Friday, October 06, 2017

Five Minute Friday: STORY


Today I'm joining the Five Minute Friday community again, writing for five minutes on a given prompt. (Thank goodness for these regular prompts; this fall my blog's been fairly quiet otherwise!)

Today's word is STORY.


I've joined one of our church's Life Groups this fall. My group, which is meeting every Tuesday night for about six weeks, is called "Redemption Reel." In this group we explore specific elements of our personal stories, see how God has been at work behind the scenes, and seek healing in areas that require it.

The first session was about our backstory. We were asked to plot important events from our life on a "life map," according to how positive or negative an impact they had on us.

The second session, just a few days ago, was about the characters in our story. Again we were given a life map on which we could add the names of significant people, write a couple of descriptive words about each, and place them on the chart according to whether their influence on us was positive or negative.

The truth is, though -- and this was acknowledged in our group -- that people and events often have a very mixed influence on our lives. We can look back at joyful, life-giving times with a person ... but if the relationship ends, then the strongest lingering emotion can be sadness or anger. That doesn't negate the good, but it can make it a lot harder to recall the good and to integrate that with the painful aspects. 

Conversely, we can go through a devastating event and then, at some point in the future, see that something positive came from it. Again, that doesn't negate the bad -- but it makes us realize that life is complicated. Our stories, and the people in them, are complicated. There's so much we don't know and can't yet see.

That's why it is important to trust that my story is being written by a good Author, who has perspective over everything in my life and everyone else's, and who is always working for our good.

8 comments:

  1. Thank you for your kind words at my blog!!

    I'm thankful that my story is being written by a good Author, too!! :)

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    1. You're welcome, Tammy -- so nice to connect with you here. Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend.

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  2. God is the master writer of our stories. Isn't he?

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    1. Yes, I think that's so important and encouraging to keep in mind. Thank you, Tara.

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  3. Jeannie, this is a useful process, but any retrospective is terrible for me. To survive with the will to go on, I have to live solely in the present. I can't look back, or forward. All I have is Now.

    I wish it were otherwise; I wish I could have a life-map, one that I might peruse.

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    1. Yes, I can see that, Andrew. In many ways it is a luxury and a privilege to be able to do this kind of retrospection. I pray that this fight won't be too long for you. Maybe there will still be time for you to reminisce when it is over. Thanks for reading and commenting, as always. God bless.

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  4. Great perspective and thoughts. I really like the exercise your church group used! I wonder if you wouldn't mind sharing how it looked and turned out! I would love to do something similar with a women's group I'm praying about. :-)

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    1. It is a really good exercise. This Redemption Reel "curriculum," which includes a workbook and videos, was all prepared and produced by my church. It's really good material.

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