Today as I was contemplating the cross I wondered what it must have been like to be there. I’m pretty sure I would have stood in the crowd among the doubters wondering what in the world just happened. And, I am sure I would have been a little angry in my grief and wondered, “Now what? What does this mean for my life? I had counted on Jesus and now He’s dead, hope is gone.”
On that day, I would have made up a story about what the rest of my life would look like without Jesus. I wonder how many of his followers made up stories that day about the rest of their lives.
I used to make up stories about my life.
Making up stories is useful because it means I don’t have to face my real fears in any tangible way. Sadly, it also keeps me from doing truly great things.
I stood for so many years in the chaos of my home thinking that if I took a stand against it I would have no income, be rejected by the church and end up alone and miserable, it was a story I played out over and over again in my head. Crazy thing is, I was alone and miserable. I made up things in my head that kept me stuck, fearful and alone.
Funny how that works, our greatest fear becomes our reality if we don’t face it.
I didn’t do any of the things that could have to make my life better. I stayed stuck in the story I had rehearsed in my head so many times. I didn’t dare to risk something better for myself and my family.
If I was standing in the crowd that day I’m pretty sure I would have made up a story about my future now that Jesus was gone, just like Peter did. He denied him three times because he lived into the story he’d rehearsed in his head instead of God’s story for his life.
If I would have continued to live my story instead of God’s I would have missed out on the fun and love I have in my marriage today. I would have missed the second chapter of my marriage. I would have missed all of the joy that comes with choosing to step directly into my fear and having God catch me.
Instead, I didn’t give up, I choose to trust God in the middle of my darkest night and believe that what He did with the Resurrection He could do that in my life. I also I reached out and asked for help.
Peter took a huge fall but he didn’t give up, Jesus was crucified but He didn’t stop there. My marriage was a mess, but we didn’t give up and what happens next in each of our lives is unbelievable. Peter becomes the head of the church, Jesus comes back from the dead and my marriage is alive and thriving.
Why, because we chose to step into God’s story instead of our own, we didn’t give up.
What about you? What story have you made up about your future that has caused you to give up in one or more areas of your life? What fear do you need to step into to take the next step toward reaching your dream? What part of your life do you need to step out of your story and into God’s?