Bent Pages

A friend of mine, a psychiatrist, once told me that if he could get a person to write down their ten earliest memories, he could gain a pretty good understanding of how that person had become the man or woman he or she was. And if he could then get that person to write down the top ten most important decisions made in his/her life, he felt he could gain a keen insight into what decisions that person might need to make in the future to change the course of his/her life for the better. I set out to examine those memories and decisions for myself in Bent Pages.

From the time I was a child, one of my habits that drove others in my family crazy was to bend the corner of a page down on a book I was reading if it contained information I wanted to remember and look back on. It was easy to tell which books I had read and had been inspired by—there would be many bent corners. This book is a snapshot of bent corners of pages in my life that have inspired and taught me. They are moments I never want to forget, even if painful. They have made me who I am, and I wouldn't change that for the world!

Looking back can be a risk. It can be painful. It can dredge up things that you never wanted to think about again. But change is a decision, and I desperately wanted to change and make decisions wisely, even if it meant examining parts of my history that were painful or blurry. To my delight, many memories also brought laughter and a new sense of appreciation for the difficulties we all face in growing up. We start out as children with it being “all about me,” and we view our microcosms only through those myopic, childlike eyes. Yet as we grow and mature, we are often able to view those experiences and the people involved in a whole new light…sometimes even as unexpected blessings.

God wired me specifically with certain talents, abilities, and personality traits when he knit me together in my mother's womb. I have purpose. I can make an impact. I long to fulfill my role in his plan for history. I have discovered that I can make a difference, one person at a time, beginning with me. I have learned that God is indeed in control, even when life seems chaotic. I have learned that when I try to take back control of my life from God, I forfeit faith. I have learned that even one person, one decision, one act of obedience can catapult a life insecurity and despair to ultimate joy, peace, and fulfillment in Christ.

Lastly, I have learned that I get to choose how I want to view those events. I can choose to be a victim. I can choose to be angry. Or I can choose to be a victor…a person who chooses joy in seeing the gracious hand of God creating a beautiful symphony to share with others as part of his great plan. I want to sing him a love song…my life the melody. At times emotionally raw and heartbreaking and at times laughing out loud. Welcome to the adventure!

--Anne Hope

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