When the Story You’re Given Isn’t the One You Want

What if the story God is writing through your life isn't the one you would have chosen yourself? Would you still be able to trust God?

This week, my family has been handed a story that we didn’t want.  We are now embarking on a new journey as a family.  One that has to remember that each moment matters.  Life is fleeting here on earth.  The destruction sin has wrought on this world can impact you in really crappy ways.  And I find myself struggling to figure out how to write the next few chapters of this story.

Think about it, you don’t really know the hour or the day or the year that you will die.  God hasn’t handed us that answer on a silver platter.  But when the doctor says, you’re most likely going to have a few years before you die from the cancer, the perspective of life changes.  Even though I’m not the one with the diagnosis, my life is still forever changed by those few words.

I keep thinking, “what about future grandchildren, shouldn’t they get to know their Mere Mere too?” and “why does this have to be our story?”

Why does this have to be our story?

Even this morning, my devotional, Savor, talked about writing your story in pencil instead of sharpie.  Letting God make the plans rather than trying to define every single outcome and life event.

When this journey started three years ago, we had no idea we’d be standing where we are today.  Cancer is like that.  It’s an evil monster that takes at will, and yields to some.  But always, always fights back causing severe consequences for its host.  It’s the severest kind of evil.

[bctt tweet=”Even though this isn’t the story I would have chosen, this IS the story that God chose for me.”]

Will Jesus calm this storm?


Yesterday, I journaled through Matthew 8:24-27 for my quiet time.  I’m following a reading plan entitled Genuine Faith, and this particular reading focused on Jesus calming a storm.  It was rather appropriate considering Tuesday night this new storm was dropped in our lap.

I journaled this particular passage of scripture a little bit differently.  Normally, I like to write down my observations, my questions, and my “hey I’ve never seen that before” comments.  I don’t interact with the text much more than that.  But this time, God let me use this story to share with him exactly how I felt.

Suddenly a fierce storm struck the lake, (mom’s cancer will kill her is my storm)with waves breaking into the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping (I’m not sure where you are in this situation God.  I can’t see the good.).  The disciples went and woke up him, shouting, “Lord save us! We’re going to drown!” (I feel like I’m drowning. We don’t know the time or day, but we know mom is facing an awful losing battle.) Jesus responded, “why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” (Ouch Jesus! I know this is true, but you’ve felt absent for so long.  I’m struggling to have that bold, genuine faith.) Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves and suddenly there was great calm. (God, you could rebuke the cancer and make it all go away.  You could calm this storm.) [Matthew 8:24-27 NLT, my interactions with the text in italics]

What I learned from journaling this story, this scripture back to God is that he wants his word to be living – to apply to our lives and have meaning for us.  I’m guessing you’ll find you can connect with different sections of the Bible differently depending on what you are going through in life.

What if the story that happens isn’t the one I’m praying for?

What is clear to me is that often the stories we are handed are not the ones that we anticipated.  And we have to learn to trust God, and hand over that thing that we hold on to so incredibly tight.  This story isn’t going to have the ending we all dreamed of, even if we never verbalized those dreams.

But it does have the happiest of endings, knowing that I will get to see mom again, no matter when the end does come.  There is hope.

[bctt tweet=”We have to learn to trust God, & hand over that thing that we hold on to so incredibly tight. “]

Can I trust God with the story that is being written?

There is always hope.  And a reminder that even though this isn’t the story I would have chosen, this IS the story that God chose for me.  And I can choose to fight back with Joy in response to this story and lean into him, or I can walk away and ignore the strength that God offers me to write my own ending to this story.

I want my legacy to be one that is remembered for walking WITH God through the trials, not pushing him away.  So even though the story we’ve been handed is not one I would ever choose for myself, I will choose to lean into Him and walk with him through the valley.

These questions linger on my mind throughout the day.  I marvel at the strength of others who have walked through this journey before me.  Most will be quick to tell you that they are not strong, and they’re barely holding it together.  But to walk this journey and still find the joy in life is strong.

It is believing in a greater hope.  

It is holding on to faith.  

A faith that doesn’t die.

A faith that believes when it can’t see.

A faith that trusts God to write the end of the story.

I don’t know what story you are currently writing with God, but I pray you will lean into God and let Him write the most glorious ending for you.



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  1. May the Lord Bless and Heal your Mother! I am so sorry your mom, you and your family are going through this. It’s a beautiful testament of faith that you are talking to God about all your feelings in this. Prayers being sent to heaven for you and your mom <3

  2. Linda

    Wonderful post written by a yielded heart. Thank you for the encouragement and the inspired reminders. I’m going to throw away that Sharpie of mine. Our lives belong to God and only He can write our stories. Praying for you and your family.

    • Amy Langmaack

      Thank you Linda! It’s not easy to throw away that Sharpie. But when we do, life becomes a little bit sweeter as we rest in God’s hands.

  3. Yielding our will to His is hard, but it is a HUGE response of our really calling him Lord. Our story may be a difficult one, but surrendering ourselves to His will makes us his disciples. It truly adds to our legacy.

  4. That’s such a fantastic perspective, I can really relate to that!! I think sometimes God allows us to have the stories we want as well, only for us to discover his plan was always better 😆 I’m so sorry about the news about your Mom. I can’t imagine how hard that must be for you! Sending a prayer your way XO

    • Amy Langmaack

      I think you are right Leah, in that we do often get the stories that we want. Sometimes those stories we want to write, and his stories line up. But I think those require a great trusting in him. Thank you for the prayers. <3

  5. I love this quote “I want my legacy to be one that is remembered for walking WITH God through the trials, not pushing him away.” Thank you for sharing what this means to you and your family. Your faith and your story are inspiring!

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