What Is Your Narrative?
Updated: Oct 30, 2019
I am sitting on my sofa writing this blog and thinking about stories. A family member passed away last week and it got me thinking, a walk down memory lane as my Dad would often say. On one occasion, as a young kid, I remember being with all my family and asking my Granddad whether he checked out other women, there was a prolonged awkward silence, but lots of laughter afterwards. Those who know me could probably picture me asking that question. It is amazing how, in a time of grief, we can cry both tears of grief and joy. These moments help us remember the big story of someone’s life yet also revealing the smaller sub plots. All of them linking together.
Do you know that there is a big story playing out through the ages? The beginning of a journey in creation where things are really good, all is complete, yet it goes wrong and events don’t turn out well. However, that is not the end of the narrative, in the Gospels we see hope coming in the form of Jesus, who announces a new Kingdom with reconciliation and life. God turning up in person to change the course of the journey, pointing to a new creation, a destination where complete peace will reign. I don’t know if you have noticed but we haven’t arrived there yet!
I am of the belief that our narratives are sub plots to this wider story. That who we are and what we do matters. The decisions we make, matter. When we mess up the Father is waiting to help us get up and to go again. What is your narrative? That is why being at ease with how God has made us is important - if we are a deep expression of how the creator created us then our lives become the part of a bigger rhythm. Psalm 139 says, “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” How we live our lives is a part of something bigger and a result we grow through the stories outworking in front of us. It probably doesn’t look the way we have written it in our minds but nonetheless we are becoming something through it.
There is also a narrative that we are constantly speaking out in our minds. Sometimes I can be so unkind to myself. The way that I speak to myself and the narrative I declare to my soul is often destructive. How much of our pain and insecurity is found in the voice we allow to inform us. What voices are we listening to? Who do we chose to take advice from? I recently drove home from work and became irritated with the satellite navigation system in the car. It kept trying to change the route home and I found myself ignoring the voice, how I wished I had listened when sat still on the M25 for the next few hours. What is your narrative today? What is the story you are telling yourself, that others may be telling you? I know that stories don’t always work out the way we had planned - I still have so much mystery and pain in my life. As you head off into your day remember that you are not a mistake, your story is not over and there is a lot more to be written.