I truly believe each one of us has been given a story to tell with our lives.
Within this one big story there are many smaller ones, weaving and knitting themselves together. Some may be complete and full and rich like a tapestry, but others may be unraveling a bit. Some may be making great progress. You can see where they have been and where they are going, and their unfolding design draws you in.
And some stories may be just coming together, threads new and bright, the beginnings of a pattern only barely noticeable.
I think beginnings might be the hardest part of a story. When I start reading a new book, more often than not, I have to give the story a few pages, maybe a few chapters, before I'm really interested. Before I find the rhythm of pace and plot and purpose.
And I would say that beginnings are the hardest to write. Sometimes you just have no clue where to start or which words to use or how to go about things.
Beginnings are tricky. In real life, too.
I feel like a beginner in so many ways. Being a mom. Being a blogger. Being a wife. Being an adult. Sometimes I feel like a total beginner at just being a person.
Most of the time I'm not happy about being in the beginning. After all, beginnings are hard. There is a lot of work and learning and stumbling to be done in the beginning. Beginnings are confusing. There is a lot of doubt about whether or not I am cut out to be even beginning this endeavor in the first place. Beginnings are slow. I'm learning in my own life that it takes a long time to get to a point where you feel like there is something to show for what you've started.
It might even take a very long time.
So, obviously, the best thing for us all to do is to skip this beginning thing and zip straight to the middle. The middle is good; that's where things are happening. That's where things start to finally make sense.
We can definitely try. But instead of zipping on into our own middles, we smack straight into someone else's.
For some reason, I want right now what others have been working at for years. Wisdom in mothering, grace in being a wife, skill in being a writer that only comes after much, much weaving.
I forget that these people did not just achieve middle-status overnight. They went through a beginning. And their beginnings were most likely just as hard and confusing as mine seem to be. It probably took them much effort and figuring and flailing before they finally got to their middle.
"Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle." -Jon Acuff
And I'm seeing why this is such good advice.
As I spend so much time trying to jump into the stories of others, I have ground my own story to a halt.
As a dear friend told me recently, there is so much we have to acquire that can only be found in our beginnings. If we try to skip them, we are left lacking the tools we need to thrive throughout the rest of the story. We're left unequipped.
Our beginnings prepare us for the rest of the story, They lay crucial groundwork.
We can't find out what happens next without a proper beginning.
There is purpose in every story we weave, no matter how the beginning seems to unfold. But it takes time, this weaving. And it has to be done with our own hands.
Even though other people's stories can look so attractive, I think we should find out where our own are going.
Let's not despise the day of small beginnings.
For who knows what kind of marvelous tapestry we might be weaving.
"Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin..." Zechariah 4:10 NLT