If we can encourage others, we should encourage them.
~Romans 12:8

Monday, July 13, 2015

; your story is not over yet

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
Isaiah 53:6 NASB

Did I really start my blog post with a semicolon? Yes, yes I did.

Recently I heard about the semicolon movement. What I first heard is that people in recovery from addictions were getting semicolon tattoos. They adopted the punctuation because in literature a semicolon separates two related thoughts. It's much stronger than a comma; a semicolon means the author could have ended the sentence there, but chose to continue with a new thought. People who've dealt with substance abuse could have ended their stories in failure, but after bottoming out they started over.

I love that. I'm not recommending tattoos but I like the idea that they realize their story is not over, and instead of ending with the finality of a period, they start over. A new beginning.

I've even seen semicolon butterfly tattoos so you know I love that.


Further research revealed that Project Semicolon is a faith-based non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and love to those who struggle with depression, self-injury, and suicide.

Project Semicolon Connects the Broken Path of the Depressed

I think that's great. As someone who has known too many people who committed suicide, and who has personally experienced depression I think it's a powerful movement. Their goal is to provide help and hope, and that's both needed and appreciated.

I know it's not cool or acceptable to say that as a minister I've experienced depression. It's one thing to say that I was broken/depressed, etc then Jesus saved me; but another to say I found depression after I found Jesus. But it happens. I've known ministers that committed suicide — perhaps because they were too afraid to admit they needed help. Anyway those are stories for another day.

The truth is even if you haven't had an addiction or depression, we've all made mistakes, faced disappointments, and had times where our stories could have ended in undesirable ways. I think Christians more than anyone should appreciate the semicolon. Our stories could have ended with our sins:

Moses murdered a man;
Jacob was a deceiver;
Saul persecuted Christians;

BUT GOD chose to put a semicolon where life wanted to put a period. Project Semicolon teaches that you are the author of your life; but God is the real Author. Isaiah 53:6 lets us know that we all messed up and went our own way, until Jesus took on all our iniquities. He gave us the new beginning we needed. He is the semicolon that gives us hope, and connects us to the Father. And the One who is writing our story has predetermined that it will end in victory.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 KJV

God's Beloved, regardless of where you are in your story, never put a period where God wants to put a semicolon. Even if you've had some dreams die, you're still here so your life is not over yet. Let God give you the new beginning you need. He specializes in resurrection.

Heavenly Father,
You are the Author of the story of my life. Forgive me for times when I've wanted to put a period in places where You were not finished. Thank You for never giving up on me. Thank You for new beginnings. Thank You for holding on to me when I am tempted to let go.

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