Sometimes, when you aren’t expecting it in the slightest, God uses your mess to bless someone else.

And sometimes you write out the exact thing you yourself need to hear, reminding yourself of what is true no matter what story the next page will tell, only to discover once again that you aren’t alone.

That is, apparently, what happened with When You Need to Know the Story Isn’t Over.

I wrote those words for me and I wrote them for you, for anyone who happened to stumble over to this little corner of the Internet in the late-night hours right before Easter morning dawns bright and beautiful.

I didn’t expect anyone to read it, to be honest.

Come awake, oh my soul.

Because who is online right before darkness breaks into light? A lot of people, apparently. Myself included.

There’s a whole tribe of us sitting, waiting, praying, crying, hoping, trusting, believing that light always wins and the Author never makes a mistake.

My gosh, you people. You came out of the woodwork with your comments and shares and personal emails… all these words laced with both pain and hope… because you get it. You’re right there too, in the hours before the dawn breaks.

I’m carrying your stories with care, and nearly two weeks later these are the three words I would say if we could meet for coffee and I could look into your eyes:

You are brave.

It’s true. I’ll say it again, just in case you skimmed those three words or read them with a shrug of your shoulders, a quick “yeah but…”

I see you and you are brave.

My history is His story. May I live and tell it well, leaving the pen in His hands.

This past week I sat down with the newest Illustrated Faith kit, your words and emails still on my mind. I didn’t know what to write in my journaling Bible and I sure didn’t know where to begin.

And to be perfectly honest? This is the first time in several months that I wasn’t crazy about the kit. The quality of every single thing is amazing (as always), but the colors and style aren’t my favorite (icons and bright yellow have never really been my thing).

But I opened the package up, the one DaySpring sent and asked me to review, and the first thing I saw was the yellow pouch holding all of the supplies. It said “I love my story.”

And, well, you know story is my favorite word.

That’s what it’s all about for me, all the book-writing and blog-posting and Instagram-captioning. I want my history to be His story, and I pray that you and I would tell our stories with boldness and joy… even as we wait for Saturday to turn to Sunday. Even when we don’t know what the next page is going to hold.

I flipped through the pages of the devotional included in the kit, searching for inspiration, still thinking about that blog post and your broken but hope-filled stories. And I landed on this thought, this challenge to live wide-awake and ready to praise His name.

Come awake, oh my soul.

And so this is where I am. The page hasn’t turned yet; I don’t know what tomorrow will hold.

But I know Who holds the pen and I trust His heart. I believe that He is good, that His faithfulness reaches to the heavens, that His love is larger and wider and deeper than the ocean.

I want us to be a people who live wide-awake, ready to praise.

Even when that feels like the scarier option. Even when we would rather close our eyes and pull the covers up.

Even still, we will praise…

Because the story isn’t over.

And He will show Himself to be faithful on every single page.

P.s. Two quick things…

1. If you’re local (to Birmingham) and the icons/style of the Doodles To Live By kit is totally your thing (or you just want to give Bible journaling a try), will you email me? I want to gift the kit to you!

2. The A Heart That Receives kit released mid-March but because I spent a good portion of the month traveling or at the hospital, I didn’t have a chance to open the kit. I asked the amazing folks at DaySpring if I can just turn around and give the kit away — and they said yes! So. Click over to this tweet and follow the super-simple giveaway directions before 3pm on 4/29.

(P.p.s. A huge thank-you to DaySpring for creating resources with words of truth and hope. Even when something isn’t my style, I’m still inspired by the quality and message.)

affiliate links have been used in this post