Embracing Your Story
What do you think of the story God is writing with your life? Do you love your story? Do you wish your story was different? In what ways do we need to embrace the story God is writing even if it's different than the one we would have written?
I've been thinking about our stories a lot lately. For one, I'm writing a new coaching curriculum for One Foot that I'll be beta testing in January on being intentional with your life by developing a life plan. Learn more about how you can get in on this here. Not to panic anyone who is ready to go on this, but I'm in the midst of writing the intro week and we're talking about our stories. In particular, we'll do a deep dive on our own story and how we can start loving the story God has written.
I'm also thinking about story because I had a little unexpected twist and surprise over Thanksgiving. A surprise that had me thinking about how your story and my story can merge and without a lot of warning can turn and be different . People take on new jobs. Single people find their person. A loved one passes away. And before we know it, our story has shifted.
How about you? Where are you with your own story? Are you in a season of calm or has your plot line taken a new turn? How do you and I learn to embrace the story God is writing for our lives?
Embrace the Now
You and I have a choice in the matter. You see, for years, I would look at my story and wish it were different. I wanted to be like that other girl. I wanted different experiences and skills and personality. And at times, this caused me to look at the story God is writing with my life and regret my past. I'm not sure I want to admit this, but I was dying for a just a minute with the pen so I could do some writing.
Lately, there's been this theme that God is writing on my heart as I live my life. I turned 48 this year. And nothing about my life as a 48 year old is as I imagined it as a little girl. My imagined life was of marriage and family and had nothing to do with challenges of being single, owning a business or two, or how to market your business and well, basically, market yourself.
But God has been speaking to me about two things. One, I can choose to be present in the life I have now. Maybe this comes naturally to you. On the Strength Finders, my number one strength is Futuristic. Basically, that means I'm always looking ahead. It's a challenge for me to present. It's hard for me to embrace my now. And if you're like me, embracing your now can be a courageous act. Embracing your now means letting go of the outcome next year, in 5 years, and in 10 years. Embracing your now means trusting God with an unknown future.
Embracing the story God is writing means loving the story God is writing for you. It's the other half of the work God is doing in my heart. True confession. I haven't always loved my life. I've continually wished for something more. Something different. Something I would write.
But in this season of my life, I am learning to love my life and love how God has wired me. I'm learning to love my fun personality traits and I'm learning to love those things that make me annoying to those around me. I'm learning to love my flaws and my strengths. I'm learning to discover who I am and love the me that God started knitting together before I was born (Psalm 139).
To be honest, I want the same for you. My greatest desire for the One Foot Community (whether you come to coaching or read this blog) is that we all embrace our stories. That you and I would learn to be present with our lives and our people and the God who is writing the story of it all. That you and I would learn to love ourselves and the lives we've been given.
Collecting the Evidence
We have this question in coaching that I learned from my trainers.
We ask this when our clients are doubting something or are convinced this is how life is or for any number of reasons. As I reflect on some unexpected changes in my life, I asked myself this question about evidence.
For me, the evidence isn't about a thought, but more about God. What evidence do I have that God will come through in this situation as He has in others? Has He been faithful in my life, my career, in friendships, and in family?
To be honest, I look back on my life. There are days when I think I wish it were different. I wish I had gotten married. Or I wish I had found the right career path earlier. Or I wish I had been better with my money.
But truly, as I look back, I wouldn't edit one piece of my story. You see, the twists and turns, the good-byes and hellos - they all made me who I am today. The person I'm learning to embrace as unfinished but whole. I look back and see how God has been faithful to me. I look back and see His hand of love on each step and each move and each decision. And I see evidence that I can trust Him with my future.
So how do we collect this evidence, you may be asking?
What Do You Love and Want More of?
I do this little exercise with my groups that I learned at Learning Journeys, where I did my coach training. In this exercise we pose two questions. What do you love about your life? What do you want more of in your life?
The original coaching tool includes looking at magazines and cutting out pictures and words that represent these things. You can do this more simply by drawing pictures or making a list of these things. My encouragement to you...don't just think about them. Write them down. Process them out loud. Come to a realization that there are things about your life you love that you don't always think about.
I typically do this with my groups - well because it takes some time. And every time, I find something that I was unaware of. Every time I find a new thing to be thankful for or a new way God has been faithful.
The one thing I am realizing in embracing my story is that the process takes time. While you and I can choose to embrace our story and trust God, our hearts need the time to process all that we've experienced. Once we start to work on it, we will discover each new day is a day to learn to love our life story and ourselves. We will find that each new day is a day to embrace the story God is writing.
One Foot faith is a faith that trusts God with the story of our lives. And as we trust God with our story, we know that He is bigger than our unknown future, the changes in our lives, and the times when He is asking us to rest and be still.
Trusting God with you as you continue to step into your future....
I'd love to hear from you One Foot Community! What parts of the story God is writing are you loving right now? Comment here or click here to get in touch via e-mail.