“You have a full cast of characters in your life, too. Those who’ve changed you, sharpened you, moved you—even by their absence.”

Who’s your favorite character? My mind goes instantly to Gandalf in Lord of the Rings. Reepicheep the mouse in the Chronicles of Narnia. The red-haired Pippi Longstocking. Or a host of other characters whose stories I know and love.

Recently, though, I’ve taken that application to my own story. “Who are the characters who’ve shaped you?” a friend asked. My story has a big cast. My parents shaped me, of course—passing on both their luminous qualities and a few I’d rather hide. They shaped me by being a part of the foundation and fabric of my life.
But I’ve also been shaped in big ways by people who were only in my life for a short season. A mentor who challenged me to see how much bigger God’s plans were than my own. An aunt with eyes and patience to see below the surface of my life. A teacher who looked at my book report and said I’d captured the voice of the author so well that for a moment, she didn’t know if she was reading my words or the book itself.

You have a full cast of characters in your life, too. Those who’ve changed you, sharpened you, moved you—even by their absence. In the same way, YOU are a key character in the cast shaping the lives of the kids you lead.
Yup, we said it: you’re a character. These kids—you in their story and they in your story—are at the beginning of their journey. The prologue. The early chapters. And you have an incredible opportunity, as a character in their story, to help them write it well. To point out their gifts. To tune their ears to the ultimate Storyteller.
After all, we’re not just writing our own stories. Together, we’re writing God’s big story.

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