I always thought this was my story to write. That I could somehow create, maybe even manifest, all of my dreams. Ones that would inspire a glowing memoir, or at the very least a grand tale I could tell my grandchildren one day. Destined to orchestrate a song of songs that would write my legend. Dancing through scene by scene, directing my plot twists, character castings, even my leading man.
But then the Grand Author showed me years ago that it wasn't my story to write at all. That is was His. That I was the one cast. That each scene was unfolding just as He had written it ages ago. And that His son would be my true leading man. That He would be all of ours.
And it's been a story more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed of writing for myself. Because there have been surprises, twists and turns. Triumphs and meaningful hurts that I couldn't have, and probably wouldn't have, written into my own pages, and I would have been lead somewhere completely different than where I am at today.
And that thought is terrifying.
Living according to Mandi, I got some things right. But I got a lot wrong. Sometimes, people in my life ask for that girl back. And I feel like this probably happens to a lot of people who are changed. Who have been saved. In the beginning I got defensive. I resisted their resistance. But the more I looked upward, and trusted His pen over mine. I could breathe easier about those people in my life who I realized, if they truly wanted the best for me, they could let go of what I let go of in me, and accept me for the girl I was written to be.
I will still strive and wake to live my dreams, because I feel like, since I was just three years old, that he planted things within me I feel like I should be using. Talents, passions and dreams that just don't seem to let go of the deepest parts of me. And free will and all that, jazz. We have responsibility to keep moving forward. We are just blessed to have His strength on days we don't want to.
And I'm learning what that means on His terms now. For so many years I did what felt good to Mandi. When I wanted something I wanted to run at it at full force. I've grown up seeking the future. Always wanting to know what's next, always hungry to one-up my last accomplishment. My dad used to say (almost daily) "Mandi, you need to just slow down." or "Mandi, you just need to show patience". Now I hear that resonating Fatherly voice repeating those sentiments. Asking me to enjoy the NOW. Enjoy the wonderful, beautiful gift of now. And truth be told, it's a daily discipline for me.
But I believe it's that daily discipline, that daily connection that we work on that makes us the strong men and women we are. The strong, inspiring men and women we were written to be. And that's worth all the work it takes.