Happy New Year! I do have to say, I’ve never been more excited to count down the minutes to a new year than I was this week. Last year holds much victory, I know, but for me it also holds much pain. At times it almost seems wrong to still have tears of anger, disappointment, frustration and loss when I have been given new cells that lend itself to a new chance at life, but it’s true.
I celebrated ringing in 2014 by seeing Saving Mr. Banks. I don’t want to spoil the movie for anyone, but just want to say it was one of the most beautiful stories I’ve seen on the big screen. This story inspired me and reminded me how important our stories are. I tend to speak in story, and thrived on my time in Austria because I always had a good story to share. However, through this life journey, more particularly in the last few years, I’ve learned that good stories are not always funny. I’m learning to tell stories that are hard, and sometimes these resonate even more with people.
Our stories are like fragile, worn, tattered-cover books. The kinds that fill large, magical libraries with rolling ladders. Just being in the presence of stories can almost be breath-taking. These storybooks need to be handled with care. I recognize that these books aren’t always tied up with a red bow or end with Happily Ever After. These stories are real. They involve real, hard circumstances.
Sometimes it’s easier to become calloused toward sharing our stories. It’s been a lot easier for me to give you the hard, cold facts about how am I physically, than carefully hold open a portion of the worn, tattered-covered book I hold with my story. It’s hard to share our tattered-cover books when we don’t know what the other person is going to do with it. Will they hold my story with care? Will they take their time in reading the details and slowly turning the pages or will they rush through it, put it aside and go on to more entertaining ways to spend their time?
In Saving Mr. Banks, there is something about the song “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” that lends the author of Mary Poppins a safe place to share her story. Something in her melts. Connection. Those she had been trying to share her story with finally get it!
I know many of you have no idea what it’s like to live in Austria. I know many of you have no idea what it’s like to have cancer or go through a transplant. But I pray that somehow my story (stories) can make a connection. Slowly, in these next months, I hope I will have the courage and the energy to share some of the deeper stories from last year. We’ve all experienced pain, hurt, loss and disappointment in one way or another.
This has been my “kite song” today: “I don’t waste anything in your life, including suffering. I use it to teach you important lessons here and now. but there is more. Your troubles are also accomplishing something in the heavenly realms. They are achieving eternal glory – contributing to the reward you will receive in heaven. However, for that to happen, you need to handle well the adversity in your life, trusting Me no matter what. When troubles are weighing you down, try to view them as momentary weightless trifles [view them as kites] that are producing endless Glory!” -Jesus Today, by Sarah Young.
This snippet is based on the verse 2 Corinthians 4:17, “For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever.” For those who know Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Lord and Savior, one day our troubles will blow away like kites and we’ll know beauty and life like we’ve never known before.
I’m thankful that every moment of every day that HE gets it. That HE understands me and my story. HE constantly sings my “kite song” and shares in the story HE’s writing with care.