Estimated reading time: 3 minutes.
Throughout June and July, as I edited my novel, Far Below Human Eyes, I began to realize that a sense of direction was lacking in my story.
Not metaphorical directions. Not the direction of the story itself. I’m talking about the actual, physical directions in my setting—North, West, East, and South.
So, I decided to make a map.
I figured it would be easy. I’ve done art for years now, and I’ve spent so many hours in the fictional world I had created over the years. I thought I was so familiar with the landscape of Far Below Human Eyes, I wouldn’t even have to hire a cartographer.
But as I sat down, sketching my ideas as to what the map should look like, I realized it was harder than I expected.
Sometimes, two places converged on one location in my mind. For some reason, many of my scenes were located on the right side of the map, which I had to fix in my sketches. I didn’t even know what certain places actually looked like, to my embarrassment.
I thought I knew Far Below Human Eyes like the back of my hand. But try as I might, the map was difficult to design, and took much longer than I expected.
After I finished, everything made sense. All the locations fit within one another like a puzzle. Nothing remained out of place or hidden. It was a complete picture.
But in the moment, I had no idea what I was doing. My mind was the Inception of ponds and castles and reed forests.
And if it was this difficult to map out a tiny, fictional world, I wondered how difficult it would be to map out my real life. My real story.
I know I’ve mentioned it before, but there’s a song I absolutely love by Downhere called “Great Are You.” I referenced it in a previous blog, but I had to bring it up again (it’s THAT good!!)
One of my favorite lines in the song is as follows:
“Because I’ll never hold the picture of the whole horizon in my view…it makes me wonder, who am I? Who am I? Who am I? Great are you.”Downhere
The older I get, the more I realize that I see so little.
It’s easy to think that your life is all there is as a kid. That all you’ll ever know is 2nd grade and birthday cake and Legos and Pokemon cards. The world revolves around you.
But 2nd grade was a single stroke to your life map. A single line.
I know it sounds cliche, but we live only pieces of our road maps. We don’t see the full picture—we can’t. God designed us as finite creatures, and until the very end, we won’t see our maps completed.
But that doesn’t make the small piece we live right now any less beautiful.
I’m often confused at what God is doing in my life. An opportunity rises, a friendship blossoms, a relationship ends, a question is asked, or a mistake is made. Sometimes I am excited about where I am heading. Other days, I’m not so sure.
But in this wild unknown, I embrace my cartographer, my artist, my author—Jesus Christ.
I’m not going to college. I’m not taking the traditional route after high school. And while I am still confident in my decision, it’s not easy. Sometimes I question where God is leading me. What will happen. If my decision was the right choice.
But here, when I am unsure, confused, lacking direction, Christ guides me with his right hand and points me towards heaven. I guess you could call heaven my holy grail, the Bible, my compass rose. Look at that—an extended metaphor!
The point is, God is making something beautiful, something intelligent, something designed, something elegant with your story. And right now is a piece of that beautiful, intelligent, designed, elegant masterpiece.
So don’t discredit your current situation. Don’t loathe your weakness or confusion. Lean into Christ, who definitely knows what he’s doing;-)
Psalm 32:8 – “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.”
Psalm 37:23-24 – “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.”