We recently went to the movie "Lion" which happens to be nominated for an Academy Award this weekend. It was a beautiful but emotional true story about a 5 year old boy in India who gets separated from his family and ends up in a orphanage, which is actually more like a horrible prison for children. Miraculously, he was adopted by an Australian family and was loved and cared for. When he reaches his 20's he starts the arduous journey of finding his family in India, using only a handful of memories and the newly developed Google Earth program.
While watching an interview of Saroo Brierley, whose story is depicted, I wondered what it must be like to see the story of your life being played out on the big screen from the perspective of the person creating the movie. We are usually so absorbed in our own story as it is happening, that we rarely get a glimpse of how things are really playing out and how all the pieces are fitting together.
I have recently started seeing a counselor again in order to get some help to deal with some issues I struggle with and to get an different perspective. It's really hard to go that first time, when you have to tell your story and lay out everything that has led up to the moment of deciding to get some help. As I told my story, I was overwhelmed by the sadness and hopelessness that I felt as I talked about things that have happened. I got lost in the depth and darkness of my own story.
On the way home, I was devastated by having to not only recall, but live a lot of trauma over again in my head by retelling my experiences, and I decided that I just couldn't do it again. Then, it hit me that telling my story is painful, but what if I could tell God's story. What if I told God's story of my life from His perspective, as if He was a movie director; knowing every scene, past, present and future and knowing how He was weaving it all together.
As I look back on the parts that I do know, my perspective changes and I can see how He was directing all along. Every scene has His mark on it and He used them all, good and bad, to shape the story that He has wanted to create. From that perspective, my story is not full of pain but is actually full of healing. My story is not full of defeat but is actually full of victory; not full of darkness but actually full of light.
So that has become my focus. I've re-written the story of how I came to trust in Him while panning out to see how He has been working through all of the details all along with the goal of bringing me to a deeper dependence on Him. That is the ending that He wants for my story, so in every turn, that's where the story is headed.
Writing it out has helped me to be able to see the importance of specific experiences and relationships that God used to bring me to a point of knowing and trusting HIm. As I read through it, I am reminded of God's love for me and how He longed to have a relationship with me. It also gives me both the gratitude to serve Him through my obedience and the desire to tell others who need to know that He can bring hope, healing and victory to their story as well.
The story of Saroo Brierly was powerful and it touched everyone in the theater. In fact I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. But our testimony about God's work in our life is even more powerful, both to us and the person we share it with. Revelation 12:11 says that Satan is ultimately defeated by the blood of the Lamb (Jesus) and the word of our testimony, or story of God in our lives.
For those of you who have a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, I encourage you to:
1. Think through what drew you to God or if you were very young, what caused you to continue in your faith as you got older.
2. Think through the nuances of your story to see how God was at work.
3. Think through how He continues to work in your current story, in order to create the powerful ending He has planned.
To get you started, I am including His story of my life on my website as an example. It's only the first draft of the script and I'm sure I will tweak it as time goes on but it's a good reminder to me of God's power!
For those of you who may not yet know God personally, I encourage you to read my testimony of God's work in my life. Maybe it will help you in your own journey to make sense of everything.
Blessings to you as you give Him glory!
"Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all."
1 Chronicles 29: 11-12