I’ve always been interested in stories. Everyone has a story. I kept a journal through middle school and into the beginning of high school. In my horrid penmanship I noted events from sibling rivalries to teenage reveries. Once in high school, the journal entries evolved into wall posts, IM’s, and notes passed in class. I have kept every note I’ve ever received as well as my entire MySpace archive stashed away in a box somewhere.
High school was a wonderful time in my life. It was filled with the usual teenage rebellion, and hormone driven drama, but it got me where I am today.
During one of the more trying times, I remember sitting on my bedroom floor crying to Dad. I had snuck out of my window a few weeks prior and, although he still won’t reveal his sources, Dad found out. I was grounded for the entire summer. But what every child knows is worse than a father’s anger is his disappointment. Daddy’s little girl had failed him. I can remember the look in his eyes to this day.
I remember sitting there, tears rolling, trying to get him to understand. This was my life. He had already had his teenage years. These were my years. I wanted every fun memory I could get. I wanted the ‘nights that turned into mornings, and friends that turned into family.’ I wanted stories of my own. So I had to go out and create them.
What my invincible teenage mind couldn’t grasp was that I could have stories without sneaking out of windows or smelling like bonfires at church the next morning. I could surround myself with friendships that were like family without drinking and blurring moral boundaries. Matter-of-fact, I’ve since learned that the best memories aren’t blurry at all.
Now don’t think I was a horrible kid. Grade on a curve and I’d still make honor roll, but that’s not the point. I was so self-absorbed. I was hell-bent on getting my story and creating my life that I hurt those I loved. In not listening to them, I hung out with some shady people and got hurt myself. I’m so thankful for Mom & Dad. I have an amazing set of parents. They are so patient with me. I always had to learn lessons the hard way but they made sure I always knew I was loved and that they had my best interest at heart. But my point isn’t to give tribute to my parents, either.
My point is that I had it all wrong. All my life I have been so focused on having my story. Perhaps the reason that lifestyle and that mindset usually fails is because we weren’t made to tell our story but to tell His story. I was so wrapped up in myself all those years that I didn’t stop to thank God for all He’d blessed me with. I was always looking for more.
Living a life for yourself will always end up weekend to weekend, looking for the next thrill. I am learning to be content where I am and let God write my story.
It isn’t that we aren’t supposed to have a story. We are. But when we focus on God and what He has for our life, our story points to Him. He is glorified. That is the point. That’s our purpose: to bring glory to Him.
When we walk in alignment with Him-regardless of our trials or circumstances-we have peace, joy, blessings. A true story to tell the kids.
I’m not saying I didn’t make good memories and great friends in high school. I did. And God can most definitely use even the bad stories to bring glory to His name. That’s probably why I am still happy, healthy, and wholly here today in spite of all the dumb decisions I made back then.
And here I sit. Blogging. Telling my story. A public, online ‘journal’. I just want to use this platform for Him and not get caught up with myself. I’m no longer the subject of my story. He is. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:30 (HCSB)
Odds are that you’ve been through some difficult times too, or had to learn some lessons the hard way. Maybe you’re still hurting. What is your story? And who is the subject of your story? Sometimes if we just shift our focus everything else falls into place.