certain behavior pattern is destructive, but I do it anyway.

And wasn't it Paul in Romans 7:15 who tells us of his human struggle as well?  “I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it.  Instead I do what I hate.”

And in the words of my teenage daughter who would use this phrase to describe much of her problems in this particular season of her life... “The struggle is real.”

Because there are days I just want a do-over.  Another day to get it right.  My story, though much of it beautiful, is too, filled with potholes and u-turns.  Much of who I have become is a story of grace and goodness, and I am enormously grateful for my journey and for the obstacles I have overcome.  But this pavement is rocky and steep and some days it's a battle to be good and do good.  Because the head doesn't always translate well to the feet, and good intentions get interrupted by bad decisions and insufficient actions.

But there is good news ~ my story isn't over!

Every day I am presented with an opportunity to write a better story. Because, “...His mercies are new every morning.”  {Lam 3:23}

Yesterday is gone.  

It's history.  

And I could choose to live in the past, regretting all the mistakes I have made, or I could rise up, press pen to paper and write a better story starting today.  

It's not too late.

My daughter participated in Narnia, the musical, this past weekend and it was an amazing story of grace and forgiveness.  In the end of the story the lion, Aslan, who is a representation of Christ, and who sacrificed his own life (and was raised to life again) for the young boy, Edmund, participates in a crowning ceremony – making all four sibling children kings and queens of Narnia following the triumphant overpowering of the white witch.  After Aslan has crowned each child, he gives them one instruction.  He says, “Once a king or queen in Narnnia, always a king or queen in Narnia.  Bare it well.”

As a believer, I am a representative of Jesus Christ.  It is His name that I am required to honor with my life. And every day I have a choice.  I can compromise His reputation or I can bare His name well by writing a better story.

As the close of another year approaches and a new one begins, I reflect on the person I want to be.  Because I could love more, I could forgive more, I could risk more, and I could trust more.  I could appreciate more, care more, sacrifice more, and extend grace more. Today I could stretch out my palms to give more.  Because in giving more, I am living more.  And God cannot use clenched fists shut tight. He can only change us when we come willing to bare it well and participate in the writing of a better story.  One that speaks of His goodness and love.   And my story can be a direct reflection of the sacrificial love shown to me when I did nothing to deserve it.

This is my story and I wholeheartedly desire to write something worth reading.


Author: Wendy Bender of Inspire My Journey.  

Wendy is a messy mama and wife who loves Jesus. Her desire is to share her passion for life with those around her. She longs to see the hearts of women radically changed by the love of our Savior. She writes this piece for the readers of Always, Sarah to encourage others to press on in their faith and to inspire them to love like Jesus. Connect with Wendy on her blog or on Instagram.

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