Life is a wild thing. I look at life like a story being unfolded one chapter at a time. I don’t know what the end will look like, or the people and experiences that will happen along the way; it is a beautiful mystery that keeps me pressing forward. I’m a storyteller at heart, it’s something I’m so passionate about. That’s why I love comics, books, movies, and an assortment of other creative outlets. It’s especially why I love the bible. It’s a book of stories that help us learn and grow. You can have a bunch of information, but unless you can capture that into a story, it will be hard to convince someone to follow you. I get funny looks when I tell people that apologetics are for people who are already believers, because I think your personal story blows away any questions of if your relationship with God is real. I love life because new chapters happen all the time and bless us with new opportunities to step into what God has for us.
On Friday, June 22nd, I entered into a new chapter. I asked my best friend, Danielle to marry me. She said yes! Though I really wasn’t worried about that. It was wonderful, not only was the moment one of the best experiences of my life, but it marked a new beginning for us. Danielle and I are unique together. We have a heart for people, and more importantly, we have a heart for helping the next in line have a chance. It can be easy for each of us to look at our stories and question whether we truly are capable of stepping into a big calling, but the truth is, God has called each of us and because of the gospel, we have the ability to be redeemed and move forward in freedom. I’m not just excited to spend the rest of my life with my best friend, but I’m excited for the impact we will make together. Two are better than one, I mean, that’s why superheroes do a team up, because we are stronger together. Danielle helps me see the good in myself when I don’t want to see myself as a good person. We have unique stories, and our stories are now being converted into one. We are beginning a new chapter.
You may have struggles, but you are starting a new chapter.
I didn’t just want to give a life update, I wanted to help you see the power of your own journey. I know for many of us, we have issues. We struggle all the time, it’s that whole sin thing. We have an enemy actively trying to steal you away. There is hope. If there’s one word I have seen in my life, it’s hope. In the dark days, God has always given me hope, and in my trust, he has moved. Things are hard. Maybe you have experienced a sickness or death of someone close. Maybe you struggle in your job because of coworkers or your boss never understanding you. Maybe you have strained family relationships. Maybe your own head messes with you and you just want to be free. In all of it, there is hope. I wrote about my own frustrations and sounded angsty over the past couple of months, but I held on to hope, I chose not to dishonor the people around me and held onto the hope that God would be faithful. There is a piece of scripture that speaks to the seasons of life. Ecclesiastes 3:1 opens the chapter by saying, “There is a time for everything. There is a time for everything that is done on earth.” It then goes through the different experiences in life. It speaks to harvest; planting and cultivating something in its infancy until one day it grows into something better.
This is our daily life.
Our lives are filled with seasons of cultivation and eventual growth.
It’s said the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago, because growth takes time, but growth happens. Start a new chapter and cultivate your own life.
“I’m going on an adventure.”
The Hobbit is a great story of a man who is very timid and loves order, and sets out on an adventure of a lifetime. I think the biggest way the devil tries to capture us is by complacency with where we are. Did you read that? The biggest tool Satan uses is not demonic oppression, but the empty lust of complacency. Complacency is being fine with where you are, and not making an effort to grow (from the Joshua dictionary of his paraphrasing). If you become fine with staying where you are, you begin to reject the idea of growth. It becomes scary so when adventure comes knocking, we tell it we aren’t home. We need to be active. In our faith we need to actively pursue a relationship with God, not complacent with just going to church on Sundays. Danielle loves rollercoasters, and rollercoasters used to freak me out. We went with her family to Carowinds (it has been a good 8 years since I have been on a roller coaster), and we went on one of the biggest rides in the park. I could have easily let everyone else go and stay behind, but I chose to push myself. I had a blast and I’m glad I didn’t sit back. Now that’s not me saying you need to go on roller coasters or else you’re a complacent person, I’m merely saying that you can’t miss out on what God has for you because you want avoid growth. There is a time for everything, don’t miss the adventure.
I’m so excited for this journey called life. There are new chapters and adventures waiting for Danielle and I; God is going to do amazing things. We are going to never stop reaching the lost and empowering the next in line. I can’t wait for what God will do with us. I’ll keep writing here and Danielle has a blog of her own! Check it out here: http://www.annadanielle.org/
I’ll do these journey updates here occasionally because I think it’s powerful to hear the story from someone else. I am still on the lookout for full-time ministry positions and if you would like to support me, check out my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/JoshuaDThomas
I hope that God spoke to you today, and if you haven’t heard this, I believe in you. God says that you are so worth loving.
One thought on “Journey Update: Chapters and Adventures”
Congratulations to you and Danielle! I am so happy that you and she were able to find someone to fall in love with who is not only your best friend but also shares your passion for God and the Gospel. It really isn’t an easy feat. I wish you the best and during the worst, I wish you unshakable faith.