If you haven't read this book, I highly recommend putting it on your list! Or really anything by Don Miller. Anyway, this quote really stuck out to me, so I just wanted to unpack a little bit. Recently I have been on an online quiz kick with my suite-we send each other silly quizzes that tell you everything from what color is your aura to which member of One Direction should you marry (for those wondering, I've gotten Harry for every variation of this topic.) I have also had to take some psychological tests for an application process I am currently going through. On both of these types of quizzes (legitimate and amateur-created), a series of personality/preference based questions are asked. In the past two weeks I have answered questions about what type of pet would I prefer, where someone would find me at a party, what my ideal first date would be, and even where I value myself. It may seem silly, but these quizzes-both clinical and not-have sent me on some soul searching. I realized that I have a hard time discerning how to answer some questions because I weigh my entire life in the options. And too often, I have to stop myself from answering how my late adolescent self would. I am realizing more and more that I have changed a LOT since high school. I have found a deeper faith-one that is informed and intentional instead of well-behaved and surface. I have gained more and more confidence in myself. I have started realizing what I actually like and what I don't like, instead of trying to like whatever is cool around me.
And through it all, I keep changing. I have often been noted as the most changed person in different periods in my life. At summer camp, in middle school choir, with my high school friend groups, and now with my best friends. I never thought twice about how often I am told that I've "changed so much since..." You fill in the blank. But I think that's one of the qualities I am thankful for the most. The ability to grow in so many situations. And maybe that's because I have more growing to do than most people, I'm not quite sure, but I constantly thank God that I have experience character transformation.
Granted, I still have many days where I backslide closer to my old ways, but the further I grow away from that, the further my backslides are from that original point. I don't say any of that to brag, just reflecting on life and story. We are given an opportunity to live the kind of story we want. And sometimes that story is walking alongside God, letting Him change and grow us. Sometimes that story has lows, sometimes it has highs. But we are always moving in our story. We can live as the protagonist-moving forward, toward a new self who is more loving/courageous/confident/joyful/whatever you desire most. Or we can live as an antagonist-moving back, away, down; becoming more pessimistic/angry/spiteful/fearful. Either way, we go through a character transformation. And, as Don puts it, "If you haven't experienced character transformation, the story hasn't happened yet."
We can choose our own story, whether we will be an antagonist or protagonist. Whether we will grow forward, or slide back. Whether you will live your story intentionally or with apathy, playing the victim. What will your character transformation be?