Let me tell you a story

Our lives are wrapped around story. 

We live, breathe, and have our being in God’s great narrative.

And it becomes clearer as we co-operate with Him in the unfolding story we are all a part of.

Each tale we tell has a beginning, middle and end.

Each story we are currently living out is ongoing, yet with great potential for change.

Today, I invite you to pull up a chair, grab a coffee and make yourself comfortable as I share some of my story with you.

As one who is nearer the tail end than the beginning, I share by way of third person narration, looking back on myself as I was as a child.

Let’s begin…

Once upon a time, a little girl liked nothing better than to curl up with a good book. Spurning slumber, she sat tent-like in the bed-sheets, devouring the current favourite before her by the light of a tiny torch.

Reading in bed meant potentially disturbing her sister and maybe incurring the disapproval of parents. Reading anything much altogether, unless it was schoolwork, or comics bought to buy her silence, was frowned upon. 

Even as her mother sat at table, ash falling carelessly, book in front of her and fag in hand, ignoring her children; it was never seen as desirable behaviour to adopt.

Wasn’t childhood meant to be lived out of doors? Out of sight and out of mind of the adults. What a waste of time to bury yourself in books. Best to get out and play.

Yet it meant so much. Escape. Diversion. Distraction. The world around already crowding in too close for comfort. Adult life breathing hot, whispering, secrets and lies that sent a shiver of dread down her spine and distaste souring her thoughts.

Writing was another release as she poured out her heart in poetry and prose. Here, she could be who she wanted to be, lose herself afresh in make-believe.

All too soon, life’s demands caught up with her and she found herself seeking other avenues of distraction, walking unsafe pathways, down dead-ends, pleasure seeking that brought no joy, still bending herself to the will of others.

One day, when drawn deeper still down dark tunnels of despair and destruction, she encountered a man bearing a lamp. The Light-bearer approached gently. He held out a hand of warmth and welcome.

He spoke words of reassurance and offered covering – His robe of righteousness and mantle of grace in exchange for the dirty rags she was wearing.

A new sensation grew in her heart as trust began to bloom again, filling and flooding her with hope. Someone was taking notice. Someone cared.

She was grateful for the new robe and loved to bury her face in its downy softness. After a while though, she forgot she was wearing it. Her old weeds of worry, worthlessness, shame, disgrace, guilt and pain wound their sinuous way around her once more and clung tenaciously.


Hope died. Her light dimmed and she lived for many years in Shadow-lands as one naked and ashamed.

Darkness shrouded her days as they passed in a blur. She gave every appearance of being alive while dying slowly on the inside.

Yet the Light-bearer’s lamp flickered briefly, reminding her that He was still present, despite seeming so far away she thought He’d left her side.

She hid. Herself, her talents, her hope  and dreams all buried deep. Her creative ability to express herself hidden away so far she forgot she had ever had it.

Until…

A Voice called her name. Faint and indistinct at first, then growing stronger. 

And she heard the Light-bearer come near, sensed the fragrance of His presence changing the very air she breathed, filling her lungs with a sweet perfume to cancel out the stale odours she’d been inhaling for so long.

He spoke:“Let them fall. Those old clothes don’t fit who you are anymore as a child of the King. All those years when you felt lost, out of place, sad and alone, I was with you. All that time when you wished you had a different life, different family, I had already bought you into Mine and given you new life. Now, take My hand and walk with Me into the future I have planned”.

Her throat constricted. She gasped and cried. And as she put her small hand in His she felt alive once more. More alive than she had felt for years.

Perhaps she could resume reading His book and find comfort and reassurance there? 

Maybe she could begin to create, to write again? Let words pour forth as water. Or was it a discarded dream, never to return?

As if reading her mind, He bent low, took her chin in His hand with utmost tenderness, and said, “My beloved. You will write. You will pour out your heart once more. You will tell of your journey through the dark places and the Light waiting to guide you home. And in the telling you will help lead others back here too.”



Then He wrote this upon her mind and heart:



“I love you. I always have and I always will. You are safe with Me” and He signed it, ‘Jesus’.

**Note:It’s been a period of great challenge physically and emotionally in my life recently that has brought up painful issues from the past. I didn’t think I could join in with this week’s #Letter to link-up which has the prompt:‘Letter to my younger self’ (over at Melanie’s place this time) until God gifted me with a different way of writing it.
It has been an encouraging affirmation to me of God’s overwhelming love and care. And my hope and prayer is that it will have blessed you too as you read it.
If you only take one thing from this post, please remember – Jesus loves you very much. He really does.

28 Comments

  1. Dear Joy, Beautiful yet heart wrenching with a wonderful conclusion ~ Jesus and his love! Thank you, Joy for yet another heart touching ~ soul warming, encouraging piece! <3 So blessed by your writing and sharing! My heart cried with you and my soul rejoiced with you! YES Jesus loves us! 🙂 xx

    1. Oh, thanks very much for the compliment, Sabrina! I'm so pleased you like this. Thank you for the opportunity to link up and share our writing with each other. I've enjoyed participating and reading the great posts there. Blessings Xx

  2. Oh Joy, this is a heartbreaking piece of hope. The words you have written are heavy with pain and Jesus' faithfulness. Thank you joining us, this is something I needed to read, this has really touched me. More than you will ever more. Sending all my love xxx

    1. Hopefully weighted more with God's love, grace and faithfulness than with pain. I'm awed and humbled if these words have touched you. Thanks for the lovely comment, Melanie, and for hosting the link up this time! Love and prayers Xx

  3. Dear sweet Joy
    Oh, my heart goes out to you. It sounds quite a lot like me. I was comforted this morning whilst in the midst on an intense flare-up by the Lord when He told me to read Isaiah 54! I am so grateful that our Pappa has picked you up and caused your creative skill to flower once again. This is beautiful.
    Blessings XX
    Mia

    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, Mia. Isn't it wonderful how God points us in the right direction whenever we feel stuck, stalled or stymied by pain? I'm truly grateful for the gift of words coming just when I needed them! Blessings of health and strength to you. Xx

  4. This is so beautiful, Joy. So wistful; so delicate and yet so powerful. It makes me think of intricate lace, or beads of dew on a cobweb – does that make sense?
    My eyes filled up with tears at '… as she put her small hand in his she felt alive once more.' He is just waiting for us to take hold of his hand and walk alongside him. It's the safest place. The only place to feel fully alive.
    Thanks, Joy.

    1. I love your poetic description, Helen! Yes, we are only truly fully human and fully alive when we are in a close relationship with God. Trusting Him is the safest thing to do and taking His hand is the best way for us to walk through life. Bless you, my friend, for sharing your thoughts here.

  5. What a lovely story, Joy. Strangely enough, prompted by my father's death last year, I started writing my own story in 3rd person narrative, marvelling at the way in which God spoke to me and led me until, from a family of unbelievers, I became his child. Thank you for reminding me of his astounding love. May he bless you and yours. xx

    1. Yes, I'm slowly discovering that writing my story in the 3rd person narrative is a less painful way to share hard times! Though poetry is a great outlet too.
      Coming from a family of unbelievers is a challenge, isn't it? Thanks very much for stopping by, Mel, and sharing some of your own story here. I really appreciate it. Blessings to you and yours Xx

  6. Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I am in love with the way we portrayed and described our Savior. So abstract, yet so very descriptive. I feel awed by Him all over again. Truly a blessed testimony and a gifted writer. Wow, thank you.

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