I enjoy when God challenges me though other peoples experience of Him, and I appreciate that Donald Miller is so willing to share his experiences in his books!! 'Blue Like Jazz' rocked my world and his latest book 'A million miles in a thousand years' has given it another shake!
There is way to much in this book to limit to just one post but I would love to share them with you in the days (and weeks) ahead. Pretty much, the overarching theme is about letting God write an amazing story with our lives.
A tall order? Not really if we are willing to be obedient to him, perhaps turn of the television or the computer games a bit more, and being with family and friends, going the extra mile, showing Jesus to the world through our actions and getting out of our comfort zones!
I believe that God has given me a mother's heart, and some of my sorrow in our struggle to have a baby comes from the impatience I have know that part of my life and my story come to fulfillment. It is true that I do not see how that will be happening, but I do believe with every fiber of my being that it will, because I do not believe that God made a mistake when he put my heart together. I am eager to get started because I believe it will be the culmination of so much learning, heartache and preparation; 30 something years of it!
Miller begins his look at the stories our lives are telling by reviewing the significant moments he has experienced and the life that he found in them. He also shares a life moment that he shared with friends,
"And when my friends Paul and Danielle had their second daughter, I went to the hospital and held her in my arms. She was tiny and warm like a hairless cat, and she was dependent. When I looked over at her mother, Danielle's eyes told me life was about more than sunsets and romance. It was as though having a baby made all the fairy tales come true for her, as though she were a painter who discovered a color all new to the world" (Miller, 6)
Wow, that was a hard paragraph to get through. I love how he puts it when he said having a child made all the fairy tales come true for her. I love it because it is exactly my expectation for what having a family will be like for me; for us.
I want to be careful not to hold our family as an idol, preventing me from participating in the present in the way I need to but I believe that this desire is a gift from God in the same way the realisation of it will be. Miller continues,
"I can imagine what kind of conversation God and Danielle will have, how she'll sit and tell God the favorite parts of the story God gave her. You get a feeling when you look back on life that that's all God really wants from us, to live inside a body he made and enjoy the story and bond with us through the experience."
This thought fills me with joyful anticipation. God is giving me moments each day to know him better, to challenge me, to bring me joy. When I first read the line "the story her gave her" I burst into tears. Literally, they sprung from the deepest most confused and hurting part of my spirit. The questions came fast and strong, but they all had a similar theme, "why won't he give me that story?" Half a box of kleenex later, the initial heavy heart feeling lifted and slowly I began to think about my life, and the story I have today.
If I died tomorrow, God and I would have so many stories to talk about. The more obvious fairy tale wedding day, and the loving marriage, the beautiful home, the caring and solid family, the world travels and then there are the smaller stories, the ones that may sometime get drowned out by those 'bigger ticket' items.
The chance to watch young people come into their own faith, and pray into their lives. The opportunity to journey from debilitating anxiety to freedom. The blessing of living within a great community. And then there are the tiny ones like the hug and kiss I get when my husband gets home from work each day, the coffee dates with wonderful friends, the walks around Green Lake in all seasons!
I look forward to sharing with God how my life was changed when our children entered the picture, but I know he has enjoyed watching me enjoy the gifts he has already blessed me with and I am content to share those stories with him. I am eager to make each day count, as he writes a story through me in every moment.
And as for today, I am off to write my story quite literally in a paper that is due for my class!