This post is one that’s been on my heart for a long time.
Wait, you say. Can blog posts really be on an authors heart?
My answer is yes. Yes, they can.
Writers pour their hearts into everything they write, whether they want to or not. And today, that’s what I want to talk about: Writing stories.
Last year, especially during my travels to Central America and back, one question always found its way to me.
“What’s your story?”
Goody-goody Isabella usually made her appearance right after that. I, with my polished shoes and shiny halo, would proceed to relate my journey from a church pew to an alter, of how I felt the need for Christ in my life and responded to it.
A Christian haring her “testimony”. Nothing unusual there. Nothing wrong there. I believe in talking about your faith, boldly and without hesitation, to anyone who asks.
But the words didn’t taste right. Oh, they were right—I have no doubt I said everything I was supposed to. How life was before I began following God, how He found me, where and who I was with when I accepted Jesus as my Savior.
But why do we stop there?
Why don’t we talk about the life after the alter, the messes we make even after we claim the title of “Christian”? Lord knows we aren’t perfect. Why are we so afraid of other people knowing, too?
With that said, I’d like to share something with you that I’ve never (fully) shared with anyone ever before. A free-verse poem, a journal entry—call it whatever suits you. But know it’s something that comes from the deepest parts of my heart.
Are they really interested?
But I answer them. Because that’s what I do.
I smile. Recite. Repeat the script word for word, as if I had it tattooed on my palm.
Why shouldn’t I know it that well? After all, it is mine.
It’s one of the only things truly belongs to me and my Creator.
First comes the Brokenness.
Then the healing.
But my heart is laughing. Maybe even wincing a little.
Because soul knows the story differently.
If I only had the courage.
The nerve, the ready tongue. I’d scream it to every one who asked.
I’m not perfect.
And I’m tired of trying to be.
I forget about important things.
I miss deadlines and birthdays and people.
When I’m alone, I cry about things that happened seven years ago.
I weep about things I don’t understand.
I fall in love with people way to quickly.
The way a person talks, laughs, reacts. I love that.
And I’ll forgive whatever faults you have against me.
But if you take advantage of that, I’ll break.
I’ll stop trying. Caring.
Because I hate being fixed only to be re-broken.
If I ever say, “I’m praying for you!”
You’d better call me the next day. I’ve forgotten by then.
I judge. Harshly. Especially people who openly judge others.
Hypocritical is my middle name.
I’ve lied. I’ve stolen. I’ve wanted everything I can’t have.
And I’ll do those things again.
I’m not the picture perfect Christian.
Most of the time, I’m okay with that.
Not all of the time. Sometimes, I hate myself for every wrong I’ve ever done.
But God’s been teaching me something.
He’s not done with me yet.
He didn’t just save me and leave me to deal with my messes.
Yeah, it’s still being written.
Accepting Him was just the beginning.
Thank God, JUST THE BEGINNING.
So instead of telling the safe side of my story,
(which is still the most important part)
I’m going to tattoo “WIP” on my palms.
To remember that I am a Work In Progress.
To remember that that’s okay.
This is My Story.
And I’m not stopping until its finished.
That’s it. No more hypocrisy. I want to be honest, to be real. Just because I wear the title of “Christian” doesn’t mean I’m perfect. And it doesn’t mean my story’s complete.
* * *
Isabella Stines spent most of her childhood diving into books and breaking the rules by reading past her bed time. Still an avid reader, she spends more of her time as a student and musician in addition to writing, fueling her creativity with Ramen noodles and sweet tea. Stines is currently working on her first series.