Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is more acute than listening to them. I suppose it's an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.~Eudora Welty, short story writer
Each week I receive an email from StoryCorps. The audio is typically less than five minutes. Individuals from all walks of life share their personal narratives about discovering love, transcending loss, surviving hardship and finding strength. I never fail to identify with these minute slices of human experience.
This morning I awakened bleary-eyed and coughing. Giovanni said I'd snored most of the night, my nose stuffed up with the indignities of a cold. I peered out my window and looked up to observe shifting stacks of clouds scudding along the winter sky. The dreariness seemed to inspire a kind of panic and anxiety about the future and thoughts of overwhelm. I felt tempted to feel sorry for myself, but resisted. I could choose to remember what was true about my life. I continued to gaze at the sky and whispered to myself, "Jesus is my peace. He offers me calm that the world cannot produce. I will step into that radiant territory. I'd come to Him heavily laden, and He'd taken the burden of panic and anxiety from me, exchanging that darkness for rest and grace, reiterating once again that He has overcome the world. I remembered, too, that He always goes ahead of me and creates provision, over-supply and favor where there is need and longing. I'd written a new narrative for the day.
We all have a story, don't we? Often we have no control regarding our circumstances, and some of our chapter titles are sorrowful. Yet sometimes we have the ability to write a different storyline on an ordinary day with merely a slight change in our perspective. Today, I decided I'd entitle my life chapter, Living Bravely In The Light. What about you? What would your title be this day?
Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord, and measureless grace will strengthen you.~Psalm 55:22 from The Passion Translation