Change Your Story, Change Your Life by Jen Lawrence
As human beings, we are built for story. It’s why TV shows are popular, politicians get elected, and retailers don’t just sell you a tablecloth, but the accompanying promise of dining happily with your family at Thanksgiving. Story helps us define our identities and connects us with others. Long before the Internet existed, we figured out how the world worked by listening to the stories of our elders. And of course, we have greatest story ever told, which begins with this verse: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

Stories can be motivating. Think about the coach’s speech before the big game in any sports movie you’ve seen, or the words of a gifted pastor. The stories we tell ourselves are the most powerful stories of all since the constant soundtrack running through our heads provides lots of reinforcement.

In order for us to live out our purpose, it’s important to make sure that the stories we tell ourselves are helpful. Here are three important questions to ask yourself to make sure your story is serving you well.

1. Who is writing your story?

Ask yourself who is writing your life story? Is it God? Or it is Hollywood, the internet, or your friends. Are you tuned into the story God has planned for your life or have you “lost the plot” as they say in the UK. It’s never too late to get your story back on track. Prayer, bible study, or a meeting with a pastor or good friends can help you live out the beautiful story God has written on your heart.  

2. Would you tell your story to your best friend?

Would you tell your best friend that she won’t reach her goals? Or that she deserves her hardships? Of course you wouldn’t! So why are you telling yourself negative things all the time. Be your own best cheerleader. I have a bunch of notes taped up in my office that say things like, “You’ve Got This” and “Love Your Life.” I also display motivational scripture verses such as Psalm 118:24: “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” Tell yourself all of the positive things you tell your good friends and soon you will start believing them.

3. Does your story have a happy ending?

God has chosen a happy ending for your story as promised in Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” But He needs you to fulfil your happy ending. Look for evidence that life is good, success is likely, and love is available for all of us. Once you know that all will end well, you can take actions to help get you there. I’m a big fan of using faith-based vision boards to help me visualize God’s beautiful plans for my life.  I take photos and keep gratitude lists that provide me with evidence that the world is generally good. Keep a daily gratitude journal for a month and see how your story starts to shift.

As you change your story, you start to change your life, as your belief in what you can do drives you forward. As C.S. Lewis stated, “We are what we believe we are.” God believes in the best for you. Make sure you believe it too!