On Writing the Story of Our Lives

He got louder. “Writing a story isn’t about making your peaceful fantasies come true. The whole point of the story is the character arc. You didn’t think joy could change a person, did you? Joy is what you feel when the conflict is over. But it’s conflict that changes a person.” His voice was like thunder now. “You put your characters through hell. You put them through hell. That’s the only way we change.” – A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

This week I received word from a couple of people who are going through hell. Right now, in the midst of it, I don’t think they want personal change. I think they want out. I know. I’ve been there. If only we can learn to stay in the pain long enough to allow it to change us. Then, only then, do we get the privilege of the joy, and the peace, and the relief. Sweet relief.

How often do I want my peaceful fantasies over personal change?

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