My story isn’t over yet.
I gently ink these words onto my left forearm, pen gliding along my skin, the letters coming out with lines and loops.
The words echo in my head, bringing me peace and hope that wasn’t there before.
It isn’t over for me –
I mark a semicolon on the edge of my wrist.
I know the One who holds the pen to my story.
It’s been an interesting few weeks. I’ve had the time to step out of my regular life and think some things through – to think about things deeply, consider my expectations for the future, and reflect on where I feel I should be right now.
I took a two-week trip to visit my friend Gabriela (who many of you may know from her blog, A Heart Redeemed), and we had countless conversations about these things – about not knowing what’s next, but anxiously wanting to know.
During the trip, I came to a realization that I hadn’t before, about pain, and about living our own stories.
Many times, when we experience such sorrow and disappointment, the roots go so much deeper than just one disappointing event. It’s about what we believe in our hearts, or at least desperately want to believe –
that our stories are going to turn out alright in the end.
When things happen in our lives that cause us to lose people that were important to us, to miss out on what we thought were great opportunities, to fail regarding the things we believed were essential – many of us experience the pain that comes with the “what could have been” – but just wasn’t.
We become attached to the steps that we think will take us to where we want to be in the future, and they might even be wonderful things, too. But when our plans don’t come together, and things turn out drastically differently than we imagined, it’s easy for our first thought to be, “Why isn’t this working?! This needs to work out!”
Enter: the philosophy of the semicolon.
As a writer and an editor, I love semicolons, and probably too much; I continue sentences where many people would end them.
Here is what I find most fascinating: When we write our own stories for ourselves, it’s easy to end them right where we are. “My heart was broken…and I knew I’d never be the same again. The end.”
But what happened to letting God write our stories, rather than us?
The semicolon philosophy is this – knowing that where we might have chosen to end our stories, giving them hopeless endings, God continues them. He tells us that He has a good plan for the rest of our lives, even when good does not mean easy, comfortable, or what we would have chosen.
Simply, it means choosing to believe that our stories aren’t over yet, and that in the end, the pain will have been worth it.
“In the end, it’ll all be okay” can be easily misunderstood. It doesn’t mean we’ll live free of pain or hardship, live lives of pleasure and euphoria, and get our very own happily-ever-after.
But what it does mean is that God has a good plan for our lives, and He won’t ever leave us, even in the messes we create for ourselves.
It means that His grace is sufficient for us every single day of our lives, and that His love is unending, regardless of our choices, our mistakes, and what others have done to us.
It means that this world is not our home, and one day soon, all of our pain will be gone and we’ll live forever in paradise with the Rescuer of our souls.
It means hope, peace, and joy, right where we are, because we have a God on our side that longs for us to know Him, to trust Him, and find comfort in Him.
In our seasons of pain, we must hold onto the truth that our stories aren’t over yet. We must see the semicolons – the places where one could end a story, but God chooses to continue it.
Because He is faithful. He is love. He is good.
And our stories aren’t over yet.
27 Replies to “my story isn’t over yet.”
AMANDA. This is so beautiful. SO, SO, SO BEAUTIFUL. I love semicolons too; I mean, how would we live without them? Did I mention that I think this is beautiful? You have rendered me incoherent. Congratulations.
Seriously, though. Thank you so much for this. Remember the semicolons. I have never thought about this.
So beautiful. Thank you.
OH MY GOODNESS THANK YOU SO MUCH. Your comment really encouraged me! :’)
Wonderful, wonderful post. ❤ You just write so beautifully. I love the philosophy of the semicolon!
And what a blessing that you got to visit Gabriela! Puerto Rico isn't a bad place to do it, either. 😉
Thank you so very much, Emily. That means the world. ❤
Oh yes, it was wonderful! A Puerto Rican vacation with my best friend? Yeah, I’ll definitely take it. 😉
Thank you for this post. It really touched me, and means a lot to me for where I am in life right now. The hardships and disappointments that seem so big and inescapable and world-ending right now are just semicolons. God’s story continues.
I’m glad to hear that, Morgan. And yeah – I so get it. The closeup view we have right now often seems so monstrously huge and significant, so painful. But it isn’t the end, not yet. 😉 Keep on trusting. God’s got this.
Ahh I love this so much. I’ve put a semicolon on my wrist when I need to remember this, and it really helps. Keep hanging in there! ❤
Thanks so much, Ashley. ❤
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Beautiful. <33 I needed this.
I’m so glad to hear it, Faith!
Amanda, what have you done to me? Why must you make us draw on ourselves!?
Haha! Glad I could impact you…;)
Ah i just love the semicolon idea! That’s so cool to see you write a post about it! And wow, it pretty much blew me away. Thanks Amanda ❤
That means the world, Ashley. Thank you! ❤️
I cried! This was the first blog post of yours in a long while and this exactly spoke to me. You’re an amazing writer and an even more amazing person
Oh my goodness! That’s the highest set of compliments you could give. Literally. Thank you Jordan ❤️❤️
yes yes yes yes YES!!! God really spoke through you on this post. I love it.
Thank you, Brooklyn! So much.
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I don’t think that THIS is something I’ve ever struggled with. Having gone through a lot of low points in my life where I couldn’t see the light, I’ve learned to trust God to know that He knows what He’s doing and that He will show me the light in His time. What I struggle with is the how. Yes, I know that this isn’t the end, and He does have a purpose, but how do I get past what feels like a terrible bout of writer’s block? When things just cycle over and over, and I’m getting older, but nothing’s changing and I’m not moving forward.
It’s frustrating, and I’m working through it. How do you know the difference between taking advantage of the opportunities God gives you and taking things into your own hands?
Good thoughts here.
I can definitely understand that, and I do struggle with it as well from time to time; sure, God has a plan, but what am I supposed to do RIGHT NOW?!
I think that a lot of life is about trying new things, seeing if God is in them and they work, and either continuing or trying something new.
The cool thing is that God doesn’t hide His Will from us – it’s right here, ready for us to uncover in the things that we find pleasure in, the things He has gifted us in, those same things that bring Him glory.
We can’t “miss God” by taking a wrong turn; we must know that He will lead us if we let Him in every aspect of our lives to be His workmanship, His art, the people He wants us to be.
I don’t know what every detail is supposed to look like. I don’t. But I do know that when He is finished with us, our lives are more beautiful and meaningful and point to Him more than we could have ever imagined.
Thanks for discussing, Kendra. 😉
Awww, Amanda . . . this was so beautifully put! Thank you for writing it; it really encouraged me! ❤ Blessings to you!
Blessings to you as well, Sarah Grace! Thank you!
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Thank you, Amanda! I’ve written posts like this on my own blog, but it really helped me to read it from someone else, too! The semi-colon idea will really help me as I am recently struggling through the loss of someone I loved. It will remind me that life continues, even after death. Thank you!
– Megan Joy
Thank you for sharing your heart in this comment, Megan. ❤ I will definitely have to check out your blog, and I will pray for you as you mourn your loss and seek to trust God through all of it.
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“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love
Thank you for sharing that quote!