During 2013, dozens of talented writers are joining me to cheer you on in your storytelling. These guest-writers will share a few helpful words with you right here every Tuesday night, to encourage you as you #TellHisStory. (Come back after midnight to link up your story by clicking here.) And now, I’m delighted to introduce you to the wise and wonderful Diana Trautwein.
Do You Know Who You Are?
Who are you? I mean, in those deep-down places inside your spirit — who are you?
Do you know what you love and what you don’t, what you like to do and what you loathe, where you like to be and where you never want to go again? Do you know what your daydreams are and why you dream them?
How about this one: if you sat down in the quiet for 15 minutes, closed your eyes, let yourself breathe deeply, and allowed yourself to center in the presence of God, what core truth about who you are would rise to the top of that busy, fertile, distracted mind of yours?
The Delphic oracle said, “Know thyself.” William Shakespeare penned, “To thine own self be true. . .” And Jesus said, after loving God wholly, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
The longer I live, the more I know the power of these truths, most especially the words of Jesus in Matthew’s gospel. And here is why: if we want to build healthy relationships, find meaning in our work (whether inside the home or out of it), raise whole and healthy children, and follow God with our whole selves, we need to know our stuff. Not just the good stuff, ALL the stuff — the parts we hide, the parts we don’t like, even the parts that frighten us.
And we’ve got to embrace every precious piece, even the broken ones. Because as we do that, and as we offer those pieces to God’s redeeming love, then we can tell the story. You know, the story that is YOU. The story that you and God are telling together from the moment of your first gasping breath ‘til your last footfall on this planet. That is the story that must permeate the words you put on paper: the story of the broken made whole, the confusion made clear, the song sung in tune. It’s not an easy story and it’s not a perfect one. But it is your story and you are the only one who can tell it.
But to tell it, you’ve got to know it, from the inside out. Then you’ve got to love it, warts, ugly bits and all. Only then, will it read real; only then, will the truth rise to the top.
Married to her college sweetheart for over 40 years, Diana is always wondering about things. She answers to Mom from their three adult kids and spouses and to Nana from their 8 grandkids, ranging in age from 3 to 22. For 17 years, after a mid-life call to ministry, she answered to Pastor Diana in two churches where she served as Associate Pastor. Since retiring at the end of 2010, she spends her time working as a spiritual director and writes on her blog, Just Wondering. For as long as she can remember, Jesus has been central to her story and the church an extension of her family. Not that either church or family is exactly perfect … but then, that’s what makes life interesting, right?
Diana invites you to connect with her on Facebook and Twitter at @drgtrautwein.