I’d carefully climbed and mastered the mountain called “self-creation” for years and years. It was familiar. It was routine. In fact…it was my life. I didn’t know I was on a mountain, because it was all I’d ever known. Eventually, I’d reached a peak, and this peak seemed to be one of purpose and direction. Having reached it filled me with a sense of identity and worth. But after some time of relishing in this discovery, something happened. I began to slip. For a while the decline wasn’t too intense…I could still see the top and grabbed onto whatever I might to keep from falling further. But eventually, this slip was unlike other falls I’d taken. I wasn’t sure why. I didn’t see this coming. I tried to cry for help, but what would I say? What would they think? What was happening?…I thought I knew what I was doing…my grip grew weak, and eventually I lost it. I began sliding, tumbling…the hill became steeper, and soon I could see no way back and no sign of where I had fallen from. As I fell, I could see nothing but flashes of scenes from my entire life playing and replaying in front of me…and I kept thinking, “what was this? who was I? what have I done with my life?” But then I heard another voice responding with, “you’re no fun. you’ve done nothing with your life. you have no personality. you’re a nobody.” I could hear nothing but these voices as my body finally hit the bottom. I couldn’t move. I just stayed there, playing and replaying the words in my head…over and over and over…
This, my friends, was the the darkest place my mind and soul had ever been. I had no idea where I was…I’d never been there before, and saw no way out. Just beginning to move out of this deep, deep valley took many months. I’m currently living in the months that follow that dark time in my life.
When I look back, from the outside, my life looks like quite the exciting adventure. In many ways, it was. However, much of the excitement and beauty were external.
You see, until now, I’ve spent much (if not all) of my life attempting to “create” myself. At an early age, I taught myself how to put on masks, and have been doing so ever since. I did it well…so well I didn’t even know I was doing it. I didn’t know who I was. I wasn’t living in reality. However, after 25 years, I couldn’t keep up…I couldn’t keep self-creating. The internal unrest came out. My life suddenly took a downward spiral. I was spiritually, emotionally, and physically “dead.”
Anyone can live a story that looks good and beautiful. But I submit to you that a truly good and a truly beautiful story comes from within.
I must face my “masks.” I must confront them and I must reject them. I must refuse to keep putting them on. They may look beautiful, but they are not real. What God has already created is what is real. He must surface what’s real, and He will. When HIS version of myself comes to LIFE, my story will become more and more real, because He wrote it.
As I come face to face with the beautiful little girl God created…I will also come face to face with my Maker in ways I’ve never known. Nothing could make for a better story. What I’m doing externally will no longer matter. When the real me is in a living and breathing relationship with the real Creator, there is nothing to be lived but a beautiful story.
When the real YOU is in a living and breathing relationship with the real Creator, there is nothing to be lived but a beautiful, redeeming, kingdom-advancing, grace-filled story beyond your imagination.
To see what others are saying about living a good story, check out this link to “Prodigal Magazine”: