Monday, March 19, 2012

trust your story

one of my favorite stories of all time is The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.  surprisingly I loved the movie just as much.
for those of you unfamiliar with the story, it’s set in the 60’s during the time of the civil rights movement. a young white journalist name skeeter wants to write a book compiled of stories from the point of view of the black maids. for obvious reasons they didn’t want to share their stories. aibileen & minny carve out some courage & see the power in their stories. power to change the way things were. power to encourage others.  the turning point in the movie for me was when dozens of others, inspired by aibileen & minny , decide to be courageous and tell their own stories too. they join forces and while things were not easy, they were brave & things did begin to change, both in their community and in their lives.
the power of
ordinary people tapping into what is extraordinary about themselves.

I know each one of us can think of a book or a movie where we resonate with a character.  From Cinderella, to Elizabeth Bennett, Rose & Jack in titanic or even Elle Woods.   We love cheering on the underdog and the overcomer. Yet for many of us, our own stories are trapped inside. trapped maybe not due to cultural limitations as in The Help, but maybe it’s because we see ourselves as insignificant.

Like meg ryan in you’ve got mail:
"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, not small, but circumscribed. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around?
I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So goodnight, dear void."

We think our lives are small & somehow we equate small with insignificance.


maybe you see your story as being defined by the moment he walked in & said I don’t love you anymore & I’m leaving you.
maybe you see your story as being defined by failure.
Or abuse.
maybe you know the dark secrets of your past & you think while you’ve been forgiven & set free, if anyone knew about the premarital sex, the affair, the abortion, the whatever, it would discount where you are now. You feel the scarlet letter is tattooed on your forehead for all to see.
guilt & shame sit on your shoulders holding you back from sharing the hope of where you are today.

or maybe the chapter you’re currently in is threatening to take you under. you’re on the front lines of a battle.  you aren’t afforded the perspective from the “end” yet.  maybe you’re in survival mode.  you can’t see how “it all worked together for good”.

the grief of your situation seems to overshadow a future that has a positive,dare I say happy ending.  you’re in the midst of a chronic illness or you’re watching a loved one slip from this world.  you’ve buried one of your babies or your husband and the thought of sharing that pain, is too big for you.

or maybe you look in the mirror & see a scarless face, one without battle wounds. you wonder how your story could ever inspire.

i want to encourage you to trust your story. not a chapter.
the last thing my heart desires is to minimize a chapter or what seems like an epic portion of your story. that's not my desire at all.  last weekend i heard stories of heartbreak, abandonment, betrayal. stories that boggle my mind.
our heavenly father never wanted our lives to be filled with, much less defined by, cancer, divorce, abuse, anger, sickness.
his plan was not for approximately 160 million children to be orphans
or 27 million to be currently enslaved.

his original story was set in a beautiful perfect garden. free from shame. free from guilt. free from the filth that resonates with many.

so, what do i mean by trust your story?
the one he promises to complete. As promised in philipians 1.6 ~~

being CONFIDENT of this, 
that he who began a good work in you 
will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

personally,i learned more about my heavenly father during the hardest time in my life than in all the good chapters combined.  it was in those chapters and the chapters afterwards that i learned he loves me. that i needed him. that i was in the palm of his hand. that he wept with me. that i was never ever alone.

what I want to share with you is that you have a father that loves you. that no matter where you are in your own story, he hears every prayer and sees every tear. we have a father that is not distant from us.  it’s my prayer that if the chapters in your past include failure, or divorce, or sickness, or some sin that you think is unforgivable,  that he is writing a story that does define you.
one of wholeness in him. & that you can trust Him.

more important that trusting your story
is trusting the author.
i'll share about that soon!

i meant to share this at the pearl event & it just got away from me.
a couple weeks after sibi asked if i'd join her in the journey,
i stumbled upon this bracelet. i've been wearing it ever since as a confirmation
to trust where the lord is leading me.
many days that doesn't come easily but it is my hearts desire.

michelle verbeeck who created the cuff
has offered 20% off
if you'd like to purchase one this week.

{{please note, you MUST enter your wrist size!!
michelle is getting loads of orders without size}}
 oh , i almost forgot...
jessica , from grace & gratitude,
you are the winner of the Sparrow & Blossom pillow!!


Big Mama said...

I needed to read this so much this morning. It was like God was speaking straight to my heart. Thanks for your heart, Paige.

Big Mama said...

I needed to read this so much this morning. It was like God was speaking straight to my heart. Thanks for your heart, Paige.

amymck said...

sweet paige......what a beautiful post this morning....and it was so timely for me - "He is great the way He perfectly orchestrates messages to us when we are supposed to receive them. Just this morning I got a message from someone who knows "my" story and told me that she misses me "sharing" about emily...her my story.....and i didn't really think anyone was listening. then i logged on and read this about being brave enough to share our story from you.

i am training for The Ultimate Hike in May for CureSearch....we will hike 28.3 miles in one day on the foothills trail beginning in Georgia. this weekend i hiked 13 miles and there were moments when i felt like it was too difficult...and a peace that fell over me and boosted my energy was surely from our loving and gracious God. He always keeps us going in the midst of difficulties.

thanks for being His vessel to all of always give me encouragement and you're such a blessing to every life you touch.



Jennifer said...

i am going online to order this very moment! i will wear this all the time whether it matches the outfit or not! love love love! also, love reading these words! i can just hear your sweet southern voice speaking in front of the women at the event!

Simone said...

Such a beautiful post Paige...I love those words "trust your story", I'm going to keep those in my head.

I hope your lovely littlest girl had a wonderful lovely girl is 11 today :) XX

Sheri said...

So glad you shared that - that will give the women who could not attend the P&G event a little glimpse of it. What a blessing you are to so many :) Have an awesome week.

LLH Designs said...

Trusting my story and learning to live in it more than ever! Off to buy one of these cuffs! (And I'm not even a jewelry girl. But a words girl? Yes!)


boomama said...

This is so good: "i want to encourage you to trust your story. not a chapter." SO GOOD. Thanks for this post, Paige.

Simply Jen said...

Need this. Love your words.
Jen xo

smk said...

such a beautiful post mom, i love reading your thoughts and memories like this. wish so badly i could have been there to support you. love you!

Anonymous said...

what a beautiful post...thank you for the encouragement.

Jody said...

You are so right! It is such a hard lesson to learn, to accept and to trust as you walk through the difficult chapters. I just marked another 'chapter' in my life as our family celebrated what would have been Teagan's 15th birthday yesterday. Without her here in our lives on earth it is such a bittersweet day. But I have come to a place of peace and acceptance and have learned to trust in my God fully. Through the good and the bad- the purposefilled days and the ones where I feel lost. My grandmother lived a life of tragedy and heartache and one of the songs she sang often was "My Lord knows the way through the wilderness; all I have to do is follow." Such a simple chorus, but so true- even as challenging as it is to do. He has a plan, a purpose and I love that He redeems the hurts we experience and that He can take the pain and sorrow and injustice of this world and use it for His glory! Oh what a God He is! It is definitely a process. I love this quote I heard years ago by Charles Swindoll..."Faith is believing in advance that which only makes sense in reverse". I often tell my husband I wish I could just flip to the end of our book to see just how happy the ending will be. I know it likely won't turn out the way I imagine it and very likely the happy ending won't come until I set foot into Heaven. But I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I can put all my hope in trust into the God who holds it all in His hands. He is the author and finisher. And that gives me a comfort and a joy that can't be shaken in me. No matter what comes my way in this world. I love that God has placed a passion in your heart for sharing your story and encouraging and challenging others in the same way. Thanks for this post and best to you as you continue to be used by Him!

Alecia said...

Just ordered my cuff!!! :-) Can't wait to wear it...God has given me an incredible story and I truly can't wait to continue living it out...the ending is going to be amazing, I just know will be me with Him for ETERNITY...You can't beat that!

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

Just a darling and sweet message. And such TRUTH. I always love the way you say it. :)

So little question... and I should probably send this privately but I'm here... are you a Mormon? I didn't think you were... but then I just saw Mormon ads on your sidebar and had to ask. (Or are those just ads? I used to have general ads and had to block all the religious ones because I kept getting ALL the religions.) I know that's a weird question to put out there. Just curious.

kasey said...

what a gorgeous bracelet....and wonderful story Paige.

Anonymous said...

Your post spoke to me today. I wanted to be at the Pearl Event but was not able to make it this year. Thank you for sharing your story and for inspiring so many. Your words today calmed my fears and give me hope for a beautiful ending.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post and no truer words spoken..And I love that braclet..Have a wonderful week..

Jessica said...

Paige - this is beautiful. I just bought the cuff to remind myself of this very post every single time I look at it. I truly needed to hear this - and need to never forget it. Thank you.

Christan Perona said...

beautiful. simply beautiful. the whole world needs to read this post, paige.

Between You and Me said...

every word you wrote is exactly what God has been showing me over the entire past year.

i'm learning to trust my story...i'm learning to appreciate my story....i'm learning that i really don't want it re-written. **that's huge for me**

you're awesome...God in you is magnificently awesome.

i need that cuff.

Between You and Me said...

I just ordered it!!!!!

Deidre said...

I have put into words what has been on my heart for so long. Thank you, Paige!

Claudine from CondensedLoveHome said...

Hi, Paige... Just came from Tarah's blog, my first time here.
I had literally to wipe off tears to finish reading your post. Beautiful. Thank you so much.

Brenda Wilkerson said...

I needed this today. I feel so trapped by my chapter sometimes. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being REAL! You are such a gifted writer and must inspire so many others like myself. I have an 11 yr old son who is a lot like your little bit, always happy with a beautiful spirit and a lover of life...I'll bet they'd get along just great! : )

Brentwood, TN
ps: great bracelet

JenP said...

Love this! Just ordered mine. Andy did a sermon not too long ago about your story, I've got the postcard taped to my computer with the question "God, what do you want my story to be?" as a reminder. I think mine is still being written but can't wait to see what it is.

Tracy is ... Loving Pretty Things said...

thank you so much, paige for these words of encouragement, hope and TRUTH. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the 'what-ifs' or 'why nots' and not see what the Lord is doing from His perspective...this is an excellent reminder of exactly WHO is in charge...and while my type A, is hard to admit - I'm glad it isn't me.


Lindsey said...

Can't even begin to tell you how these words spoke to my heart. Thanks for the reminder to trust the story and not get muddled in the chapter.