So many times in life I think to myself, “boy, this would make an incredible story.” Or, I will say to friends and colleagues, “you won’t believe this story.” And then I think about my profession, my passion, what I do: I help others tell a story. I teach students how to write a narrative essay, I tell them that their story matters, I work with them on the art of writing.
I have always enjoyed writing. As long as I can remember, I have enjoyed the back to school shopping for school supplies (because I love pens, pencils, and all the writing things!). I would write on anything I could get my hands on. Sometimes that would be in a book, on a piece of paper, a book of “Guest Checks” for my restaurant, I would color, draw, and all of that was a way to express myself or show creativity in a variety of ways.
To be honest, I never thought I would be blogging about life, living with my family, Veterans, and a service dog.
Quite frankly, I am in awe that I do this (most days) and that I have met some amazing and wonderful people through a website.
I saw a powerful image. As I tell my students, photos, an advertisement, a video, or even a meme or inspirational quote and really stay with you. These items can persuade you, tug at your heartstrings, or make you stop and think.
That’s what this image did for me today.
If you are worried about the path your life may be taking, worried about your job, stressing over things you cannot control, focusing on negativity, taking words that others say to heart, frustrated by your appearance, or life in general, you need to heed the words in the photo from TobyMac.
Don’t try to change your story.
God is writing your story, let him have the pen.
As much as we would like to control all sorts of situations in our life, sometimes we just have to step out in faith and put our trust and hope in the big guy upstairs.
Don’t believe that big guy upstairs works and helps you?
I have been fortunate to facilitate writing groups with Veterans (off of a college campus) and I hear them and see them change and develop into artists, using talents that they did not know they had, sharing their story of hope and healing, divulging information about missions and time at war that may not be shared with others all because of writing. Writing a story. Preserving information for themselves, reminding themselves they are stronger than they know, braver than they think, and absolutely wonderful.
Colleagues share their stories with me of successes in and out of the classroom, of trying times with various classes, success stories of students, their ups and downs in their career, their goals, they work with me on my very own goals and listen to me tell a story of the most bizarre day (or semester). And getting that out, sharing and networking through stories, a connection, it.is.so.important.
Our voices can be heard.
Day in and day out, I live with and love a man who has opened up and shared his wounds of war with me. I see him pour his heart and soul into working with other Veterans, sharing a narrative, or a memory that can often be painful and triggering, but also helpful; letting someone else know that they are not alone, that there is help, that they can have a battle buddy after war, and that their voice matters, their story is important, and they aren’t finished yet.
He wrote that story: he’s not finished yet.
You see, readers, friends, loved ones, our stories, they can make such a difference. I’m a firm believer in that the journey we share, the stories and posts that are written here, can possibly help others. We can connect to others through our stories. I just recently spent a weekend doing that with some women I’d never met, and some I’d only been around a few times.
Boy, can we make a difference in this world…
Our stories matter. I think it is important to remember we have a voice, and we can have a conversation with others, make a connection, offer support, and really just remember when we feel stressed to the max, we feel overwhelmed, and we want to just change it all, we have to trust that our story isn’t finished, the pages are not full, rather, we have to put our hope and faith into something bigger.
So many times I long and wish for something to be different, I hope, pray, cross my fingers, wish on a star, and sometimes things do not always go the way they are planned. That’s okay. My story is not finished yet. I don’t need to worry about changing the pages so soon.
Staying calm is a big “need to work on” task for me. Believing and trusting in a bigger plan is something I need to work on as well.
Just one thing to remember…
Don’t steal the pen.