story: owning the story of our lives #thedailyhaiku 31


I’ve lost count of the number of times I have wanted to disown the story I am living, rewrite it differently and choose an alternative narrative arc. Maybe you have too. So what does owning our story look like? 

As a woman of faith, I venture to suggest it looks like seeing our lives as a small but highly significant part of God’s greater narrative. In the story He is telling throughout history, we all have a part to play. You matter. Your life isn’t a mistake or an accident.

I grew up thinking (hoping?) I must have been adopted, such was the disconnect between me and my family of origin. Later on, hearing how my mother had taken measures to try to stop the pregnancy from continuing, my insecure feelings grew stronger.

Then God happened. He’d been there right at conception, of course, planned for me to live at such a time as this, to be born into the generation I belong to and the family where I arose from but failed to see myself as cherished.

I was born prematurely and against the odds. I was meant to be here. And to survive whatever life threw at me. I was also born to bloom and thrive because of belonging to the family of God. 

Once I came to faith in Christ, my  wounded soul brokenness was no surprise to Him, only a recognisable state we all struggle with to varying degrees. I finally woke up to the fact that I was unconditionally loved—by Almighty God Himself.

It has taken me a while to own the story of my life, filled with brokenness and emotional pain as the years have been, plus decades of health challenges. But that’s only viewing it from a purely human perspective.

Now I am able to see how God poured out His mercy and grace, loved me immeasurably, tenderly wiped away the tears and gave me a brand new start through Jesus.

I am incredibly blessed to have a husband who adores me, a loving family and close friends. I no longer want to disown the story of my life. Instead, I am willing to speak out about how much God has changed and glorified it by His grace. And He will do it for you too, my friend.

Owning my story

I claim this story
the life I live, holding it
shyly—out to you

you gather pieces
of my brokenness and give
them back to me—whole

and in your eyes, wide
as the ocean swells, I see
sweet mercy and grace

caught in a net of love
with no thought of escape, here
I will stay—always

We’ve made it! This is the last post in #thedailyhaiku series for October’s #write31days marathon reading/writing challenge. It’s been a joy and sweet encouragement to have your company here. Thank you! If you want to catch up with the rest of the posts, please click here.  And look out for a surprise bonus tomorrow!  🙂 ❤

17 thoughts on “story: owning the story of our lives #thedailyhaiku 31

    • Laurie, a zig-zaggerty story is just what it feels like! Few of us get through life in a linear way. There are always setbacks and situations not of our choosing, as well as detours and derailment. They all contribute to the patchwork pattern God is weaving, made richer for the darker threads adding a dense background through which the glints of gold shine brighter still. You have warmed this weary woman’s heart with your sweet cheerleading thoughts – thank you! And reminded me afresh of it all being Grace and Gift. Bless you, dear friend. xo 💜

  1. Joy, I absolutely love your haiku today. What a powerful message! And Congratulations for completing the challenge! I’m a little behind. 🙂 Still need to write yesterday’s and today’s. But I’ll get there. 🙂 Many blessings to you with love and hugs! xoxo

    • Gayl, I am so thankful for your kindness, support and encouragement! It is quite a feat to write fearlessly for 31 days in a row. We do deserve to feel a degree of satisfaction as we marvel over the journey God has brought us on. I look forward to catching up on your last few posts tomorrow, hopefully! You will get there, dear friend, just as beautifully as you started. I have so enjoyed your posts, the lovely haiku, reflective thoughts and great photographs you have shared each day. I can see that book of yours almost writing itself! There’s plenty of material to choose from. Blessings, love and hugs to you! xoxo 😊💜

      • Oh me too, Gayl! You have been such a blessing, support and encouragement to me. I cherish our friendship. Please know you can also contact me privately any time you need to for prayer or just to chat. My door is always open to you. xoxo ❤

  2. Dear Joy,
    Oh what a wonderful ending to this month of writing and sharing! You have captured the beauty of God’s Joy in us, and showered that joy on all of us. May I too grasp how wide and long and deep is this love that He has given to each one of us. And may I share that love with those around me also. Congratulations on completing this Challenge of writing and posting every day! Be blessed with much love and rest this day! xoxo

    • Dear Bettie, oh how sweet of you to see things as you do! I was a bit anxious about this last post, wondering if it was okay to go out with a life story testimony as such. So it means a great deal to me that in sharing about Joy as a person, I seem to have also succeeded in capturing “the beauty of God’s Joy in us” and somehow, in the process, “showered that joy” on my readers. Praise God for His Grace! He makes so much more out of our words than we realise. I think we will be marvelling over God’s Love into eternity, and still only grasp a fraction of its extent! Rest is needful as I close this series, though it has left me feeling energised creatively. Just reading the comments here has been a blessing and saturation in love! Thank you, kind friend. xoxo 😊💜

  3. Congratulations, Joy! You made 31 days! Thank you for all your encouraging words. This is such a beautiful ending. It’s so hard to own our stories when we have such hurt-filled childhoods, isn’t it? Thank you for reminding me that even our stories are part of God’s greater story. I am learning that God’s love, grace, and mercy have even greater depth in my heart than if I had not had all that pain in my life. Love and hugs to you!

    • Phew, yes, yes I have! It’s beginning to sink in. How lovely of you to be here to congratulate me at the end and support me throughout, Trudy. Your encouraging words are a balm to my heart. This post went out with some trepidation. Because I didn’t really want the focus to be on me, but on how God has kept and sustained me through everything. You’re right. Having a “hurt-filled” childhood makes it extra challenging to own our stories. Yet somehow they are all part of His Story of redemption and renewal, grace and freedom for those held captive, healing and holy Love for the hurting and wounded ones. Love and hugs gratefully returned to you! xo 😊💜

  4. Joy, this is just what this heart and mind needed to read tonight. I spend far too much time wishing I felt better about myself, wishing certain events had not happened in my life, etc., etc. Thank you for blessing me in this precious way. I know God loves me. I know I have been blessed with God’s man for me. I know these things. I pray that I will trust God for all things possible and lie within His arms.

    • Hello Linda, it’s lovely to see you here again! I’m so pleased this word was timely for you. The thoughts and feelings you describe are familiar to me too and still strike painfully on my vulnerable days. Though it lifts my spirits to see you boldly proclaiming that you know how much God loves you, as you reaffirm that glorious Truth to yourself. That’s exactly what we need to do every time those wretched, discouraging thoughts intrude! Praying for you to stay strong as you rest in the knowledge (experiential as well as theoretical) that God loves you so very much and wants nothing more than to wrap His hurting daughter close in His arms again. May you resist wishing your life away and train your eyes, mind and heart instead to watch for signs of God’s goodness and grace toward you. Rest well, dear friend. xo ❤

    • Amen, Tara! It certainly takes a lot of courage at times. We all exercise that to some degree whenever we write and open up our hearts on the blog. Thank you for the lovely quote from Brene Brown. I have read one of her books and loved it. Bless you for faithfully following my series and being such a sweet cheerleader for me too. I appreciate you, my friend! xo ❤

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