I’ve been thinking about life and taking a little walk down memory lane a bit this week. Sometimes I wonder if ‘my story’ has made any sense at all – and just how does God use a broken down girl?

I stumbled upon a post I wrote several years ago while I was trying to determine the story my life seems to have written. It was New Years Eve and I was a single Mom for five years already when I wrote it. It went something like this:

  • I haven’t made any New Year resolutions this year. Nor have I sat with pen & paper & jotted down my thoughts & goals for 2014 as is my usual New Year practice. I don’t know why. Maybe because *I Don’t Know* seems to be the current theme in my life lately. *I Don’t Know* what my dreams are. *I Don’t Know* what the future holds. *I Don’t Know* what today will bring. *I Don’t Know* what we’re having for dinner. *I Don’t Know* if I will ever be married again. Or date. Ha. *I Don’t Know* if the kids will be okay, or if I’m parenting well enough, or if I will ever stop saying “I’m tired”, or if all the bills will get paid in the same month, or if my life makes an impact, or how to deal with the fact that I’m turning 40 this year AND will be the mother of a teenager this month. *I Don’t Know* my 5 year plan, nor what I expect from this New Year. I. just. don’t. know.

This is what I DO know: I want to love more…even when it’s hard. I want to give more…even when I’m tired. I want to be more courageous…even when I’m scared. I want to lead my children better…even when I feel like a failure. I want to trust God more that He really does know my future…even when all I seem to do most days is question His ways. I want to be still more…even when it makes me anxious. I want to disappoint more people by saying ‘no’ when it’s right for my family…even though it makes me feel guilty. I want to be more joyful…even on dark days when smiling is a chore. I want to jump into action more…even when I feel desperately inadequate. I want to be more beautiful…which has nothing to do with makeup & clothes but everything to do with my heart. I just want to be a better ME…even when I don’t know who that girl is sometimes. The ME that God created me to uniquely be…with all my brokenness & flaws. I want to be more thankful…because this life I have is truly a gift. This is what I want. This is what I CHOOSE for 2014.

There will still be lots of *I Don’t Knows*. I’m okay with that. And while I still wonder what this New Year holds I never wonder WHO holds it ~ and that right there is enough to make 2014 the best year yet. 

And almost 4 years later, there are still a lot of those I Don’t Knows. I did date  and I did get married again. 😉 The bills got paid. The kids are okay. I’m still tired and I still don’t know what we’re having for dinner. As for that ‘5 year plan’ – I just want to still be here loving my God and my family.

And this is my story.

There has been a lot of pain in my story. And a lot of joy. There have been a lot of hard days. And a lot of good ones. There has sorrow and loss, and beauty and grace. There have been a lot of I Don’t Knows. And a lot of I Knows. And they have all written the pages of my life. Sometimes I had the pen in hand and wrote the chapters myself, but my favourite pages – and the ones that have had the most impact and meaning, are the ones where God held the pen and wrote the story. And I have learned that my story is much more beautiful when I let go and let HIM do the story telling.

It is not a story of perfection, but it is a story of purpose.  And that is the story of us all. The pages of your life may look dark and dreary sometimes. The story you are writing may be filled with those I Don’t Knows, too. But I promise you one thing – your story is written with purpose. Your life matters. The words on the pages of the book you are living out impact the world. Oh, you may think it doesn’t – but it sure does. So keep writing and living and handing the pen over to God – HE writes the most remarkable stories of beauty from ashes, and grace from sin, and love that covers it all.

And sometimes we just need to look back over the chapters that have been written and realize how far we’ve come. And – Just. Thank. God.