Living a Story that Enlarges Your Soul

When life was all about me, my soul was puny.

The more I pursued things to satisfy my self-interest, the more I found my soul suffocating for a divine breath. The longer I continued to create the life I wanted to live, the less interesting my life story became. It wouldn’t have been a movie anyone would have paid money to see – even in the dollar theater.

But God broke through my selfishness and blessed me with Cara. In some marriages, I see people trying to continue the same boring story they started. But I was no longer content with that existence. Cara had a story of travel, appreciation of cultures, and a love for people I just didn’t have. When our stories came together, it wasn’t always easy. But we slowly began to see how God was pruning the selfishness and redeeming what was good to give us something better – to give us a better story.

As we grew, our story-making was joyously interrupted, not once, but three times. With each birth, our story took a new turn. With each child, the pruning and redeeming continued. We sometimes wondered (like most parents) whether we would have enough love to give a second or third child. But we found our souls grow larger with each precious girl. In fact, I proclaimed that with the naming of our third daughter. Her name means “God increases a father’s joy.”

I think the story of our family is a great one, but it can very easily move toward self-focus once again. It could be all about us. And I know that as the days pass, all five of our souls would begin to gasp for air.

If I reflect on how I got from where I was to where I am, I see an interesting movement. God moved me outside myself to love Cara. God so grew the love in our marriage to overflow into our daughters. And God has so magnified our love as a family that we can’t help but look for others to share in this love.

We want to live a story that enlarges our soul.

This is not a desire that would come from naturally selfish people. We can definitely see a divine activity that God is working within each of us. Having seen His movement before, we began to evaluate what new chapter God might be leading us into.

That’s when we saw God break into our lives by giving us a clear view of His unending love for us.

God gave us a heart and ministry to encourage families to grow in and pass on His love to their children and grandchildren.

God then brought us to a place where we became acutely aware of children not experiencing God’s love.

And that’s when we saw how we fit into the divine Author’s outline for our life script. We want our story to follow in His steps. We want to learn to live simply as a family so we can give generously to others. We want to record a story where we stop contributing to the poverty of others and speak up for those without a voice. A story in which we, the characters, gratefully receive the free gift of God’s love and hold nothing back when showing it to children who desperately need a glimpse of the truth.

So Cara and I have determined anew to follow God and reflect His passion for children. We start with loving our own, and we teach them God’s story of love for them, and ALL His children.

It’s a story that matches the love God has breathed into our souls.

 

{To learn more about our story, check out www.fairlysimple.org}

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