A good story is powerful. A good story transports us into another place and draws us into the action. A good story brings the characters to life. We adore our favorite ones and want to know everything about them. We want to know their story – past and present. And once we know it, we understand the reasons behind choices they’ve made. Knowing their story gives us compassion for them, even when their choices have been foolish.
But how often do we look at our own story – past and present?
Where does hope fit into your story? Are you stuck in circumstances that feel hopeless? Are you looking forward to the future, feeling hopeful? Or are things just too messed up to even whisper the word hope?
It can be difficult to find hope in certain parts of our stories.
I flat-out avoided certain parts of my story for years out of fear and shame. I wanted to separate myself from those parts of my story, and pretend that they didn’t exist.
Then I read The Healing Path by Dan B. Allender and my thoughts began to shift. I learned that our story (the good, bad AND ugly) shapes the person we are today. If we want to understand why we make the choices we do, or why we think in a certain way, knowing our story will help us understand that. And it just might help us have compassion on ourselves. It might help us understand why we make the same mistakes or why we seek out a certain kind of relationship again and again.
As I read The Healing Path, I stopped straining to get away from my story and began leaning into it. I began to talk about my story with trustworthy friends. An amazing thing happened. No one ran from the room screaming, “What a freak!”. Not one person. Instead, they shared parts of their stories with me. And I began to have hope. Hope that I wasn’t alone in my struggles. Hope that the future could be different from the past. Hope that even the dark parts of my story could be redeemed.
And that hope reached into other areas of my life.
Hope gives us the courage to lean into our the story of our life, search out the redeeming parts, and carry them into the future.
Will you look into the story of your life and “read” it with eyes of compassion?
There is no other story quite like yours, and it is a story worth knowing.