“The task of writing an autobiography is a difficult one. When I try to classify my earliest impressions, I find that fact and fancy look alike across the years that link the past with the present. The woman paints the child’s experiences in her own fantasy. Besides, many of the joys and sorrows of childhood have lost their poignancy. In order, therefore, not to be tedious I shall try to present in a series of sketches only the episodes that seem to me to be the most interesting and important.”
(Helen Keller, ‘The Story Of My Life’)
For my 32nd birthday, my husband gave me the most wonderful present. Three days away in a hotel. Alone!! [Ahh…I can hear the audible sighs of delight from my fellow introverts :) ]
I checked into the hotel the night before my birthday, and my plan was to spend the time away in prayer and fasting.
To some this might seem like the worst kind of way to spend one’s birthday…all by myself…no food. But believe me, it was THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!
I’d fasted before, but had never gone away to do it. So to be able to spend time with God away from the busyness of the home and children, and to be able to do it on my birthday of all days – I was simply giddy with excitement.
I packed my getaway essentials (Bible, journal, pens, laptop, headphones) and off I went. It was such a special time. My body, mind, and soul was refreshed. And my story was written.
I hadn’t planned to write my story, but on the last day it all just came pouring out. Literally! I wrote and wrote non-stop for hours. By the time I finished, I was a blubbering mess. Tears of joy and gratitude.
To see three decades of life playing out before me on all those pages. To see the hand of God over every season and chapter. Time and time again rescuing me. Constantly loving me. Relentlessly pursuing me. I can’t even begin to describe what I felt.
I returned home, tucked the story away, and continued on with life. But as the weeks ticked by, the urge to pull away and spend even more time alone with God grew stronger and stronger. That’s when I decided to hit pause on this blogging thing…
Fast forward 8 years and 6 weeks before my 40th Birthday I found myself back in the same hotel for another little solo getaway.
I took along some of my old journals, and the story I’d previously written. I re-read my story, and added more chapters to my tale. Once more I was overwhelmed at the goodness of my God. The tangible evidence of His incredible love, mighty power, and wondrous glory was inescapable. Before me was 40 years worth of grace upon grace, upon grace.
“God writes extraordinary stories out of ordinary lives!” (Unknown)