Jun 26, 2012

The Importance of Story

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5

When I was a young girl, I used to narrate my life. I have distinct memories of riding my bicycle around the neighborhood with phrases of narration running through my head, such as "little did she know that this bike ride would change her life forever," and "Katelyn would often look back on this day with fond memories, longing to again jump the curbs on her old street." Everything was big. Even the most mundane of things turned into a great adventure ("Katelyn quickly scrambled up the stairs, determined to beat her brother to the gameboy").

This was a memorable scene
Over time this narration faded out (or perhaps just changed form), but I tended to hold on to this idea of grandness. Moments were always more than they would seem. Watching a deer, laying under the moon at midnight, battling in silly string fights, holding kitchen conversations, playing hopscotch with 4-year-olds, listening to birds as they slowly realize day has dawned... There was always a certain sacredness to everything, to each moment, all crafting an incredible story. Along the way there would be particularly memorable scenes, turning points in the plot, and in these moments I would especially feel the weight of existence and the unbelievable beauty of life.

 And then I thought my story ended.

I remember talking about this feeling with my friend Megan last summer. We'd both just come back into our lives in America, and we had no idea what was to happen or to be done next. "There was all this build up to go…I never really thought passed the SM experience." "Me neither. Getting on that plane kind of felt like the conclusion, and I didn't ever think about what would come in the weeks and months after landing."

What would come was a life without story, which meant a lack of direction, a lack of meaning, a lack of grandness. Just events occurring without a plot, without a feeling of more to come. Much happened, many scenes that could have been claimed as part of an incredible story, as part of my story. But I didn't claim them. Maybe I didn't want them.

But all I did was finish an act, one act in a set of many.

My story's been known for a long time, set apart, appointed. I'm choosing to claim what is mine. Because in all honesty, my story is absolutely fantastic. And if I think about it, I do know where I'm going, and I can see how certain events do or do not fit into my God-given epic. So I'll talk to the Author and live in the divine pages of life. I will experience the holiness and the weight of my scenes. Because each one is beautiful, instructive, and big.

And I will claim the scenes that are a part of my story, no matter how they may appear at first glance. Because they are mine. They've been planned for me. And I want them.

[When my lot of returning SMs went through our re-entry retreat, we were told that reverse culture shock and processing would happen at different times for different people: maybe we'd already gone through the bulk of it, maybe it would take several months. It kind of annoys me that I'm still writing about my Philippines experience, that I'm still processing. But…this is where I am. And I'll let myself be here. I always was a mosey-er anyway.]

1 comment:

  1. Katelyn, wow - you have so hit this one on the head: I never thought the story would continue past that plane ride, either. And take your time processing - I'm still reeling from it some days... :)