Good books sometimes make you ask hard questions. This book made me ask myself this: “If I sat in that white chair, what would I say to the camera about living second?”
Coincidentally (not!), Week 11 of Doug Bender’s just released Live Second is titled “The Story” and asks the reader a similar question. “What is your story in 140 characters or less?” I’m more of a poster, than a tweeter, so not at all proficient in the 140 character economy. But I thought I’d give it a shot in under 250 words.
This was harder than I thought it would be.
Part of what I struggle with is in mistakenly thinking that my story doesn’t matter because it isn’t exciting or full of drama. That is a lie that God has graciously led me to recognize as I have chewed on the concept of “story”. It has taken a long time for me to know deep down, that my story does matter, and deserves to be shared. I think I would say different things, at different seasons of life. But today, I think my live second story might go something like this.
I grew up trying my very best to be a good girl. My family went to church three times a week and so Jesus had been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. Along the way, I began to believe that if you did enough of the right things, went to church as many times as possible, and tried your very best to follow all the “rules”, then maybe, just maybe, you might be worthy of God love and acceptance. Not only did I strive not to disappoint my parents, teachers and friends, I most definitely did not want to disappoint God.
Shortly after I got married, my parent’s twenty-three year marriage fell apart. I discovered abruptly that legalistic rule following was no guarantee against disappointment. The ground shifted under my “perfect” life and threatened to swallow me whole. It was in the processing of my parents divorce that I discovered the grace that Jesus offers. I finally began to understand that no amount of work or rules followed could earn that gift. I realized that my identity as a daughter of the king was not dependent on my perfection, or the perfection of anyone else around me, including my parents and husband. Jesus just wants my heart. All else flows out of that one sacrifice. I began to lay down unrealistic expectations of myself and others. By putting Jesus first, I discovered a new freedom that grace offers and that has been my life’s greatest joy. My name is Kelli and I am second.