“Write a good story.” I saw it on a sign at Hobby Lobby. Hobby Lobby with all the signs. I heard it one Sunday morning from the preacher, “Write a story you are proud to tell.” I told it to my client last night, “You are writing your story, how do you want it to read?” I want to write a good story, one that I’m proud of, one that counts.
I love words, maybe that’s why this mantra means something to me. But sometimes, it seems, our stories happen to us, they write us instead of us writing them. Sometimes our stories are hard and sad and don’t feel so good. But I am learning lately that hard and good can co-exist. Hard and Holy can be friends.
God’s good words are a huge part of my story. They have informed how I see the hard things and the holy things. God’s words have shaped these last few years of my life in ways I never imagined.
During a hard part of my story, I chose to begin spending more time in His word, soaking it up, consuming it. Some days his word felt like a feast, some days like a sword, some days like a balm, and others like a lie. Yes, God’s words sometimes felt like a lie. I knew his word said one thing, but my story and my feelings were telling me something else. Was I actually pondering, “Is God a liar?”
Have you ever felt that tension? We’ve been told all these years that God’s word is true but sometimes it’s just really hard to believe. Like it can’t quite make it from your head to your heart? That’s what I’ve been working out lately. Crazy, I’ve been following Jesus for over 30 years, and I am still wrestling with the truth of His good words.
It think it takes such bravery to step out, to just believe, even when you don’t feel it. I’ve been hanging out with Romans 8:15 for about 6 weeks now. I just can’t move on, not until I believe it anyway. “So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family.”
How would my story be different if I had the bravery to believe this? What would it look like to “behave instead like God’s very own children”? The word, “instead” implies to do something different, do the opposite of “cowering, fearful slaves.” According to “wordhippo.com” the opposite of cowering is bold, daring, fearless, courageous, adventuresome, eager, BRAVE. What if we believed this verse and “behaved instead.”
Last year, one of my sons was in the pit of fear, cowering like a slave to it. It was debilitating, such a tough part of his sweet boy story. It felt very spiritual in nature and we just fought for him on our knees. That’s all we knew to do. One night during this hard season, I woke with good words just welling up inside me. I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I grabbed my computer and typed all these thoughts and prayers down, just begging God for my boy to find bravery in the midst of crippling fear.
We did push through the fear, he did overcome, but the process was one of learning to believe God for who He is, that what He says is true, that He is not a liar. These prayers have become my first children’s book, Brave Boy. This book is my heart’s cry for my son, for all our sons to know who they are in Christ, to know God can be trusted, to know He is not a liar and that our boys are called to change this earth for the Kingdom because they are truly meant to be BRAVE, they are meant to “behave instead “.
We could all use a little more bravery in our lives. We could all sit with God’s good words a little longer, wrestle with them, beg for them to seep into our souls and bones until we live like they are true. How would the world change if we all just believed what He says is really true?
Romans 3:4 “Though everyone else in the world is a liar, God is true.”