Writing the Story of My Life
When Paul traveled, he regularly encountered people who had heard of his persecutions and terrors. But they had also heard that he had been radically changed and was now preaching the gospel that he formerly persecuted. I wonder if Paul often marveled at his own transformation.
Too often in my life I have limited myself by the story of my life that I tell myself. "I am not good with money." "I will continue to make the same mistakes. "If I haven't gotten it yet, I will never get it." "It is too late for me to be a foster parent." But the story of who I was does not have to be the story of who I will always be.
Recently I was in a conversation with someone trying to stay sober. But he had slipped and was beating himself up, saying he would never succeed. I told him that the story his parents had engraved in him -- he would never amount to anything -- did not have to be his story. I told him that, as long as he had breath in his body, he would have unlimited second chances. As long as he was still alive, he could write his own life story. (With work, with the help of others, by relying on the strength of his higher power - no one succeeds completely isolated and alone.)
So I've been working hard to heed my own words of wisdom. Every day I wake up and I do a 10-20 minute guided meditation on themes like, "acceptance," "abundance," and "living your truth." I then spend 5 minutes writing the story of my day, which in turn is writing the story of my life. I tell myself things like, "I am smart enough to learn to manage money." "I can change and I can grow." "This is the perfect time to be a foster parent." During the day I take baby steps toward my new life goals. In the past couple weeks I've tracked all my spending and created a budget. I enrolled in an online course on accounting. And I mailed in my application for foster parenting and have signed up for the training to become licensed as a foster parent. And I've learned that it's never too late to write, shape, and live a different kind of life.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Galatians 1.18-24
Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.