We each have a story through this life. I firmly believe that people, events and places come into our lives for a reason: they are part of our story and we are part of theirs. This past week, my story has seemed quite disjointed, as though it's carrying on regardless of me, thinking I was a central player; taking curves and making cuts that I was not anticipating.
I now know that the word "history" originates from the Greek "historia", meaning the inquiry into and acquiring of knowledge; therefore, really encompassing the past and anything that evolves from it. When I was a little girl, I remember enchanting a teacher called Mr Snewin by explaining to him that history itself was really God's book - His Story. As a heady adult now, I still like the sound of that.
As a Catholic, I believe my story has been created by God and presented to me as a gift, almost like a boxed set of something wonderful. What I take from the unfolding of it, what I learn and how I grow with that knowledge could be my gift of gratitude in return to the Author of the Universe.
I'm in the middle of statutory Jury Service and although I was a reluctant juror thrust into a very uncomfortable case, it now feels like part of my story for another tale to be known to me and for me to play an unexpected part. Most of the other jurors look very familiar to me, although we've never obviously encountered each other before: indeed, we are all very different and yet we seem to gel. Anyone who already knows me will appreciate what a Gigi-like statement that is.
When people and elements of your own life seem to let you down at every turn, it's important to keep faith with what feels true to you; your story. We shouldn't try to live other people's lives for them or write their lines, any more than we should seek to pass that responsibility on to others.
I've learned to look out for those in life who are meant to be part of my story and to see how I can best serve or colour theirs. This is a short post, because I am weary from court, because I have an injured hand; because I feel just a few fleeting words could wing their way to those I call Friends, whose own pages might also seem smudged or faint at the moment.
A quote from an uncredited source seems to hang in the room around me at the moment: "It's hard to wait around for something you know might never happen, but it's even harder to give up when it's everything you ever wanted." My own blinking and twittering little emotional SatNav tells me not to mess with the route if I can't better it. Sometimes, chapters close suddenly and new ones open in unimagined scenery and unforeseen circumstances. Your story will still be there: look for the surprisingly warm smile, the name or place that rings a bell, the something that you always wanted to do. Trust that God may appear to change what He wants for or from you, but that the only agenda is your fulfillment Read between your own lines, take comfort in your own essential smallness in the greatest story that will ever be told.
"People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it's the other way around."
"Wayfaring Stranger" Ed Sheeran (version)
"I have my own story, and I love my story, but I know I can't tell it alone, not now. Because stories have centres, but they don't have edges. No boundaries."