you’ve gotten the real me.                                 and my attempt at offering the authentic, unedited version of me.                            you’ve seen my ponderings and read my words and understand that i am pretty much a mess.

but a beautiful and redeemed mess.  i am trying desperately and honestly to live amidst the divine tension of taking my small offering into a sometimes scary world. all the while believing beyond the shadow of a doubt that God has called me to it.  in the beginning, nothing  felt more counter-intuitive than speaking up with my quiet, reluctant voice.

but what i discovered was wholly unexpected.

045because what i thought would deplete me, even possibly consume me…instead has birthed fullness.  no one has been more delighted and perplexed at being proven wrong, than me.

God’s workings so often leave me scratching my head yet at the same time so grateful that He doesn’t operate within our human ideas or capacity.  He’s not limited by our small faith, mistakes or reluctance either.

instead, He takes all the parts of each of our stories to speak of His grace…each story precious and needed.  and there’s an endless number of versions to be told.  He never runs out of words or ways of telling us and reminding us of His great love.  that’s why your version, your story is worth telling and matters so desperately.  it’s crucial in fact.   because there is always more to say and each version says it differently.  uniquely.  the Larger story will be incomplete somehow…without you and me.

i think i’m finally getting it. especially when i get to see someone understand the beauty and weight of offering their truest self for the first time. and we can look into each other’s tear-filled eyes and truly believe that discovering and then telling our most vulnerable , honest narrative of His grace matters.

so, i will never stop listening and i won’t stop writing.  even if sometimes what i wanted to say, or meant to say, or tried to say…comes out wrong.

He can still speak His words through my imperfect attempts.  He always whispers grace and says keep gathering.  keep looking.  keep aching to see beyond the ashes and shreds of this life.  because beauty is there, it just needs finding.  and the stories of His grace need narrating…by you and by me.

so i collect up the words like seashells on the shore.

083scattered .  resilient.  timeless.  faithful.  worn at the edges.  forgiving.  timid.  and daring.   then, by God’s grace, fit them together so they tell the story that needs telling.  and on those stale, empty and dark days when i lose my place in the storyline and can’t see His fullness or goodness in any way…i can look back.

look back at the written words and remember His love. and how His love gets seared into my soul during the battle.  because during the fight somehow, some way, beauty is birthed in the struggle.

then i know deep down that the fight is worth it.

the pursuit is worth it.

the looking is worth it.

the writing is worth it.

because the finding is ALWAYS worth it.

so, will you look hard to find, then tell your beautiful, messy and needed version of His grace?

yours in the fight and the finding,   xxoo  jamie082

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6 Responses to versions

  1. Justine Nielsen says:

    thanks jamie…keep em coming! love you, J

    On Sat, Sep 20, 2014 at 3:40 PM, finding life beautiful wrote:

    > jamjobryan posted: ” you’ve gotten the real > me. and my attempt at offering the > authentic, unedited version of me. you’ve seen > my ponderings and read my words and understand that i am pretty much a > mess. “

  2. woodzey says:

    Jamie, my wonderful, crazy, honest friend. It is fun to live life w you. I’m so glad to know why you write!!

  3. daylerogers says:

    Love this. Love your genuine sharp sides. Love your honesty and willingness to share it. Love the fact that you don’t quit. Thanks, Jamie!

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