I wrote a devotion over at Proverbs 31 Ministries last week and I thought it might give you a bit of hope too…especially if parts of your story haven’t turned out like you thought they would. If you’ve already read it over at P31, consider forwarding it to someone who needs a dose of hope in her life.
Everyone loves a good story. But not everyone likes their own story. I wouldn’t have written my childhood story the way it now appears on the page. Instead, I would have had a daddy who loved me, a momma who cherished me, and a big brother who was my best friend. We would have spent holidays eating turkey, weekends playing board games, and quiet moments before bed saying goodnight prayers. But that’s not the story I got.
I would have had a passel of children, a calendar overbooked with afterschool activities, and walls full of picture-framed little ones all grown up. But that’s not the story I got. And to be honest, sometimes I struggle with wanting a different story.
I think we’ve all looked at our lives and wanted to rip a few pages from the narrative. But it’s difficult to understand a story if there are missing chapters. Each chapter helps explain why characters are the way they are—why you and I are the way we are. We can’t tear out a page or skip a chapter and still make sense of our story. But we can learn to embrace the story we got, and to trust God to keep writing our story into his.
The Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well didn’t like her story at all. Rather than go to gather water in the cool of the morning or evening, she went in the heat of the day to avoid all the other women who met there. She was embarrassed, ashamed, and most likely felt thrown away by husbands numbers 1-4. Hers was not a good story.
But Jesus came to change all that. It started with a question, “Will you give me a drink?” (John 4: 7) And ended with an astounding revelation that Jesus had not spoken to another soul, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he [the Messiah],” (John 4:26). She dropped her water pot on the ground and ran into town to tell everyone about a new chapter in her story.
When we drop our water pots filled of anger, shame, condemnation, regret, and bitterness, the Living Water cuts a trail in the dust and send us on a new course for life.
What’s the story you got? Whatever it is, I’m guessing there are pages you wish you could rip out of the narrative. I’ve never met a soul who didn’t. But what I want to tell you is that the whole of it matters. Every crossed-out word. Every worn-thin erasure. Every ripped-out page. I believe that with my whole heart. You can have a better story, even with the marred pages intact. You can change the ending of your story, just like the Samaritan woman, even if it feels like you’re trapped in a chapter that has come to a dead stop.
We can grab redemption from the jaws of brokenness and then allow God to use it for good. Click & Tweet! That’s what God did with the Samaritan woman at the well. She used her story for good. By running to town rather than hiding from town— by telling her story of her encounter with Jesus, many believed. John wrote: “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did” (John 4:29 NIV).
It may be hard to believe that it’s possible for God to use your pain for purpose if you’re still living through a bad story, but don’t give up hope. I have experienced it and witnessed it in the lives of others.
God takes the hard things and uses them to showcase his mercy, grace, forgiveness, to create a new beginning. Yes, our worst chapters can become God’s best miracles. Our pain can become a portal of God’s grace. Our ravaged pages can become God’s redemptive masterpiece.
Heavenly Father, I trust that Your pen never slips when it comes to writing my story. Help me to give You the messy pages and the broken stages and not to cling to them with an unrelenting hand. I trust You to make beauty from ashes in my life. Give me the courage to tell others about what You have done in my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
How has meeting Jesus changed you?
My latest release, When You Don’t Like Your Story: What If Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories shows us how the pages we’d like to rip out can become the pages God uses to stand out. Get ready to see how your messy pages can become God’s beautiful masterpiece.
God is the Master of turning our messy pages into beautiful masterpieces. Click here to download 55 Bible Verses of How God Transforms My Life and Redeems My Story to see how.