My name is Danielle and this is the story of how I met the Great Storywriter!

Before I came to know God I was a teenager who was busy stealing, drinking, doing drugs, self-harming, and in an unhealthy relationship with a guy. I was seeking people’s approval, falling short and attempting to cope with my insecurity, alone-ness, and depression any way I knew how. But eventually I turned to God: It took a moment, a breaking point, for me to recognize the depth of my struggle, and deep need for help.

I remember bargaining with him, “If you help me, I’ll change and get to know you more”. I had no clue that I would instantly feel the peace I had longed for. I didn’t realize that my scared, selfish, and bitter heart would become forgiven, forgiving, and free. The someone that stole clothes would give them away. That person who felt alone would have community. And that girl who was deep in the acts of depression would be able to walk with others going through that.

God continues to seek me with grace, compassion, gentleness, and love. I may still struggle with insecurity, anxiety, and selfishness, but he is daily molding me into the image I was designed to embody. What a wildly beautiful savior, and storywriter He is!

Here are some lessons I’ve learned on this amazing journey with God:  

I am Worthy Right Now

Not just when people like me. Not after I lose weight. Not when I accomplish that one thing. Not only on the days I seem nicer. Not only when I am posting about the fun, adventurous things I’m doing. Not just when I’m in a relationship. Not only when I appear to have the perfect clothes, hair, makeup, or materials.

Not if. Not when. Now, just as I am.  

At some point every one of those things, my attempts to achieve fulfillment on my own, fall flat. Our hearts and minds were created to to be pursued and completed with God’s love and goodness. There aren’t many things that are sure in this world, but God’s goodness is something to count on. A significant and constant promise.

The Art of Risk

Being bold, vulnerable, and taking risks is rough. It’s messy, and it hurts too. The idea of going after something and potentially not getting the answer you want is scary. I know I fear feeling rejection and hurt. Sometimes these thoughts keep me from not trying at all, a reason to choose comfort. I put immense significance in the potential negative outcome: don’t go after the job, don’t go after someone you’re interested in, don’t seek out your dreams. The potential pain is unbearable.

Jesus doesn’t look for comfort or try to shield himself from rejection; He breaks the temptation to self-protect and gives all of himself to the things that matter. Living intentionally, authentically, and courageously is wildly beautiful and real. When I remember that the Creator, who is bold and daring, is holding me closely, I am more willing to embrace discomfort and live free.

From ‘Why’ to ‘How’

I want to have a reason. I want to be told why. I want to be told exactly how things will turn out and know for certain that it will be good. I want to be sure the discomfort, and pain are leading to something grander. But that doesn't make faith, that doesn't grow trust. It hinders it.

Sometimes asking 'why' isn't helpful, sometimes instead saying, 'okay but how?' is better.

"How" reminds us that we need help doing what we need to and that's something God is good at. The switch in question changes my perspective, it takes me from destructive anger to constructive movement. I may still stumble and ask "why" a few times more, but it becomes less and less. I gain more strength than I thought I had room for. The ‘how’ leads to processing, healing, and, eventually, gratitude. Because unlike our flaky imperfect world, he is constant and good. He is trustworthy, understanding, and compassionate.  

What are some of the lessons the master Storywriter has taught you?