What story do you want to tell?

God comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  
2 Corinthians 1:4

This entry is inspired by a sermon by Andy Stanley at Lifetouch Ministries.  It’s titled, The Story of  Your Life.  I have listened to it three times and each time I hear something different.  He explains the story of Joseph, how he was beaten and sold by his brothers, servant of Potiphar, tempted by Potiphar’s wife, put in a dungeon, and then made king in a famined country.  Years after these life events he was approached by his brothers (who didn’t recognize him as king) as they were begging for food.  Joseph had quite the story to tell and he could have written the rest of the story by taking revenge on his brothers for their actions.  Instead he extended grace and forgiveness and wrote the story well.  Andy Stanley focuses the sermon on the fact that each of us have a story and decisions on how we want the story to be written.  No matter what situation we are going through, it indeed, will be summed up as a part of a story.  He drove home the point that each event, dilemma, opportunity, or loss will eventually be summed up in a short story or a few sentences.  He charged the listeners…What story do you want to tell?  What decisions do you want to make to write the story well?

The thing I heard the loudest tonight is that we don’t get to choose what happens to us, but we do get to make a decision of how we respond to it.

This past Wednesday night something changed me.  I experienced one of those blessings that K’s mom was talking about.  “Jack’s life will bless you and others in ways you could not even imagine.” This experience has changed my whole outlook on how God is writing my story and using my sweet Jack to change my life and others. 

My phone was beeping with text messages to go on FB and check out a classmate’s status.  The previous weekend I had traveled home to my parent’s house for a casual high school reunion where a few of us classmates got together and reminisced old memories growing up in a small town and catch up on life as we know it now.  I was very encouraged talking with a classmate that I hadn’t seen in over 10 years.  He explained that the past two years of his life he has changed.  He talked so sweetly of his marriage to his sweet wife and how he reflected on choices and behaviors that were not helpful to those around him in the past ten years.  I was so thankful to have this opportunity to hear the positive changes he was making in his life and the impact it was having on his family.  I had no idea that four days after that conversation I would be reading his status update that read like this…

So as many of u know this is usually the hardest week of the year for me, but after an amazing weekend with old classmates who I would like to call friends, and spending quality time biking, yes I said biking with my beautiful family it was an awesome week. For ten years I have been destroying myself and family on this day but today is different, Today it doesn’t hurt anymore. Why? Because after all these years I realized it isn’t poor me, it’s thank you Lord for giving me this day. Whether u get inspiration from songs, books etc, run with it. A 4 month old through his mother’s blogs gave me inspiration, and for that I say thank you Jack Carroll, ur mom said you Would change the world and I can’t agree more. 11 years ago today I said goodbye to my brother and today I say rest in peace. Love u bro.

After reading this I was an emotional mess.  I seriously couldn’t get myself together.  My classmate lost his brother in a tragic accident.  I can’t imagine the loss he has experienced.  Reading that Jack’s life has impacted him and helped him through a painful experience leaves me speechless.  He didn’t choose this to happen to his family.  My classmate is choosing to write his story differently.  His story has impacted my story.  Thank you friend and thank you God!  I am humbled.  

You see, that status from my friend, changed the outlook I have for our lives with Jack.  That status meant more to me than I can even express.  I was very hesitant on sharing our story through this blog.  I was nervous to be so vulnerable in my feelings, especially these early days. 

But one thing I can share is that God has always been faithful in my story.  He has always shown that His plan is much better than mine.  

Everyone’s story matters and each of us is faced with events, dilemmas, opportunities, and losses…so what story do you want to tell?

With God’s help…I will write this story well.  

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