Last night, my daughter and I watched the season finale to a show we’ve been following since the fall. As most finales go – the ending left off with lots of unanswered questions. I’ve had more experience with dramatic cliffhangers of shows I love (thanks so much E.R.) so it was exactly what I expected. But my daughter? She was not a happy camper.

She wasn’t pleased with how the story ended, and that she has to wait months to see what’s next.

I didn’t want to tell her, “Welcome to life.”

But, welcome to life.

Not all of our chapters end the way that we want them too. In a world where we have a 24-hour TV channel dedicated to Hallmark movies of perfection, we can get lost in the illusion of magical endings. In reality, more often than not we are faced with the realization that not every story has a perfect moment. Everything isn’t always a happy ending.

Marriages fall apart.

We get hurt and betrayed by those we love.

The future feels unclear.

Sickness overcomes. 

We are confused and uncertain. 

Our finances are challenging.

We are filled with anxiety and fear.

We question our own worth. 

There are no perfect stories. 

The thing about our stories though?

Every story has a purpose.

Even if it’s not the one you thought you would be writing, your story matters. Your story has value. Your story is part of your legacy and how you react and respond is the narrative of your life. When things are good, when things are hard – the story of the life you are living is one that will endure. It is what people will remember, so fight for the future of you.

Don’t invalidate where you are because it isn’t perfect.

Don’t give up on your hope and dreams because times are hard.

Don’t assume that you can’t change the outcome from where you are.

There is grace in every season.

When I feel like my story isn’t unfolding as it should and I’m in chapters that feel messy and unclear, I always think about the grace-woven story of faith that not once used perfect people, but used people who were messy and messed up and wandered far and fell hard. Flawed and foolish. Stubborn and selfish. Belief surrounded by doubt. Those people were used to tell the greatest story ever told. Those people and their stories had purpose. Those people pointed and led us to the only one who can redeem our story.

There is grace in your story.

There is hope.

Redemption.

Don’t give up if it isn’t perfect.

Look to Him.

He’s had it written in His book from the beginning, and He knows the end.

Writing a story is hard work. Living a story is even harder. Most chapters won’t end with a perfect moment in an adorable little town, outside the perfect cafe with the most romantic lighting of your entire life that leads into the greatest kiss ever experienced.

That’s ok. You aren’t called to live a life of perfection. You are called to live a life of purpose, and in the middle of your purpose you will find grace to get you through each chapter that you are writing with your life.

Your story matters.

Keep living it well.

It’s a narrative of grace.