Even before I could read the words for myself or understand the intricacies of character development and plot devices, I've been obsessed with stories.
The Disney kind. The made up bed-time kind. The pulled from my own imagination kind.
Basically… all the kinds.
When I was old enough to understand, my dad and I would watch movies and discuss foreshadowing and other clever tools used by the writers to give clues to the audience and keep us on the edge of our seats. He taught me that there is so much more to stories than just entertainment. As I've grown, so has this conviction.
I’m completely captivated by their power to blow the layers of dust off our souls, accumulated by every day life, allowing us to see what’s really hiding underneath.
The things we do our best to ignore. The things that build up inside us and make us sick.
In her book A Million Little Ways, Emily Freeman says, “The beauty of art is that it separates us enough from our own pain in order to make it safe to approach. This movie, this novel, this musical, this song isn't my story, and so I can freely let myself identify with it. In the freedom, the tears have permission to fall. And in the tear-fall, I realize that this movie, this novel, this musical, this song, holds pieces of my story after all.”
Stories have helped me wade through seasons of depression, confusion, anxiety, and transition. Bringing to life truths that felt too slippery to hold onto without context. During that time I started a running list of the moments that moved me most in the middle of a that British TV show, that movie, that book. I still add new things to that list often. And on the days that I feel like I’m losing my grip on what’s real… sometimes a story is what helps me hang on.
Looking back over my life, I’m starting to see how God has been wooing me through story for many years. Because the one theme that moves me more than anything else? Redemption.
No matter how many times or how many different ways it shows up. No matter how “predictable” or “unrealistic” the story line is accused of being.
Because in real life, there is nothing predictable about redemption. It doesn't make sense. And that’s what makes it beautiful.
I would love to share with you some of the things I’m learning from stories, with the hope that maybe this will become a safe place for you to process the things that are difficult to find words for.
The purpose of these posts will not be to provide a detailed, fully fleshed out review of the specific book, movie, or TV show. If you’re looking for a resource to help you make informed decisions about media for your family, Plugged In is a great place to find those details.
Some of the stories I talk about here might be ones you’re not comfortable letting your whole family watch or read. And that’s okay. That’s wise.
But I’m still going to talk about some of those stories. Here’s why. Because life is hard, and I think sometimes the stories that help us process the pain and find redemption in the midst of it, aren't always safe for the whole family.
Ultimately, I hope this can become a place where we can explore and seek out together those moments of redemption in our own lives, through the power of story.