Recently, my college roommates and I met for a weekend reunion at the lake. We came from three different cities to reconnect and rest. Years of life, work and family had pulled us apart in so many ways. We savored the time sitting for hours looking at old photos, talking and laughing.
The warmth of the sun at the quiet lake without interruption fostered some sweet, sweet time of opening our hearts with one another after 25 years of stories.
We took turns narrating our stories for one another. There were moments when we would all exclaim, “Really?!” Life had taken us all down some pretty unexpected paths and here we sat walking one another down these paths. It was as if I had read three huge novels by the time I returned home.
Up early one humid, July, Alabama morning, the four of us pulled on our walking shoes and headed out to burn some unwanted calories from the delicious dinner we had enjoyed the night before. Up and down rolling hills, we curved around the exterior of the lake. We talked and talked and talked some more. We had twenty-five years to catch up on, the short forty-eight hours together just wasn’t enough.
As we walked the conversation turned to Katy’s life. Katy is my childhood friend. We used to meet one another at the stop sign on the corner in our neighborhood to ride bikes. Katy was the quiet one, me the talker. She and I shared a rich friendship over the years and we ended up roommates in college. We shared a long history and I thought I knew her well, until…
She told us that she had written a book.
“Whaaaaattt?” we all exclaimed.
Surprise of surprises. She had taken writing courses, worked hard, and YES, written not just one novel but two. I couldn’t believe my ears. I had no idea! My introverted friend, my friend of few words had enough words within her to write a novel? She spoke with passion about her newfound love of writing. I saw a side of Katy come out like I had never seen in all these years since hopscotch and the popsicle truck. Even during our years in college I would have never predicted this. It made me curious and I just had to know more.
As we returned from our getaway, of course, I emailed Katy for a copy of her book. She obliged and before I knew it I was entrenched in a novel full of detail, color, description, and dialogue! I saw so many cool things in the book because I was Katy’s friend. I knew her as the author of the story and because of that I understood the book like no one else. I could read between the lines of her personal history, names and even funny details. As you can imagine, this was an amazing experience for me.
You know the feeling, don’t you? When you pick up a book you want to read about the author first. You know that you will have a much better understanding of the story if you know where the author is coming from. You flip the book over to find out more. The bio and the author’s picture help you more fully engage in the words written by him or her. We all want to understand the story and why it was written and, believe me, if you know the author personally, reading the story is an entirely different experience.
We all have a story. This is a common theme among bloggers and speakers today. “What’s Your Story?” “Your Story Matters.” “My Story Will Be a Good One.” These are the titles of just a few blog posts I’ve read recently. For some, revisiting the story is scary. For others, it’s just too overwhelming. And still others don’t believe they have a significant story to tell. But all of us want to understand our story. We want to know why the pages have turned like they have. I long to find clues about what is coming in the next chapter.
Let’s jump back to my life with Katy and her novel. I was able to read the story and understand it to its fullest is because I knew Katy and I knew her well. Ask yourself these questions. Do you know the author of your story? Do you know Him well? Most of us agree that God wrote the pages of our story before we were ever born. (Psalm 139:16) Take yourself on a winding walk through the details of your life. Examine your story. If this is as challenging for you as it is for me, get to know the author. Read His bio, His “About the Author”. It’s the Word of God. Before you know it you will be brave. You will be confident. You will rest assured that your story was written for a purpose and it’s a pretty amazing one! In fact, it’s a love story. So go ahead and read about the author of your story. Once you do, you’ll see your life differently. Your story won’t always make perfect sense, but it will always be your perfect story. Because it is His story written just for you.