“You can’t rewrite the story”

These words echoed in my mind early one morning.  For whatever reason, I have always been a person who wakes up early in the morning and thinks.  And one recent morning as I lay in the stillness of the morning and wrestled with some of my life choices, God impressed these words on my heart: “You can’t rewrite the story.”

Each of us has a life story and each of us has parts or chapters of our story that we would love to redo, unwind, or omit.  Erratic decisions. Sinful choices. Damaged relationships. Errant seasons. Selfish moments. Poor planning.  It would be so nice to get a “do-over” in life.

Each of us has parts of our story that forever altered the story of someone else – sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.  Our stories are intertwined with other life stories and when we make certain decisions, their stories are changed.

My life is a complex story. There are parts of my story that I love. There are parts of my story that I wish I could erase.  There are parts of my story where God allowed me to shape the story of others in a way that brought Him glory. There are parts of my story that cause me to cringe because of the pain I caused.  There are parts of the story that bring me great joy and parts that cause me to weep.  My story is definitely more drama or tragedy than comedy.

One thing I love about the story of redemption that we call the Bible is that God doesn’t erase the chapters of the story that most of us would be tempted to conceal if they were a part of our family history.  As a matter of fact, a central component of His story is that we are a people in need of redemption.  In other words, the ugliness of our stories drives the very heart of His Story.  From the opening scene of the human saga, we are introduced to three of the primary themes that would forever define the entire story. 1. We need redemption.  2. We can’t redeem ourselves (for the same reason we need redemption). 3. He did what we are incapable of doing: He became our means of redemption.

The Bible is filled with R-rated stories because God pursues and redeems R-rated people.

My story shapes me but it doesn’t have to define me. I can’t go back and rewrite it. There are early morning moments when I wish I could. But I can’t. It is my reality.  But thankfully His Story intertwines with my story. His story edits my story. His story transforms my story – not in the sense that it erases it but in the sense that it redeems it.  He redeems my story for His glory.

So in the end, my story is not about me. My story is about Him – a God who loves us in spite of us and who fills the pages of our story with His constant pursuit of us.

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