It’s only Wednesday. And so far, the canvas this week is painting is nothing short of spectacular. I can hardly believe what has been unfolding before my eyes. The colors and layers and depth created by the Painter’s brush strokes have left me in awe of the larger Story.
The Story that you and I live every day. The Story that calls us to so much more than things and money and instant gratification.
Every story has certain components that make it worth reading, hearing, and living. For me, the most important part of any story is simple. The characters make it worth reading, hearing, and living.
Speaking of characters, I met 3 amazing protagonists this week. 3 ladies who have impacted my life in ways that I would have never imagined. And the interesting thing is that I didn’t seek them out. They landed in front of me. And offered their stories of hope, redemption, and amazing grace.
Let me introduce them to you:
She is approaching 70 years old. One would think that she would be enjoying retirement. Loving on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. And she is doing just that. 24 hours a day. One of her great-grandchildren who is 5 years old has lived with her since he was 18 months old because no one else would take him in. What would possess this senior citizen who could sleep in, travel, and live it up make such a huge sacrifice?
She is young. Too young, with beautiful children. And, she was handed a horrible diagnosis. One that would require daily medication for the rest of her life. The side effects are tolerable only because without the medicine, she would not be able to function. In the prime of her life, she discovered that life as she had imagined it would not be. There would be a new normal with different expectations of herself and others. What gives her the energy to deal with the side effects of the medicine and not give up?
Another young lady. With a mere toddler. She coded twice and was thought to have permanent brain damage. And is only alive today because of the miraculous power of Jesus. She has defied all medical wisdom and almost 3 years later with a heart from a donor, she lives. She LIVES! And the medication she takes also takes from her, but she chooses not to dwell there. She chooses to think and dwell on all that God has given her. Not what He allowed to happen to her. How does she endure each and every day?
Their stories are so similar, yet vastly different. We all have a story to share and we want to tell it. Whether we want to admit it or not.
So, what are the answers to the questions above? What would possess a great-grandmother to be a mother to her great-grandson? What gives someone with a chronic disease the energy to not give up? How does a heart-transplant survivor endure and thrive?
One word: love. LOVE! The most powerful motivator we will ever know. It motivated me to nurse my children round the clock for over a year even though I must.have.sleep. It motivates dads and moms all over the world to work hard and sacrifice so their children can prosper.
It motivated Jesus to bear His cross. Because He loved His Father. And me and you.
And, when we share our stories, He can be glorified. When we hide due to shame or fear, who gets the glory?
I am honestly in shock over the power of these ladies’ stories. I met them in three different places and did not know them until this week. We talked, we shared, and I simply listened to them and asked, “what is that like for you?”
And, I want to ask you the same thing. What is _______ like for you? What is your story? What is YOUR story? You don’t have to make it up. It already is.