Your Story is Not over; June 22, 2018 11:15a.m.

“There are bits and pieces that’s in the very fabric of who I am that help me tell a story.” Tyler Perry

Recently, I presented a workshop, Moving through Your Life Stories with Creativity to thirty men. I shared my story of burnout while treating childhood trauma, wearing a black tee shirt that stated boldly: Your Story is Not Over; The semi-colon was used, instead of a period and signified that each one of us has more life to live. The men shared too and like most, had many songs to sing, proving that their story was just beginning.

The discussion centered around God—his capacity to love, listen and heal—despite our resistance—and Tyler Perry. Perry began writing letters to himself about his abusive and poverty filled childhood after watching an episode of Oprah. He used these letters to write his first play that closed in 1992, leaving him penniless. Six years later, he restaged I Know I’ve Been Changed and it was a hit.

“My biggest success is getting over the things that have tried to destroy and take me out of this life. Those are my biggest successes. It has nothing to do with work.”

Here are some offerings from the workshop:

Please give me one more chance to go back in the world and use all the talents you blessed me with that I wasted for the first forty years of my life. I see many things falling into place that will make all this possible and I thank God for it. MY STORY ISN’T OVER;

 A PIECE OF ART-What is a piece of art? Is not life in itself art? I am a piece of art. I am living art. I am dying art. I am the piece of art that my mother and father created. And the three of us are the works of art by God, our Father.

 There have been some epic fails in my life. I think if I could just honestly tell my truth, I know it’ll be a release. There were a lot of times when I couldn’t be myself because I didn’t know who I was, and if given the chance I’d like to.

 In these times, God uses his creations to perform miracles and perfect his will. What is so great is that he can use anyone for his purpose.

 You see we all have wrongs and rights; I just learned this morning that with a semi-colon our story is not over and to write so much is an awesome way to allow God to use me to release my anger and maintain self-control. Thank you Jesus for all you have used me for and here is a ; semi-colon to finish my story.

 I am in a dilemma. I am trying to determine if my praise is to God or to myself.

 I love to sing and not just to be seen or heard by man. I always sing directly to God so that God will get the glory. Roll back the curtain of memory now and then, show me where you brought me from and where I could have been. Lord, remember that I’m human and Lord, humans make mistakes. So, remind me, remind me dear Lord. Nothing good that I have done, I don’t even deserve God’s only son, so remind me, remind me, dear Lord.

 It’s funny how much pain can be attached to joy. The hard part is figuring out what that is.

 

And all God’s people say Amen.

6 comments

  1. I am especially moved by the resonance of testimony, which carries healing power when spoken forth to others for encouragement. I believe this is why “the powers of darkness and spiritual forces of evil” seeks to shame and blame, so we turn in on ourselves.

    Even the darkest moments of our lives can be used for good, if we offer them to God for shaping and sharing. You have done that with your book, and now with this workshop. Shine!!

    Like

  2. I am delighted that the t-shirts were a hit! The semi-colon has great meaning for me as someone who has come close to ending his life. I use that experience and my comedic talents to speak on mental health, depression and suicide prevention, working hard so that no one’s story end’s before it’s time. Here’s one of my TEDx Talks in that effort: Mental with Benefits; the Evolutionary Advantages of Mental Illness https://youtu.be/8XbezqpelfA
    Thank you Julia for allowing me to contribute!

    Like

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