It’s quiet in my house. Well except for the squeaky ceiling fan. It has a rhythm as it spins and while sometimes it’s unnerving and I just wish it would stop, other times it’s like a comfortable metronome just ticking off the day. It becomes white noise as I sit here and think how to form my words.
I still have pages and pages of notes from the conference and it’s interesting how themes continue to pop up in various places. When God determines to teach me, it seems he does it intentionally, driving nail after nail into his point until something finally pierces a hole in my wrong thinking. There is a rhythm to it, like the ceiling fan.
As I continue reading through all my conference notes, one little sentence that I jotted down popped out at me just now:
Don’t dismiss your story because it’s not as odd or extreme as someone else’s.
How many times have I done that? How many times have I looked at the course of my life with Jesus and thought, Where’s my big moment? Where’s the one definitive place where I can say that it was there, yes right there, that Jesus stepped in? It’s just not anywhere to be found.
Because as I look back, I can find no one moment where he rode in and changed my world. No one specific moment where I laid on the floor weeping in surrender and then stood up new. No one wild moment where he pulled me out of a black hole and suddenly everything was different.
No. I don’t have one of those absolute moments that I can say that it was exactly here that Jesus changed me. And for a long time I thought that made my story less than impressive. Jesus was just always there. Minus a few spans here and there, I’ve always been involved in church, always known of God, always called myself a Follower. I had an extraordinary conversion story worthy of a podium and a microphone.
It’s just always been. Sometimes we are close. Sometimes I push him away. And sometimes I’m angry and don’t speak to him for a while. But it’s always been. We’ve always been.
At the conference, Dan Allender said that God is the author of our stories and that before we live a single day, God has written those stories in their entirety. And each of us have stories…yes, the little individual ones like how learned ride a bike or how we met our best friend…but more than that – we each have the story of who we are that was penned by the Creator of the Universe. No two are the same. There is no other story like mine and, as Dan said, no other story reveals about God what my story does.
So while my story may not look or sound as magnificent as someones else’s, my story is mine. And while there may not be one big moment where sparks flew or a bush caught on fire, there have been innumerable stories of where God showed up. My life has been one long dance with Jesus full of spins and dips and even moments where I chose to dance with someone else and all the while, he waited for me. He waited until I saw my new partner for the idol it was and ran back to dance with my true love.
Do you see that? Do you see where he has always been there in your own life? Maybe, like me, you don’t have a wild beautiful story of the moment your world changed. You can’t put your finger on that one moment in time to say “Here. Here it is.” But it doesn’t make your story any less incredible than anyone else’s. It is our stories that reveal God in us and those stories must be told.