The Storyteller

by vanessafrank

I love to write – there are few things I find as satisfying as contending to build a story with a strong narrative arc, compelling characters and a message that resonates with its audience. There are guiding principals in storytelling that have been deconstructed and expounded upon since antiquity that any young writer hoping to hone their craft must master. One of these, as I’ve learned, is that to know how the story is going to start you have to know how the story is going to end. How the story is going to end is the crucial piece of information that guides all the creative choices you make throughout the build-up of the first and second acts. Just as with any other journey, you have to know what the final destination is in order to take the right twists and turns that will finally lead you to that location.

The more I understand of the God I serve, the more I realize that He is the master storyteller. He delights in building the most incredible narratives in our lives, whether that be love stories, or stories of triumph, or stories of perseverance. And I believe that, like any good storyteller, God is only able to craft these narratives because He knows what will take place in our final acts. He knows where He wants to get us to and He knows what the purpose is that He wants us to achieve. This informs all the divine encounters, all the opportunities, and all the provision that we experience. God has planned out a glorious ending for us, and it’s only as we look back on our lives that we will perceive how He interwove so many narrative strands and sub-plots to lead us to the destination that He ordained before we were even born.

Psalm 139:13-16 declares “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

I know that when I look back at my own path in filmmaking for many years it appeared as though my career trajectory was a completely illogical combination of seemingly disconnected areas of expertise. It certainly wasn’t the career path that I should have chosen to reach my career goals as a writer, director or producer. This was highly unnerving as so many of my peers were taking a very linear path towards their own goals. And yet now, on the verge of one of the most important projects of my life, I can see how His hand carefully guided me to the very specialities that I needed in order to be a good custodian of this project. It blows my mind that a career path that I thought was completely dispersed and so far from ideal could not have been better curated if I had known what God had planned for me!

Furthermore, I believe that God is not only the master storyteller of our own lives but that He is also the master storyteller of the story of humanity. I believe that He has been and is lovingly guiding the Church towards its final glorious act. And I believe that the narrative that He has crafted since the dawn of time is a story that has been very carefully and permissibly guided by His hand.

There is so much peace that comes when we are able to let go and know that while we may not understand why we’re in a certain place in our lives, God does, and that it will not go to waste. If you allow Him to, He will give you a story that will defy belief! And when you get to that destination all the break-ups, all the strange career turns and all the disappointments will finally make sense.

Until that time comes, keep trusting and keep breathing.

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