I didn't know who the hero of my story was
Once upon a time, a little girl was born near Disneyland, and she grew up immersed in stories. When we’re young, stories shape our thinking. When we’re afraid, stories let us live in someone else’s shoes until we find our courage. When we’re restless, stories let us adventure in time and across enchanted seas. At their best, stories invite us to explore our purpose, challenge us to make a difference, inspire us to love beauty and overcome wickedness.
You might imagine that the best selling book of all time would have captivated this girl with its stories of heroes and giants, shepherds and saviors. I loved the starry hush of the Christmas story and the sea breeze in Galilee where children sat on Jesus’ knees, but it didn’t seem relevant to me.
My own story was ordinary but more real– lazy, lemony summer days, family game nights, and the feeling that I was only as good as my latest accomplishment. I felt stripped, unprotected from all the potential embarrassments of living as the hero of my own story. The scope of my life was limited to my own dreams and abilities.
When I started college, I met a group of Christian students who lived life as if Jesus wasn’t just a historical report but a real person who still led, encouraged, and empowered their lives. They were interesting and had something I didn’t have– knowledge or freedom or something I couldn’t even define. Spending time with them I learned that the Bible isn’t a pick-your-adventure book, with the wearying task of trying to be like all of the good characters and not like all of the bad. God authored all of life, and he wanted to be the true hero of my story.
God’s plan for me was a personal relationship with Himself. I had never really understood this before. I knew Jesus died and rose from the grave, but never connected the purpose that all this was so that I could have a real, personal, relationship with God. For the first time, I began to experience the security of being loved by God.
I went from knowing about Jesus to knowing him when I surrendered my life to him. I live with the assurance that he chose me and wants to include me in his good plans.
For it is by grace that you have been saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves, it is a gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast. For we are God’s poetry, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2: 8-10
Following Jesus is the beginning of freedom and the fulfillment of all God’s promises. There may be monsters in the middle but the ending is already written. I invite you to explore what it might look like if you let God write the rest of your story!