I love to read. I am a self-professed nerd, and proud of it. My favorite kind of books to read are fantasy. I love swords and magic and dragons and the impossible made possible through the imagination of someone who knows how to make it into a believable story. I love the romantic innuendos and the underdog coming out on top. I love good over evil and I love a happy ending.
I don’t read books with sad endings or books that deal with heavy issues or books that make the reader face the reality of a hard life that doesn’t end up well. Maybe that makes me shallow, but I read books to escape life. That doesn’t mean I like poorly written books; I’m an English major, mind you. I know good writing and require it in what I read. But I don’t read to be sad. Books have always been my out when I would rather not think about reality. I curl up with my book and live a different world far away from my own.
When I was younger, I’d create stories in my mind of what my own fairy tale life would be like. In my daydreams, I was always the underdog turned heroine. I was the overlooked, average girl who turned into the princess in the end. That’s how I thought of myself – I was the average girl who never got the second glance. I don’t think that means I didn’t like my own life. But one time, just once, I wanted to be the popular, beautiful, talented main character who saves the day and gets the handsome guy and pulls off the glorious feat. Because let’s face it, that just didn’t happen in real life, at least not in my own average real life. But in a book, in a daydream, anything is possible.
I’ve learned in the past couple of years something that I failed to realize as a child and as a teenager. I don’t need a fantasy to draw me away from being average. Because I am not average. It may have taken me 17 years of believing an eating disorder could make me stand out in a crowd, but I have definitely come to realize average is not the definition of me. The definition of Rhonda Joy is “individually designed by God”. The beauty of that definition is that it is the same definition for every single person who has lived on this earth, yet it makes every single person who lived on this earth special, different, and anything but average.
God’s design of me, the story he is writing of me, is a powerful testament to his majesty. For real, people, it is impossible – IMPOSSIBLE – for any of us to be average because God’s design is immaculately detailed and intertwined and immense. We couldn’t even begin to imagine up what comes after the “Once upon a time” in the story God is writing. Yet each of us has a part to play and each of us is essential to the plotline. We are a necessary and mandatory character because God has a plan for you and for me. He wrote all of us into his story because he loves you and me and he wants us in his masterpiece. We are woven in and we cannot be unravelled.
God cannot write his story without me or without you.
That needs to sink in.
God cannot write his story without me. He cannot write it without you. Average? We cannot dare to even say the word without offending our Creator. I am sinful, but heaven help me if I offend my God on purpose by diminishing His work in me. God does not do average. God does perfection.
I used to daydream my way into an imaginary spotlight. But I see more clearly everyday that I’m putting the wrong person on center stage. I wouldn’t have a part to play without the Creator creating me. He is the Author and Perfecter of my faith, and my faith is the foundation for my sub-plot in his greater story. I get to step into a greater plan than I could have ever thought up for myself. God’s ways are greater than my own because he sees before and after. He equips me for adventure and prepares me for conflict. The glory I seek is not for myself, but so that God is proven the Hero. He is the Savior, the Almighty God in the form of a baby in a manger, not the underdog, but the unexpected Servant Leader. My sinner’s heart may want to steal the show, but my saved-by-grace heart knows to play my part for his glory alone, never for my own.
I will continue to read, because that is part of how God designed me. But reading will never take the place of real life anymore. I don’t need to hide in a book to find adventure. Everyday is an adventure as long as my perspective remains fixed on the Author and Artist. Every moment is a step in my journey and a woven detail in the tapestry of God’s design.
Average? I chuckle. For suddenly I see the ridiculousness of the word. “Individually designed by God” – I will live into that definition and play my part for the glory of the One who deserves it above all.