Author of Our Stories
After school on a Friday, a double-decker busload of students drove away from their everyday lives to spend their weekend in the chilly mountains of North Carolina. They spent this weekend learning about God and how he fits in each of their individual stories.
The Edge Retreat was all about identity and why it’s important to tell your story truthfully. So after the retreat, we asked the students how they would introduce themselves to the author of their biography and what it means to them to know that God is the author of their story.
And this is who they are.
“‘Sit tight and buckle up because this is going to be an emotional journey for the both of us,’ is what I'd tell the poor soul tasked with the feat of writing my biography. Not only would I ramble on incessantly to the point of both of our exhaustion, I would keep jumping and skipping over the timeline of my life. I guess all I could tell them at first is that I am an average 15-year-old girl who is just trying to pass her next AP exam and get into the college she's been dreaming of since birth—University of Florida. I'd say that I am a budding musician, baker, lover-of-learning, soon-to-be surgeon who will say yes to anything and is not afraid to take risks or put herself out there. Gee, this is going to be a long biography.
To know that the one who created me and sent his only son to die for me is in control of where my life is headed sends me over the moon. How blessed am I to be guided by the one who flung the planets into orbit and thought up the universe with just the phrase, "Let there be light"! How wonderful to have my life in the hands that were nailed in my place! The Lord has written a bestseller that I get to star in and the only word I can describe of my attitude is ‘gratitude.’ God has written an epic prologue to my story, and I cannot wait to read the next chapter.”
— Julia Dennis
“I am Logan, I love that God gave me special talents like being a swimmer, being creative, and being able to act on a stage. I am so grateful that God gave me those talents so that I can use them for his glory.
It means so much to me to know that God is the author of my story. It is so crazy to think about also, like how he already wrote my story from beginning to end. He knows what I will do each and every day. It is a privilege to have God as my author and perfecter of my life. It is also amazing how God has his hand on me from when I was living in an orphanage in St. Petersburg, Russia to now being a 16-year-old boy in high school—and through all the hard times in my life, God has always had my back. It might not have seemed that way, but he has the whole entire time.”
— Logan Bartelt
“Realistically, I would want to begin by introducing myself by explaining all the ‘perfect’ parts of my story. My favorite memories, moments, friendships, vacations, while leaving out all the messy stuff. Only to realize I live a life full of both the perfect things and the messy ones. With that in mind, I would start off by explaining and introducing my real story with the stress and anxiety I find myself stuck in, but then adding on all of the love from God that inspires me to be who I am. I may be far from ‘perfect,’ but I know it’s inspirational to be known as a child of God. And that is me, that’s the basis of my story.
I feel crazy loved. Knowing God is the ultimate creator of my story, I know he has it all figured out, even when life feels crazy and I can’t seem to slow down. He knows the little details, my thoughts, prayers, opinions, worries, and feelings. Just knowing he is on my side at all time makes the world of a difference. God has a plan for me, and I’m ready for what he’s got in store. So here’s to more deep breaths and a bigger heart for his words.”
— Mya Blanton
“How I would introduce myself to the author of my biography would be that my story is not good and it's not great, but God has put me here on this earth to fulfill a certain purpose that he has commanded. God has put everyone on this earth for a purpose. Some get it easy and some get it hard, and it's our job as Christians to fulfill the promise God has given us no matter the circumstances.
What it means to me to know that God is the author of my story is a great feeling and heartwarming because God has something good in store for you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”’ This verse is my life verse. It reminds us that God has a plan for us, and a plan for good, not for bad. Though it might seem bad at times, God is a loving and gracious God, so I know that he has good plans for me wherever I go.”
— Jordan Bartelt
“If I introduced myself to the author of my biography, the first thing I would say is that I am a lover of Christ and all things theatre, and I am so blessed to be the hands and feet of Jesus every day. Disney has always been my happy place—which is basically a requirement being related to Zach Van Dyke—and family is always my priority. I also think that it would be crucial to include some of my less desirable traits like the fact that I find myself obsessing over the way I appear on social media, using my words to make others feel inferior, and I constantly catch myself gossiping about people and complaining about one thing or another. I am so grateful that by the conclusion of this retreat, I was able to tell my story truthfully knowing that doing so gives those around me the chance to not just see my highlight reel, but also be inspired by the broken pieces. Being able to include the messy details in my story with my loved ones sheds lights on the truth that we are all sinners, and regardless, we are all still loved.
Knowing that God is the author of my story has brought me so much peace and comfort throughout the ultimate highs and lows in my life this far. I constantly fight the urge to micromanage everything and everyone around me, and to be honest, it’s so draining. Recently I have begun to loosen the reins a little bit and start to trust that God will take over and lead me down the path that he meticulously outlined for me, and I have never experienced a feeling more freeing. Understanding that God designed a beautiful story specifically for me has allowed me to stop worrying every time I take a step, it may be in the wrong direction. Instead, I can hone in on my relationships with Him and the people that surround me, while also knowing God is walking with me every step of the way.”
— Kali McKinney
“If I were to introduce myself to the author of my biography, I’d probably tell them how much the church and the people I’ve met there play such a big role in my life. I’d include all of my interests and hobbies like singing and hanging with friends. Mention all of my relationships with people and important events both good and bad, especially the ones that have shaped me to be the person I am today. I’d tell them all of my struggles and hardships that I’ve faced and overcome. And my accomplishments and successes that add to who I am.
To know that God is the author of my story means everything to me because it means that he is in control over my life and knows everything from start to finish. He’ll be there every step of the way and I can always count on him. Most of all it means that I don’t have to be afraid because he has a plan that’s bigger and better than anything I could ever imagine for me, and no matter how hard it seems in the moment, it will always get better.”
— Elayna Gillis
“I’d say... ‘My name’s Sergio Namen. I was born in Orlando, Florida to an amazing mother and father. I enjoy the outdoors and spending quality time with friends and family. I have two siblings and a cat, which is also my best friend. Growing up was difficult, but I always got up and can’t complain about where I am today!’
To me knowing that God is the author means I know as the main character there’s always going to be struggles and tasks to overcome, but at the end of the story there’s always a resolution and these struggles are what helps shape a character and grow as a person.”
— Sergio Namen
“Your story told truthfully is good news to those who are near to God and for those who are far from God.”
Summit Students helps connect middle and high schoolers with other students, develop their relationship with Christ, and discover where they fit in the work of God and the world around them. Find more information here!