I love stories, especially the true ones. Stories of people who faced adversity and conquered. Who did something unique or attempted it for the first time. Who discovered or invented something that changed history. Who faithfully cared for a loved one with problems of their own. Who lived in another place or time yet experienced the same emotions common to humanity.
These stories are filled with faith, hope, and love (the same three elements I consider key to everything I write, including fiction.) Faith in Someone or something bigger than themselves when the going got tough. Hope that the current circumstances could change for the better. Love for God and/or others as the motivation behind what they do. When I read or hear stories like these, I can’t help but find inspiration and encouragement for my own journey.
Yet, we all have a story. My unique combination of experiences as a pastor’s kid, coach’s wife, mother of a special needs child, former-high-school-chemistry teacher, legal researcher in asbestos cases, and survivor of chronic fatigue syndrome have shaped how I view the world. Then my personality as an introverted optimist with a somewhat-twisted sense of humor colors every word, action, and even facial expression I reveal to the world around me.
My life tells a story and people are reading it whether I want them to or not.
So, if I’m writing a story with my life, what do others see? Hope or fear? Faith or frustration? Joy or depression? Encouragement or criticism? A cheerleader or a test-giver? A learner or a know-it-all? Trust in God or worry? Perseverance or pain? Is my life attracting others to the Giver of Life?
What about you? What story are you telling with your life? What do you want people to read? How can the two send the same message?