This is the story I hope to tell my grandchildren.
I feel a little silly opening an explanation about my own life with an excerpt from soneone else’s, but the book this excerpt comes from is one that has definitely altered the way I see my own journey.
“Here’s the truth about telling stories with your life. It’s going to sound like a great idea, and you are going to get excited about it, and then when it comes time to do the work, you’re not going to want to do it. It’s like that with writing books, and it’s like that with life. People love to have lived a great story, but few people like the work it takes to make it happen. But joy costs pain.”
I should begin by telling you that my life has been a little boring up to this point. Maybe boring is the wrong world…comfortable would be a better word. That’s about right; I had no desire to live beyond myself because I was overly comfortable in my own skin. However, that changed when I took a chance on an internship with a non-profit out of Cocoa, Florida called To Write Love On Her Arms. I was emotionally, spiritually and financially overwhelmed when I moved into a house with 6 other interns. However, it was the best decision I’ve made for myself so far this year. Because I allowed myself to be stretched and utilized in ways I was unfamiliar with, I was able to become comfortable with my past and my own story, and to begin sharing it with the amazing people I found myself surrounded by. I was also able to gain some clarity about my future, which is one of the hardest things I’ve struggled with. I find so much joy in new directions, so it is no suprise that I have already begun to find happiness in my life even though little has changed since my internship term ended.
One of the most profound things that I’ve learned about myself is that my heart is welling with so much compassion that I have to help people. Ideally, I would be helping others for a living. I want to eat lunch with the homeless, I want to converse with addicts and I want to laugh with those who have lost everything. I used to joke with my parents, telling them that I wanted a plane ticket to Uganda for my college graduation, rather than investing in a Mac for use in grad school. This will be my future, and God has shown me how much I really love other people. I want my story to read like that; I wish for nothing more than to show others that they are loved more than they’ll ever know. From my personal experience, I know that there are people out there who don’t even think of themselves as worthy of anyone’s attention, let alone their love. This is just not so, and it breaks my heart. I want people to understand that there are those out there who are willing to sacrifice their own livliehood in order to love on others.
While I would be totally willing to leave my home and comfort to live in another town or country, and have my life’s work to be humanitarian, I realize that I need training and skills first. Because of this realization, I chose a new path in my education, and inevitably my future. I am currently on track to get a degree in social work. I would love to have the chance to work in a clinical setting, or in a school system. I want to meet people where they are, and I want to help them as best as I can. I want to help a teenager who has turned to drugs instead of his education to realize that value of his life. I want to help a adolescents struggling with depression to understand that they are not alone in their struggle. I want to help those who do not have opportunities to understand that they can make it in this world. I want to help the fatherless, the motherless, the negelected, the abused, the addicted, and the unwanted. They are all loved.
I believe that the opportunity to attend this seminar would give me a the insight and wisdom I need to help better shape my future. I have already received some knowledge from the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”, and the beautiful stories contained in the book were challenging and inspiring. I’m hoping that this seminar will teach me how to take the things I’m passionate about, and turn it into something I can do for the long haul. I’m eager to see what an epic story looks like, and I’m more than willing to get uncomfortable in the process. That’s what this is all about right? Stepping out of the familiar to live something better. I’m ready.
Please watch this video for information on Donald Miller’s Living a Better Story Seminar, enjoy!