i am admittedly a slow reader.  i’ve never been one to devour a book.  which only makes sense , since i am a ponderer of words…and of life.  never too anxious to turn the next page until i must.

but, like all good stories do, life eventually takes me to that place.                                           the place of curiosity and wondering what might be in the coming pages,  the next chapter? for i know the story…and life must unfold.

so i reluctantly turn the page and remember, or at least try to remember how it feels to be in this moment, this part of the story.  because it all matters and adds up to make us who we are.  and we carry all of those parts with us…like compiled snapshots that have captured our beautiful story.

each innocent memory of childhood.                                                                                              every awkward smile and haircut.                                                                                                   all the things that have brought us to laughter and to tears.                                                      the people and voices of the past.                                                                                                       it’s all stored up like treasure in our hearts and souls.

so, let’s choose to stop.   linger.   breathe deep and remember every minute of how we got here.

take time to look into those little love-hungry and hopeful eyes of ourselves and remember what it felt like to be scared, unsure and brave all at the same time.   give weight to our hard fought battles and times of questioning.  letting all the poignant moments sink into the heart…giving it realness and resilience.

don’t rush past or forget the bitter moments either.  our mistakes and failures are a necessary part of our story too,  because they have led us to brokenness and reminded us we are imperfect.  but, most importantly, they have caused us to grow up.  to face our fears.  to change.  and to become.   and to be aware that life is filled with lots of endings and beginnings.  dilemmas and triumphs.

so here we are…at today.  the now of our story.  and we will all travel on in the sacred journey God has called us to.  each of us in our own stories but intertwined with each other…even if for just a short while.

we find belonging and beauty in the words that tell our tale and with grateful but tenuous hearts we turn the page.  ready to see what the next chapter holds and knowing all the while that we are all part of a much Larger Story too.  one that began long ago and won’t end until all is set to right.

meanwhile, we look for denouement in every line that gets written and pray for courage to embark into unknowns.  setting our feet on a path that will stretch us and take us to far or unfamiliar places and will fill the coming chapters of our lifetime.

” the road goes ever on and on, down from the door where it began.   Now, far ahead the road has gone and I must follow if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some Larger way. ”                               J.R.R. Tolkien


this is dedicated to all those who i have the privilege to sojourn with in this life and who’s story’s have so beautifully intertwined with mine.  whether we are young or old,  may we bravely commence on the road ahead.     -jamie

photo credit:  Sarah Carson 13:13 Photography

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