The Story

Don’t Edit Your Story Too Much

I usually spend more time editing than I do writing. I edit and then I edit the hell heck out of anything I post because I care about what people think too much. I do this in other areas of life. Editing life through controlling what the outside world sees. The editing process has value, yet it can also become a means of allowing fear to take hold of my story. TOO much editing waters down our true calling.

We find ourselves on the two-day countdown before our 20 year-old daughter flies across the world to embrace her adventurous summer calling in Thailand. Fear began to rear its head in my heart as the storms raced through last night. This morning I felt its paralyzing grip whisper as I planned the day. Something deep down told me I better get moving, so I threw laundry in the washer, dishes in the sink and tied my shoes on for a walk.

As I headed out the door with my headphones and opened up the podcast app, the words DO NOT BE AFRAID shouted PLAY. It was a talk from some conference that I downloaded weeks ago and didn’t know who the speaker was but no matter, I knew this is what I probably needed to hear this morning.

Because honestly, I was wrestling with the same thing Todd whispered in my ear last night before we went to sleep. What were we thinking allowing our girl to do this thing?


So I walked quickly down the sloppy rainwashed road, watching the leftover storm clouds roil, speeding away from the shaky feeling threatening to take over my mind. It was the jovial, confident voice of God speaking through his servant Bob Goff that reminded me of truth.

Embrace whimsy. Don’t stick your toe in the water, cannonball in! Do stuff that helps the hurting. Just go and do. Don’t blow the balloon up only halfway because you are afraid of the possibility of its pop.

Don’t edit out too much of your story.

Just when fear began to creep in uninvited, I was graciously reminded by Bob that a lot of people want to make a difference in the world, but they won’t BE different. We pull back and only go as far as we feel like we have control over risk and circumstances. We imagine the cost and then edit out the action that might end up costing too much.

In the middle of a gravel road with dark clouds quickly building, God reminded me that as we start living the calling we received amazing stuff will start to happen. Oh yeah, I knew that.

Life has way of pulling us down into an overly edited, fearful version of what our story was intended. We need others to remind us of just how good our stories should be.

I know it’s her story to live. But as a mama and a daddy, our children’s stories become part of our own by default.  And with that, I will hit publish and then enjoy the adventure ahead.

Ephesians 4:1

Live a life worthy of the calling you’ve received.

3 thoughts on “Don’t Edit Your Story Too Much

  1. Found you earlier on FB through Hope Writers because we share a common name – McKnight! . I too have a daughter abroad right now. I can relate to the fear completely! I love how you have used the literal and metaphorical ‘edit’ here. Good writing – blessed me today:)

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