Genre: Spiritual Nonfiction
The Story of With is a journey to help you discover your Story, a Story where you’re the protagonist and God is the author, but in this story the Author Himself interacts with the characters. He’s not only the Writer but an ever present participant of the story.
Most of The Story of With is an allegory, blending chapters about a fictitious character named Mia as she creates her Story with God and chapters that explain each element of the allegory.
I heard Allen Arnold mention the book during his continuing education course this past ACFW conference. The material of the continuing education course resonated with me. It was definitely something I needed to hear and something God wanted me to hear. During the conference, Allen had handed out journals with a personal message for each of us. Before the conference, he prayed over each journal and asked God what message He wanted each of us to hear. Mine said:
“We are moving from shallow to deep waters…
riding the kind of wave you can only ride with Me!
On its own, this message was significant enough to me, but combined with what I read in the book, it took on a deeper meaning. In the story, Mia found herself on a paddleboard in the ocean. The key was to be expectant, ready for a wave, but not to set expectations, which would inevitably lead to disappointment.
There have been times when I’ve tried to have faith in God’s plan, but I’m initially disappointed, because it didn’t meet my expectations, yet I know I can’t expect nothing of God and quit having faith in Him. By seeing the difference between expectations and expectancy, I realize I can live expecting that God is going to bring new opportunities and lessons into my life while not being disappointed when He does things according to His plan rather than mine.
This is just one of the many points made in this book. If you need to refocus yourself on the One that matters most, slow down so you’re life doesn’t feel like an endless to-do list, or a reminder of your calling and purpose, I highly recommend this book.