Today, I'm going to tell you a story.
It's about a girl, a grown up girl, but inside, she still feels like a little girl. This little girl loves to watch people. She loves sitting in the car, watching other people drive by. She likes to pretend she knows them. She likes to think she knows what music they are singing to, or why they look so grumpy. She likes to pretend they all are her friends. She even prays for them, making up pretend names for her new friends.
The girl creates scenarios in her mind about alternate realities. She likes to pretend about a world where people love Jesus and strive to live for him. She likes making up futures that are tied neatly up with the ribbons that read happily ever after or with labels where the lesson is clearly marked. The weaving of the stories of the people she sees or dreams up with lessons and happy endings are what complete her.
So, one day, the girl gets brave enough to share a story, her characters, her alternate reality with some special friends. Brave seems like a silly way to describe the girl, but when she started reading her words off the page to her friends, it was truly one of the bravest, scariest, terrifying things of her life.
Her pretend-reality was no longer just in her mind. It was out-loud. And realizing how real her story felt when spoken out-loud shook her to the core. The girl did not realize how much of her true life was wrapped up in her alternate reality. It spooked her. She read, carefully, all 3,439 words of her first chapter to her comrades. Instead of growing more confident while she was reading, each word was harder to choke out.
Her palms began to shake as the chapter felt like it would never end. Then, the girl's heart began to race. Each paragraph added a new pattern to the rhythm of her scared little heart. When the last word was spoken, instead of relief, a new terror overcame her. Tears began to well into her eyes. Her head hung low, and then little sobs, followed by bigger ones came. Her story was out. Her made up world was now real to more people. She had just taken a big leap off the deep end of the pool, and she's really not a good swimmer.
And now, that girl is scared. Scared of continuing the story.
The girl reminds herself that stories are in people's hearts for a reason.
And that maybe someone, somewhere needs to hear this story.
So, the girl sits at her pretty pink computer, praying that God will help her run from fear, and be brave and face the scary side of weaving reality with make-believe. And, she prays that someway, God will use her weaknesses to draw others to Him. Even if it is through a silly little story that consumes more of her soul than she could ever imagine.