the stories our lives tell

Donald Miller spoke at church Sunday. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, since unlike most of the world and my husband, I had not read Blue Like Jazz.

The thing is, and perhaps I hadn’t admitted this to even myself, I hadn’t expected to hear from God on Sunday. From the loss we experienced this week, I was still feeling a little alone and a lot sad. I didn’t think that God would speak to me. That he could speak to me.

The first thing that Donald Miller said was that basically God has a general purpose for us – that we would know Him and share His love – and that God helps us figure out our giftings and talents, but that if we are choosing between a becoming a doctor or a lawyer or a teacher, that is pretty much our own decision.  It takes a lot of the “rightness” and “wrongness” out of the way that I sometimes look at those decisions. I am free to be me and to figure out who I am.  That was pretty cool (although, kind of a “duh” moment too).

Donald Miller spoke about stories and how our lives tell a story. That all stories are essentially about a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it.

He said that what we want tells our story.

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34)

If we want material things, that is what our life story is about.  Some people choose to make their stories about pursuing the next best car, the next best fashion, etc.

His sermon made me take a step back from our loss this week and think about it in the context of a larger story. And it made me wonder about the story that Frank and I are telling: what is that bigger thing that we are constantly moving towards and wanting?

Where is our story going?

All along, one of the greatest things for Frank and I is that we’ve just wanted eachother. Time together. Every week is the saga of making, finding and fighting for time together. The greatest feeling for both of us is falling asleep together.  That is why, when Frank is gone, I just don’t sleep as well.  I have to talk myself into going to sleep.

For us, having children was not just the next logical step in our marriage, but over the progression of our fertility treatments and related successes and disappointments, we realized that having children was truly an extension of our love for eachother.

I remember when we were dating Frank texted me after an early morning flight and said, “looking at the sky, I realize that my love for you is even bigger than that.”

To be able to say that almost 8 years later that our love is bigger than it was when we first fell in love sounds almost ridiculous – how could that be? I can’t even believe that it is possible, and yet it is.

And it is the biggest desire of both of our hearts that this story that we started together would continue. That future generations would be blessed by this big love that we have for one another.

That is what helps us move forward.

There have been little signs and big signs in the past week that life goes on.  Just this weekend, the sun came out and the world warmed – spring is just around the corner.  I’m not totally convinced we won’t have one last blast of snow, but the worst of the winter is behind us.

It will get warm again.  The sun will shine.  Frank and I will go on long walks.  I am going to start running again.  (seriously – once I get the green light from the doc… more on this later)

The point is, even though it felt like life stopped for a while, it continued on for the rest of the world.  That’s what happens.

On the day I had my D&C, I woke up from a nap and made a few work related phone calls.  Nothing major.  The people I talked with had no idea what had just happened that day.  I took care of what I needed to and then I snuggled up against my husband.   It’s ok that those people don’t know what was going on with the girl on the other end of the phone, but as I was having the conversations, I thought, “how many times have I spoken with someone whose heart was breaking while we were speaking – and yet, I had no idea.”

And there is strange comfort in knowing that life continues on, even when my heart is broken.  Life continuing is God’s way of reminding me of a few things: first, that I will be ok and second, to be tender with all of His creation because I don’t know what kind of day or week or month someone else has had.

But most importantly: our story is not over yet.

One thought on “the stories our lives tell

  1. thanks for writing this em. it brings me some encouragement with all that is going on with me too. i pray that God can use both of us in each other’s lives, at the right times, to bring His healing to our heartbreak. your words encourage me and help me keep some perspective. thank you for sharing! as always, you and FK are AMAZING!

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