Introducing Hannah Joy, my sweet sister-in-Christ who has a cascade of Godly wisdom to share with all of us.
I just finished reading the Percy Jackson books.
I’m not sure how to begin.
There’s something about reading about a fifteen year old kid fighting demons. There’s something to those moments where you choke, shake your head, and realize you’re still sitting in your room. There’s something to that moment when you hear your own voice yelling cheers.
And there’s something about the end of a story, when you close your eyes, take a deep breath, and close a book. It’s done. The good guys have pulled through against all odds and defeated the evil. And you close your eyes and dream for a second.
Because there’s something inside you—inside all of us—that is gripping a sword and staring down the opposition. There’s a cold fear that runs down your back, but it’s not enough to make you back down. Because you see things. You see your friends at your back, their armor glinting like stars on a winter night, their eyes flashing brightly. In the back of your mind you know they’re just as scared as you are, but your fear only binds you together.
Last night, I lay awake in bed, like I have for the past month or so. I was thinking too hard and fast to even try to sleep. For school, I have been reading a book calledHow to Ruin Your Life by 30. The latest chapter was called, “Neglect Your Gifts and Strengths when Choosing a Vocation”. The point of the chapter is that God has given you certain talents and things you’re good at…and even things you are interested in for a reason. To say that they are not God-given…well, did He not form you in the womb, knowing what you’d be like at 1, 10, 16, 20 years old? He knew that Hannah Joy would be a geeky, curious, and frightened sixteen year old. He knew that I would murmur so many prayers of “Why?” and “What am I?” And, even stranger to think about, he knew that I would read Percy Jackson in September of 2013. He knew it would affect me, especially reading it alongside the aforementioned school book.
So what am I even getting to?
Well, when God formed me in the womb, He also knew that I’d be a hero at heart. He knew that not-so-deep-down, I wanted to change the world, to slay some dragons and save my friends from horrible fates.
So far, I have survived against all odds. I mean, think about it. We have a crazy angel who is bent on revenge and wants to turn all humanity to him so that God can lose us. So that we can go down with him (Satan) when he does go down. But the crazy thing is, he hasn’t succeeded. Some have been lost. But others have risen up, defied all odds, and stood firm to their ember of faith. And we aren’t half-gods. We aren’t, really, anything special compared to everyone else.
Except that we are.
Because I believe we are heroes. I believe that our story will have a happy ending because God has promised us that. I believe that our story is still going, and that every day we are fighting monsters.
Monsters like Doubt, Pride, Vanity.
We have weaknesses. We have fear. We have fatal flaws and Achilles’ heels. But we have Someone that is strongest where we are weakest.
2 Corinthians 12:9 : ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Our fight may not look glorious from where we stand. But do any fights look glorious in the middle of it?
I believe there’s a reason that people write books about demi-gods fighting for Olympus, about seventh sons battling evil witches, about hobbits destroying rings of power, about children fighting for the fate of a world in a wardrobe. I believe there’s a reason people write books about dragon slaying, legend fulfilling, sword fighting. I believe there’s a reason people write books about heroes.
Because we are imitators of God, made in the image of Him. We love to create, each in our own way. And what we create are many times imitations of ourselves. Heroes.
It is easy to read a book and wish. It is easy to, in the middle of a story, close your eyes and imagine that you are someone else. Some hero, on an epic quest to save the world. It is easy to wish that you had magical powers and the strength to fight a million foes.
It is hard to finish a book and know you’re not in it. It’s hard to compare what you think are average traits to the extraordinary ones of the characters you just parted from.
It’s hard to believe that you are a hero, when the sword in your hand isn’t solid and the enemies you face hardly ever have form.
But, hero, listen to this. God gave you your body, your talents, your mind, your heart, your soul, for this very purpose that He has preordained. Where all these things will lead you, I don’t know. But it’s an adventure. It’s an epic quest to return Home, where all the heroes in the world will kneel down before our Lord. And it will be glorious. You were made with love and care. You were not an accident. The gifts bestowed upon you were not mistakes.
It’s good to dream. It’s okay to cry. It’s beautiful to laugh. Even if there’s only an ember of faith left, tend it. Let your eyes shine bright with passion for that which you love. Don’t despise the talents you have, but use them to the glory of the God who gave them to you. Invest them and bring back double
And don’t ever give up, hero. Because God never gave up on you.