Growing up I think I always knew I was a storyteller. I remember being devoted to books before I really knew the complexity of words and the power they could hold. I remember taking picture books and making up my own story based on the illustration. I remember the first time I finished a chapter book, I felt like I had been given the key to a new world. Books and words were my first love.
Shortly after my love for reading came my love for writing. The way that I could tell the stories that I made up in my mind by chicken-scratch on a piece of paper, it was magical. I remember clearly a story I wrote in second grade about me and my friends flying away to Candyland and I remember being really proud of it. To be honest, I am still pretty proud of it.
As I got older I loved writing more, but the stories inside of my head became darker. The cute stories about Candyland evolved into stories about depression and heartbreak. These stories were ones that I was too scared to tell. Stories I kept to myself, and the secret of the world that lived inside my head made me sick. So instead of writing about sadness, I stopped writing altogether. I closed myself off and let the monsters run ramped in my head and in my heart.
Despite the darkness in my head, I was always a fan of love stories. However, my personal favorite is the love story between the creator of the universe- and me.
I wrestled with God a lot. I was angry for the things that he placed in the plot line of my life; my dads cancer, my parents divorce, my family moving away from me, the darkness that I could never shake from within myself. I was angry for it all, and instead of running to Him, I ran from Him and clung to my anger for dear life. In the way that God does though, he waited for me, never turning his back because I took too long to return home. He simply left the light on for me as a friendly reminder that I was welcome home at any point, and he would be waiting for me.
I had a few times when I started to really cling to God, but I always seemed to return to that frustration that my life did not look the way I wanted. December of my senior year though, that is when I really let my anger go. Realizing that the weight of my hurt was too much and ran home, I ran to a loving God who welcomed me home without hesitation.
I am a work in progress. I am nowhere near where I want to be, but I am trying. Some days, it is really hard. When I call my dad who lives states away and realize how much I miss him, or when I get frustrated because I want to get up and enjoy the sunshine but that darkness in my brain says that it might be better to stay in bed, it is so easy to return to that anger.
The weight of my struggles are heavy, but the Lord has a way of lightening the load. God has made me vulnerable in the last year. I have found that being vulnerable attracts lightness. That darkness that made itself at home in my head, the light has begun to creep in, and lit a path to something beautiful. As it says in John 1:5 "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." The darkness can not overcome the lightness of hope. The darkness cannot overcome the love in my heart. The darkness cannot overcome the power of forgiveness. The darkness cannot overcome the plans God has for me. The darkness is there, but it doesn't stand a chance.
God has put in me a story. The beautiful part is that he wants to be a character in it with me. He wants to be the light that tells the darkness it is time to go. He wants to carry the heavy so that I can live a life of lightness.
I don't know if the plans God has for me includes writing stories, but I think his plan has a lot to do with me telling mine. The love I have been given from God is enough to write a million love stories, but even if I were to never write again, living a good love story with the creator of all things good, that would be enough.