What Story Are You Telling Yourself about Your Life Today?

These days, someone is always telling us a story.

From politicians to preachers to people in our lives, stories abound. Reporters, advertisers, Fortune 500 companies, non-profits seeking donations, the teenager hiding a secret, the neighbor inching his fence onto our land, the spouse covering her own fears and failing – all crafting stories they’d prefer we believe more than anything else on our radar.

We need stories. We’re designed for stories. We’re hard-wired to see life through the lens of a great epic story God is telling about Himself and inviting us to live with Him.

But, there are other stories. Lesser stories that compete for our attention and rent out billboards in our souls trying to tempt us off the narrow road a few exits earlier than our true destination. Detour! Scenic overlook! Must see attraction! There is more truth in the story of Odysseus than we want to acknowledge because we’ve all heard the Sirens trying to prevent us from returning to our voyage home.

Modern times have multiplied the number of stories and sophisticated their delivery systems, but it has always been true that we have a choice about which story we choose to believe about our lives. Do we choose the sad deceptive story the enemy whispers in our ears, or do we trust the greater story God promises is true?

Are we victims or victors? Are we seen or ignored? Do we matter or are we disposable? Does light truly triumph over darkness? Does morning really come?

Many biblical heroes and heroines endured separation, hardship, or loneliness in their youth. David, the youngest of many, sent out to be alone with the sheep, battling wild animals alone, composing psalms beneath a vast sky. Joseph eager to belong with his brothers but knowing only the loneliness of great dreams and a father’s favor, eventually cast out and sold off as a slave. Esther, orphaned and dragged off from her homeland by warriors to be raised by a wise uncle in a foreign land. And Daniel, also taken captive with his people, and, as a teen, taken from everything he’s ever known by a powerful king determined to assimilate him to a culture opposed to his God.

Each of these had a choice. Do I believe the stories this fallen world tempts me to believe about my life?

Am I small, alone, and insignificant in a land of giants? Or, am I called by God to defeat giants and to lead others in His name?

Am I a rejected outcast, misunderstood and unloved by his own family, destined to a lifetime of slavery? Or will no scheme against me stand against the great plan God purposed for me before time began?

Am I orphaned and alone, subject to other’s choices for my whole life, and without hope because I am not the agent of my destiny? Or, do I still have powerful choices and influence even when I am hemmed in because God continues to see me and use me no matter what walls surround me or what men do to me?

Am I helpless against the greater political and cultural power sweeping change over my life, my people, and my dreams or has God appointed me to represent Him in this hour and stand firm, even against a kingdom so great that many before me have fallen?

We know from God’s Word which story each of these flesh and blood men/women chose to believe and that choice made all the difference. Not only for them but for those around them and for us.

You and I have that choice now.

What do you face today? What trials, opportunities, barriers, hardships, powers, or decisions are in your path today? What story will you choose to believe about them?

Believe the story the enemy is selling – packaged by our times and by the spirit of the age – and you will follow one narrative – most likely taking an off-ramp from the narrow road that leads home to our great God.

Believe the story that begins before time when in the beginning God and that travels straight through the cross of Jesus Christ and emerges triumphant through the empty tomb and that has been trusted and believed by generations of Jesus-followers before us and your story will burst with truth and life even if you are surrounded by death and lies.

What is the story you’re telling yourself today about your circumstances, the world, your life? Believing and following the story that leads home will make all the difference, not only for you but for those around you and for those who come after you.

For we are not invisible shepherds, castoff brothers, forgotten orphans, or powerless captives. We are not victims of our times.

We are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that we may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once we were not a people but now, we are God’s people; once we had not received mercy, but now we have received mercy.

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your souls. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. 1 Peter 2:9-12 ESV

What did one domino say to the other? We don’t have to fall.

What story will you believe today? Choose His story. It will make all the difference.

Dog attack healing update: Yes, we can heal and move past traumatic events with God’s healing and the help of great providers. Still doing trauma therapy but have made significant progress. Still doing physical therapy for my arm but am hopeful that it’s working and I can avoid surgery! Back to full-time work and speaking. Doing more writing but still don’t have my brain stamina when I’m tired or stress. At the end of a day, I fight brain fog and struggle with word retrieval due to the concussion. I am not more afraid of dogs. I am engaging with life, work, family, our new dog, and have returned to travel. We now refer to BDA and ADA (before and after the dog attack) but I am hopeful that I will see a significant return of function down the road. Not completely healed yet and likely not full functioning when it comes (elbow likely has permanent nerve damage) but the pain is being reduced with the physical therapy. Thanks for all your patience and prayers. I know my blog posts have not been as frequent and my articles aren’t coming as often but hopefully, one day down the line, I will regain the stamina to write even when I’m tired and I will get past the brain fog and concussion symptoms. Thanks for continuing to pray! #Godisgoodallthetime #healing #Jesus #dogattack

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9 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Maureen Miller says:

    Thank you, dear friend. As a lover of stories, I needed this. It’s a good reminder. In a world swirling with stories, some true and too many not, we have the greatest Story ever — right at our fingertips, hidden in our hearts. I feel encouraged today. Inspired. Exhorted.

  2. Ruby Lorraine Hillier says:

    It is a long haul to healing but glad you are getting better. I am a year in from my breast cancer diagnosis- had the breast and some lymph nodes removed- then chemo and radiation. What I have learned is when your body needs rest we must follow it’s lead. I am studying and praying. Getting back like you slowly. We shall overcome and be stronger for it – Blessings galore to you and family

  3. Sherry Carter says:

    There are lots of stories vying for our attention, Lori. At the moment, your story is the one inspiring me. God bless you!

  4. Clarice James says:

    I have less stamina and more brain fog, too, but for another reasons. 🙁 But I know God has given me another story to tell, so I’m plowing through the fallow ground. Glad to hear you’re healing and getting help with the trauma. Question: Lori, do you, like, do all these things to give yourself something dramatic to write about? Cause, if so, it’s workin’! [You know I’m kidding, right?]

  5. Joanne Urbany says:

    Lori,
    I am so glad to hear that you are making progress in your healing from the dog attack. Thank you for this word. I will pray for your continued healing. Your sharing and writings are always an inspiration to me. God bless you always.
    Love in Christ,
    Joanne Urbany

  6. h. renell says:

    Just read an article about the hardships Michelangelo endured to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. He too was alone and faced many troubles.

    Very inspiring to persevere.

    God Bless.

  7. Robyn Plocher says:

    I just started reading your blog a few days ago. I find it very encouraging. I am so sorry to learn of the dog attack. I have worked with grieving and traumatized people of all ages. My heart goes out to you. You will remain in my prayers for this difficult time. Grace and peace.

  8. JMan says:

    A very warm Hello to you Lori… I have been reading your posts for years. I have prayed fervently for you since I read about the dog attach trauma. I was wondering if you ever considered making an audio recording of your articles? I realize the pictures play a big part too… they are amazing and another talented piece completely different from writing but nonetheless amazing. However, just a thought, because I always think how I would love to hear your voice talk to me about the many things you say…you have a way that HITS HOME on so many levels in every single post. Would that make things harder or easier for you? No complicated video, just an audio where we could press play? All in all though, I LOVE YOUR WORDS, in whatever format they come! Thanks for using your gifts from the Lord to encourage others.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful encouragement! Thank you!