All the words are whirling around in my head, and I’m having trouble catching them and forming them into something that will tell the story.
The story that God has gifted me with, one that I could never have written, one that has taught me real love.
I’ve been struggling to articulate how Paul’s words – God’s words – to the Corinthians have come to show me the true meaning of love, and I’ve realised it’s because when I try to explain things, I generally use an example, a lived experience, a story. I tell stories to try and explain life, it’s what I do. I’m learning that it’s how God has made me. To be a storyteller.
Stories are written to be shared, and it is our responsibility to retell those that we witness — not only for our own sake, but for the benefit of others. Stories change people. They shape entire cultures.
I have believed this for as long as I can remember, and I encourage everyone I know to tell what has shaped their lives, encouraged them to believe that their story is worth telling. But I haven’t practised what I’ve been preaching, not entirely, and it’s been because of fear. Fear that my story isn’t important enough, interesting enough, that it’s not worth telling because it’s already been told (by someone who did it better), that I won’t tell it well enough, and perhaps more than anything, that once I write the words, it’s out there, and I can’t take it back.
Fear. It’s a killer. Well, it would be if we didn’t love, because there is no fear in love, and perfect love – God’s love – drives out fear. So with that in mind, I’m going to tell you my story, and how it made real the words of love for me in my life. If you were to pick up a book and read the blurb on the back, curious about what’s inside, this is what you might read:
Once upon a time, there was a girl. And a boy (I’m sure you already know where this is going…).
High-school sweethearts, they thought they knew what love was, and just assumed that it would last forever.
But it didn’t. Not how they thought it would, anyway.
Life just happened, as it does, and eventually, the walls fell down, and everything fell apart, ending in the pain of divorce. 3 kids, a marriage, a house, dreams and hope – all wounded and terribly broken by, well, two people who didn’t know how to really love one another.
But that’s not the end of the story. Because the love they thought would last forever? It did. They discovered that real love never dies, it doesn’t give up, it keeps going to the end.
This is the story of loss and restoration, of renovated hearts and lives, and how love always, always wins.