Life is stranger than fiction.
At least that’s my opinion and experience. How about you?
Mark Twain famously penned the quote, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
In a world that often talks about “your own truth,” I choose to rephrase that a bit and simply state that LIFE is stranger than fiction, because the truths about life aren’t subjective. They stand as is, and more often than not, I find, they far surpass the realm of anything expected or typical. As Twain identified, truth doesn’t stick to possibilities…life certainly doesn’t stick to possibilities, either.
The news is full of stories each day that seem nearly impossible, whether for the better or the worse. From the individuals who win the lottery multiple times to the adoptees who discover that their co-worker is their birthmother, and everywhere in between, seemingly impossible story lines are being lived every single day.
Years ago, I thought that surviving an abortion was the most strange plot line that could ever exist in my life story. But, surprise! It was really just the beginning. Although I realize that all of the other twists and turns in my life after that were all part of God’s plans to reconcile and restore my life and my birthmother’s, they’re still proof positive that life is stranger than fiction.
Although there are so many “little” storylines in my life that reflect this, for me, it all started to become clear to me that life really is often a series of surprising events, when I moved to Sioux City, Iowa, back in 2002. Honestly, I never was interested in living there before then. Not just because that’s where my birthmother’s Abortion has taken place, but mainly because I just wasn’t fond of the city growing up. And as a town of about 75,000 people at the time, it was too large for my comfort. But….away I went! Looking back on it all, that’s exactly the step I needed to take to allow the rest of the dramatic plot lines of my life story to be lived out:
- Learning that the Planned Parenthood there performed abortions, which radically changed my knowledgebase about them and the work they did
- Working for the same social services agency that handled my adoption
- Discovering that my birthfather lived right there in the same city
- Giving birth at the same hospital where my life was supposed to end
- Connecting with my birthfather’s family after his passing
As if those storylines weren’t strange enough, the most dramatic and surprising were really yet to come.
When our family moved to Kansas City back in 2013, it was somewhat of a similar experience for me as moving to Sioux City. I initially didn’t have any big interest in moving there, but Ryan and I decided it had the potential to be a great location for us, keeping us close to our families, while slowing us greater opportunities (and an airport that didn’t take me a couple of hours to drive to). Of course, I fell in love with Kansas City, and honestly can’t imagine living anywhere else now. But I know that moving to KC wasn’t really about me living close to the airport. It was once again another plot line that God had planned for me to live out, so that the next set of seemingly impossible twists and turns could occur
- Our move to KC prompted one of my birthmother’s cousins, Susan, to contact me. I’m so grateful that they saw the providence at work in our move.
- Of course, that’s how the biggest bombshells about my survival came tumbling out:
- The abortion was forced upon my birthmother
- My maternal grandmother was responsible for many activities ions taken towards my birthmother and me
- My survival was kept a secret from my birth mother
- And….She has lived in the Kansas City metro for decades!
Life really is stranger than fiction, isn’t it?!
If you would have told me years ago that this is how the story of my life would be lived out, I honestly wouldn’t have believed you. But life doesn’t stick to possibilities, and as unprepared as I have been for most of it, I truly am grateful for it all.
Life is full of struggles and suffering, but there is always another plot line left in our stories—another great twist and turn that brings about what seemed like the impossible, a place of hope, peace and joy. A place where purpose is uncovered and unleashed. A place where broken people and broken relationships are mended.
What’s happened in my life is a set of many, many miraculous events, but I hope that you recognize that I’m not the only one blessed with life that is often stranger than fiction. I bet that you or someone you know have lived out some unique storylines, too. And I hope that just like me, you can look upon those plot lines and see God writing the story of your life in the midst of it all.
I don’t think the question for us should be whether life is stranger than fiction, but instead, are we willing to live out that the plot lines of your life can unfold.