What if you’re still writing the rest of your story….

23 Jul

I’ve recently listened to a series of messages entitled, The Rest of the Story.  Different leaders shared their story and then what they decided to do which resulted in the rest of their story.  These messages were inspiring, encouraging, empowering, motivational, and real.  Each speaker was honest, transparent, and vulnerable about darker times in their lives and shared how they made decisions that resulted in the rest of their story.  Each message ended with how they survived, triumphed, and moved forward.  Each week, I learned so much.  It’s always good to hear how a person makes it through challenging times.    However, as I sat there today, I realized that not everyone, myself included, has seen the “rest of the story.”  Many of us are still in the writing process and the waiting process.  The speakers talked about seeing their promises fulfilled.  What about those of us who are still waiting on the our promises to be fulfilled?  What about those of us who have dreams and hopes and have had them for a while but haven’t seen them turn out like we’ve hoped and dreamed???

This is where I believe in the power of sharing and being vulnerable while we are in the process of writing our story.  I believe it’s very powerful to hear someone say, “this is what is going on in my life right now…I’m not sure how it’s going to turn out and I’m not sure what is going to happen…but this is what my mindset….this is my perspective on things….this is how I’m not giving up.”

It’s very inspiring to hear how people have made it through financial difficulties and are on the other side and have achieved success in their financial goals.  But what about being open and honest while going through the financial difficulties???  What if people were to be vulnerable and say, “Right now, I’m trying to figure out job situations and I’ve had some unexpected bills arise and finances are tight; however, this is what I’m doing and how I’m meeting the challenges.”

I know that every person has some challenge or situation he or she is facing right now.  Myself included.  So, it’s very encouraging to hear someone share his or her story of being in the middle of his or her current chapter with no knowledge of how the rest of the story will go and to share how he or she is counting wins and moving forward in the direction of his or her dreams and goals.  I know for my clients who have weight loss goals it is much more effective for them to hear from others on the weight loss journey….not from people who have already lost the weight but from those who are currently on the journey of losing weight.

Sharing our stories…even the ones we are in the process of writing and have not yet seen the rest of the story….is powerful.  When we are going through struggles, it’s easy to feel isolated and alone and as if we are the only one who has ever went through that situation.  It’s always assuring to know that others are right in the trenches with us working towards a dream, a goal, seeing a promise fulfilled.  Yes, I want to hear from people who know the rest of their story; but I also want to hear from people who have no idea how the rest of the story will end up.

How are you choosing to hope in spite of broken promises?  How are you choosing to believe when it looks like your dreams are shattered?  How are you moving forward towards your goals in spite of challenges and setbacks?  These are the stories I want to hear, too.  Yes, I want to hear the stories of people who have made it – who have conquered illness – who have attained financial security and success after going bankrupt  – who have a wonderful marriage after having broken relationships and suffering.  I want to hear them all.

We need to know that there is beauty after hardship but we also need to know there is beauty during hardship.  We need to know about the mountain that someone climbed; however, we also need to hear from the person in the process of climbing the mountain.   We need to know that there is life after illness; however, we need to know that there is life during illness.  We need to know about the successful entrepreneur; however, we also need to hear the story of the entrepreneur who is struggling during the process of building his or her business.

I don’t have life all figured out.  My life isn’t all packaged nicely in a beautifully wrapped box with a bow.  I have dreams that I haven’t seen come to pass, yet.  There are financial struggles – there are career struggles – the single life has lasted a lot longer than what I thought it would – there are moments of uncertainty – my chances of motherhood seem to be slipping away.  Yes, I’m looking forward to the rest of the story and being able to tell the rest of the story.  However, I am writing a beautiful book…the story of my life.  I get to write it.  And I’m enjoying the process of writing it.

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