In those younger days of bedtime stories, all the good ones began with ‘Once upon a time’. As I grow up I still tell myself stories but they affect me differently than they used to. Sometimes it feels like the princess never gets saved, the dragon still creates havoc and the tower is still a prison. Why is it the stories we carry around, the ones that bug us constantly are the ones that feel like chains? Stories that feel like lies but are dressed in truths that we are sure we ‘should’ believe. Maybe they nag at us because we know we need to shine a light on them and see what reflects back? Perhaps you have stories you have told yourself or had told about you that you are unsure whether you agree with. Maybe they sit on your soul like a weight ready to be pushed off.
Once upon a time I took a spiritual giftings quiz and one of my giftings came out strongly as ‘artisanship’. It was then said that in leadership or church life, it wasn’t as important or interesting as some of the other spiritual gifts. I’m not sure that is true.
Once upon a time I thought that it was selfish to want to discover what made me feel alive. I still struggle with the concept of whether pursuing using my gifts to serve others or God is worthy, because ‘he equips the called’? What if you have been equipped, are you not called? Am I burying ‘talents’ in a field? Do I always have to serve in ways I am not equipped to? Is it wrong to have skills or training and want to use those as worship or in serving? Am I even equipped?
Once upon a time I told myself that I shouldn’t be depressed, I was just weak minded.
Once upon a time I was told that the Church needs people in business. For their money. I nearly laughed out loud at this one, if you only knew.
Once upon a time I was called a business woman because I was employed for an admin job for someone else, despite having started businesses.
More than once I was called awful, a rebel, a troublemaker, workshy, naughty, lazy.
Once upon a time I thought that I couldn’t do what I love and earn a living from it. I’m still not sure about this one. I want to be wrong about this one.
Once upon a time these stories halted me from pursuing the work that I most felt drawn to, that gave me a sense of purpose beyond simply keeping my head down and a roof over it. The way I want to change my story is to work hard to prove the opposite, but is that the way to change the story? I don’t know. Instead, I’m pursuing making time for the things where I feel most useful, not for pride or accomplishment, but to serve others. Where I know that my blooming helps and encourages others to bloom and surely, this is all we are meant to do? Love God, love others as ourselves.
What stories are holding you back?
I stumbled over this article just after writing this piece. People you assume would be too busy to consider the children and yet… astronauts are reading bedtime stories from space. Can I tell you how much this made me smile? Why do we tell different stories to ourselves as adults?
And this one is worth watching till the end for the view of the UK from space at night.
I’m Abi and I love to make space for others to pursue beauty and discover their creative soul.
You can find some phone wallpapers in the free gift store to remind you that creativity doesn’t have to be complicated.