Stories In-Progress

We all have a story. It’s easy enough to see our own tale being written. We’ve experienced the backstory, met a lot of the major characters, and feel the incompleteness of it all. We know there is more to come, or at least we expect there to be, and we have hopes for how our lives will develop.

Everyday at Lifeline we interact with real human beings with life stories as incomplete as yours and mine. Each client is in-process, with his or her own journey partially written and with much left to unfold. And every moment we spend with them is another paragraph of their story written. The words and actions we use in counseling, providing pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and education can be a joyful embellishment, a positive influence that directs their story toward a glorious ending. However, without first seeking God’s direction, our words and actions could become burdens which smother the progress of their stories. Or, our words and actions could just be white-noise, neither helping or hindering the story arc, but simply taking up space.

God is the ultimate author of our lives, but He has generously granted us coauthorship. He wants us to be a part of the creative process. So as partners for life, what will our coauthorship look like? Will we declare all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8)? Or will we be a part of our cultural problem, harboring negativity and letting that seep into our work life? And heaven forbid we be nothing but white noise, just packing-peanuts in an empty package that could otherwise be filled with treasures.

The Lord spoke to the Israelites through the prophet Isaiah, awakening them to the hope with which He has filled them and with which He longs to weave together their story as a people:

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy.
When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.
Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem,
for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.
The LORD will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.”
(Isaiah 52:7-10)

How do we join this awakening? How do we keep proclaiming peace and salvation? By giving up what our God has already generously given us. Lifeline cannot keep lifting its voice and shouting for joy without financial support. But when friends of life choose to step in, God infinitely multiplies their gifts and restores the stories of His children all over Northeast Missouri and beyond. I’ve seen Him do it, and I know He will remain faithful. Will you?

May we be like watchmen who lift their voices and shout for joy so that others may see with their own eyes that the LORD has come, and that His salvation covers the whole earth. We are all coauthors under Christ; let our pens write nothing but words of love and direction for our clients. Of course we are but human writers, so in our moments of literary failure, may the Holy Spirit intercede and create clean pages, blank and ready for a new chapter to begin.

By Kathryn Farmer

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