How to Make Your Life Matter

wordsIt’s no secret.  I may be on the younger side of those entering into a mid-life crisis.  I’m only 40.

No, I didn’t go searching for a new house or go back to school (although I’d love both).  I wouldn’t say we’re in “mid-life” financially, either — a teacher and a social worker-turned-school-staff — still budgeting away.  And my kids are preteens, not college applicants.

No, I’ve entered into a different sort of crisis altogether — the one that keeps you up at night.  I frequently engage with that gnawing friend enemy called “self-reflection”.  Oh, how I wish I could silence her sometimes.  But she always has something to say.  Always.

You can leave the room when you no longer want to hear someone talk.  Or close your laptop.  Or press that red “end” square on your phone.  You can’t silence your thoughts, though.  And no matter what we try to do to escape, we have to return to the conversation eventually… to the conversation that isn’t as quiet as we pretend it to be.

“If we don’t tell our stories, our stories will tell us, Dan Allender writes.  Whether we revisit the past or not, who we are today is profoundly shaped by the events in our lives and our responses to those events.  It’s up to us to decide whether we’ll be passive recipients or active agents in the shaping of our lives… A life that is familiar with its story reveals much about the character of God.”  (To Be Told)

I’m going to trust Allender on this one.  I’m going to trust him that knowing my story — especially the messy drafts before edits — will reveal the very character of God.

It seems a bit ironic… an awareness of my messiness reveals how pure and holy He really is.  Admitting my mistakes presents Him as the Giver of the Clean Slate.  Acknowledging my wounds — and how I’ve wounded others — reveals Him as the Healer.

Yeah, I can do this.  At least there’s a guarantee unlike the quest for greatness here on earth that leaves you unbearably lonely while pushing away the shadows.

Isaiah got it. “God has sent me to give them a beautiful crown in exchange for ashes,
To anoint them with gladness instead of sorrow,
    to wrap them in victory, joy, and praise instead of depression and sadness.
People will call them magnificent, like great towering trees
    standing for what is right.
They stand to the glory of the Eternal
    who planted them.  Isaiah 61:3 

It sort of doesn’t sound like a “crisis” at all.

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