When I was a teenager, I was going to save the world...
My ambitions ran from opening a group home for abused women to rescuing all the abandoned animals in my city. Never once did I consider finances or available resources as being legitimate obstacles to my dreams. In my mind, my youthful energy and passionate drive were enough to make it happen.
I never came through with either one.
It’s not that I felt any less of a burden to help abused women or homeless animals, but life--and a healthy dose of reality--set in as I matured. My priorities changed and events in my life demanded my attention elsewhere.
But I’ve always been a dreamer. That’s just how I’m wired. While I didn’t come even close to saving the world, I have followed through with some of my other ambitions: becoming a certified sign language interpreter, finishing a college degree, becoming an author. And I hope to check off a few more things on my bucket list as I enter my twilight years. But I also understand that each day is a privilege and not a guaranteed right.
So I etch moments on my heart with gratefulness and thanksgiving as I live out the conclusion of my story that God drafted over fifty years ago. He already knows where the story ends, but God rarely indulges us with spoiler alerts that give away his plan. If he did, we wouldn’t be free agents, discovering our story as it unfolds--good and bad. We would simply be following a script.
I write mostly inspirational literary fiction, where I take my characters on a journey of self-discovery and personal growth. My objective is to throw obstacles, friction, uncomfortableness, and conflict in their path to force the characters to work through them and make choices and decisions that affect how they move forward.
Sometimes, I wonder...
Is that how God reveals my destiny as I move between difficult decisions, prosperity, heartbreaks, and so much more that force me to face my fears and challenges? I believe the answer is “yes.” I think it is these very events that push me to grow and learn something that I hadn’t known before.
But, unlike fictional characters, my life is very real. I am also an active part of the story. God isn’t just throwing out random experiences to see how I will react, shocking me again and again with unexpected curve balls. Instead, I’m given the honor of writing some of the scenes--selecting parts of the dialogue and having a choice in whether I respond with grace or fight the Author every step of the way.
So, I ask myself: What kind of story am I leaving behind for others to read?
I don’t get to choose the overarching plot. I won’t see the full story unfold and understand why I faced the struggles that I did until the last chapter is written and God puts the final period on the last sentence of my story. I strive to not question the plot twists that constantly uproot my expectations and do my best to trust the process because, well…my story isn’t over yet!