I was browsing Pinterest when I saw it: “Write your life story in six words.” It was a writing prompt, something meant to spark creativity. Six words? I thought, baffled at how that was possible. I think six separate things in a matter of seconds. Surely, my life story should be novel-ish in length. Right? Crickets…
Then I thought about it. I’ve had writer’s block for what feels like decades, so maybe this was worth a shot. I grabbed a pen, and with surprising ease, scribbled out:
Woah. Ouch. Ok.
It was painfully accurate – a six-word life story that unearthed the truth of who I am, where I’m headed, and how I’m getting there.
I’m messy: I don’t have it all together. I’m imperfect.
But: Wait, it’s OK. There’s good news.
Creatively Equipped: I have what I need to fulfill my calling. And on top of that, the tools I’ve been given are ORIGINAL – direct from a truly creative Creator. Use them.
NOW: I’m ready to do this, one step at a time. It will be difficult, but my excuses don’t matter. I can start making my dreams happen this very moment.
Ever since I wrote those six little words, I’ve wavered between wildly enthusiastic and totally freaked out. Because here’s the truth: there are a lot of days where I feel so knocked down that I don’t have the will to do anything beyond the basics: eat, work, sleep. Over and over and over again – a schedule so lackluster that it’s strangely addictive. And with this monotonous routine comes negativity, sweeping in like a dust storm. Suffocating. Settling in the corners.
And suddenly all I can think about are the things going “wrong” in my life. Like, boo-hoo, selfish, woe-is-me stuff. I focus on the fact that I can’t afford to take my health coach certification exam. That I can’t muster up the energy to work full time and keep my house clean. That my heart is bursting to travel, but now is not the time. That I can’t quiet the skeptic in me. That I don’t have many friends. That I feel so small and unimpactful. That I’m not qualified enough or spiritual enough to dole out advice about wellness. That I’m desperately trying to fulfill my dreams, but it feels a bit…messy.
And just like that, I forget.
I forget that there are parts of my life going gloriously, impressively right. That the messy stuff – no matter how fragmented – is piecing together. I see it. It’s slow, but I’d see it if I’d just remember to look. I forget that it’s OK to feel small. That small is good. Inviting. Growing.
“Small is the size of a seed — wet, and hard, and ready all at once. Small is a violet diamond. Sometimes, small is all you have. The response to feeling small in the face of something big can be an invitation to your purity — your pure, honest truth.” – Danielle LaPorte
The truth is I am equipped. By a Creator who makes exquisite, glorious things. By a Creator who is creative, and has gifted me with specific, useful abilities of my very own. Suddenly, the credentials and adventure and community seem less far away.
And just like that, I remember.
I remember to ask myself whether I’ve been responsible with the resources I’ve been given. Whether my mission is to serve people wholeheartedly. Whether I’ve been a good steward of my money. Whether my time management skills are conducive to my goals. Whether I’ve been consistently praying for God’s will. Whether I’ve extended the same grace to others I so desperately crave myself.
Perhaps your story is similar. I want you to know you are capable of moving forward, no matter how small your stride. You are capable of making plans and of being flexible. Of listening, learning, speaking, teaching. There are times we wait and there are times we move. It’s all part of the story anyway.
So those are my six words – each letter wrapped in its own delicate string of thoughts, emotions, prayers, and tenacity. And when I forget it (because I will), I’ll work hard to remember that my mess is part of the adventure.
What’s your six-word life story? How long did it take you to write? Did it open your eyes to anything you need to do or think or say?