What is the Theme of Your Story?

Today, please welcome my friend Jeremy Riley to The Scenic Route.  I encourage you to check out his blog where he shares openly and honestly about his journey.  This quote from his bio about why he blogs pretty much sums up why I think he’s a cool guy… “This is here to work through life, faith, stories, and hope.  Lately, doubt has become a major theme of this place, so bring your doubts and baggage, please kick off your shoes and relax.  This is a place where we explore the journey of faith and all that it implies.”

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Does Your Story Have a Theme?

Last year this question came up to me from a blog post I read here on The Scenic Route and it made me think about where I was in life. Since 2013 was an incredibly disruptive year for me with the end of seminary, a new baby, a new job, and a cross state move, the theme that came to mind was hope in uncertainty.

Quite frankly there were points in that chapter where I simply had no idea how we would survive, where money would come from, and when the stress would stop. It was a very difficult year.

Have you ever been there?

The thing I discovered in that time was that through the uncertainty, God decided to do something different and called us out of our home in Orange County to somewhere else. He called us onto a new adventure.

Last year reminded me of the story of Abraham, when he was told to hit the road and go on an adventure. And at the risk of sounding corny, if my theme for 2013 was hope in uncertainty, then the character I most resembled was the weak and fearful Abraham.

2014 has started us in a place with new hopes and difficulties, with more certainly on the way. Recently, I have found myself in the character of Moses, and it’s not in the ultra-manly Charlton Heston figure, but the one who tries to talk God out of sending him to Pharaoh. The one who is not eloquent, who is not a powerful presence, and who is in way over his head.

Perhaps you’re like me, coming to the realization that life is rather difficult at times. The funny thing is that I have found how God likes it when we’re in Moses like situations. While there might be great people who seem to have it together like a Joshua or Deborah, there are so many other screw ups and near failures in the Biblical narrative that bring me comfort. The beautiful hope that I cling to is that God redeems those screw ups and near failures, he flips it somehow into something beautiful and whole.

Dear reader, I don’t have the answers to why we feel like miserable failures when things are not going well, but I can offer you hope that is found in Jesus. I can offer you the same promise God extended to Moses that he will be with you even if you face a Pharaoh, a writing project, a youth group, a toddler, or the inner monologue that whispers “you are worthless.” If you are in Christ, I can boldly say that God will be with you. God is with you. Go in peace. Amen.

What is the theme of your story?

Jeremy Riley is a twenty-something husband, father to a beautiful daughter, and recent graduate student living the dream. A Southern California transplant in San Francisco, he works as a youth mentor and helps them think through big questions of life. He is a Christ follower, political junkie, history lover, and stand-up desk guy. You can connect with Jeremy on Twitter @jeremydriley and read more of his thoughts on faith and life at jeremydriley.com.

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