The Story I Thought Was Mine

Stepping off that stage in May of 1998, diploma in hand proving that I was disciplined enough to earn a college degree, each year thereafter was already written on the pages on my mind. The diploma was only a pass through to get to what I really wanted – the typical girly fairy tale of weddings and babies and a home.

Little did I know that ten years later I would start to realize only the beginning of that story.

The years in between were confusing as I didn’t know who I was or who I was supposed to be. I knew who my heart said that I was, but my circumstances didn’t create that picture. So for ten  years I floundered trying to make my reality match my heart. I moved. I broke-up. I changed jobs. I fretted. And I cried. A lot.

Still the words I had written, the ones laying on the pages in my mind, were not what I saw each day. I could not believe this was my story. And looking around I could not believe all the people who had plagiarized it and made it theirs.

Determined to have my story published in the physical sense of flesh and blood I tried to make it come to life. But it never did. I began to wonder if it was even mine in the first place.

Skip ahead ten years and chapters of it started to unfold beginning with the new love and romance and wedding. Except there were parts inserted that still were not mine. Like the part that the man I walked down the aisle with had Cardiomyopathy and would one day have to have a heart transplant or die.

That part wasn’t mine. Nor was the part that children were not possible with such a weak heart. The story was being rewritten. It was nothing I could control. Slowly I began to give up the pen and watch instead of write. Watch as He read a story new to me, but one that was written in His mind long before mine was ever even formed.

Two years into marriage with this man who was dying the time came for life to take a turn. Either he would go and live in eternity or he would stay here with me. I had done my fair share of holding on and squeezing tight and pushing those words to the story I had written out into my life for years prior to this one. I was tired. So I let go.

I stated very firmly to the one who wanted so desperately to take my love from me, “Do what you wish. But to God be all of the glory, forever, and ever.” And I closed the book and bowed down surrendering and just watched.

Then it was there. The story that was mine. Not the one I had written, but the one He had written for me long ago. A story of surrender. A story of redemption. A story of grace.

As they wheeled him off to life support with no donor heart still to be delivered, I did not know what the next day would bring. But I knew it was a part of a bigger story, and as I let go the peace came. A supernatural peace that you would pass off as denial if you hadn’t experienced it yourself. But it was there.

To tell you the rest of the story, my love did receive a heart three short days later. He is alive and well today. And we will welcome our first child from those three hearts that made him or her in October.

It’s fascinating that living a good story is one that is not your own. But one from a will surrendered to Him – the One who has all of the stories already written and who is just waiting for us to quit writing and surrender.

Today I am answering the question, “What does it mean to live a good story?” along with other writers at Prodigal Magazine. I believe the answers are as broad as the stories that show us. Why don’t you share yours too?


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