I just went and saw the movie, I Can Only Imagine about Bart Millard, the lead singer of MercyMe’s life, and about the song that came about as a result of his journey. Let me tell you, it was an absolutely wonderful, amazing movie, and it stirred something in me that has been hidden for a while. First of all, it showed me that I needed to forgive those in my life that I have found it hard to forgive. Next, it reminded me that God can use any of our circumstances for good. It reminded me that we should never give up on our dreams, no matter what. If God has given us a talent, skill, ability, or interest, we should figure out how to cultivate and harness that thing and use it for his glory. God is not done with you, your story isn’t over yet…in fact, it’s just beginning. You never know what God is going to do to change you, and you never know how he’s going to use your experiences to shape your life and maybe even the lives around you. It shows you the importance of being open and available to God, and saying a daily yes to him, and seeing how he uses you.
I have decided that I want to be a beacon of hope to all that I encounter. For me, personally, this means doing quite a number of things. The first is getting my tattoo next year, which is both a combination of my personal story and also my testimony that I want to share with the world.
I’ve also started a small way of being a beacon of hope at work. I bought a small, dry-erase white board, and various colored dry-erase markers to go along with it. Then, each day, I write a funny or inspirational quote on it. Some of my coworkers see it and love it. Others don’t see it, but they will in time.
Finally, I just try to act as Jesus would in any situation. It can be tricky sometimes, but he gives us grace each and every time. And that’s what I love. He continues to transform me from the inside out, and for that reason, I’m very grateful.
We all have had imaginary friends in life, and as we have gone about our life journey, there have been imaginary characters that we have related to in one way or another. Perhaps that character is from a cartoon, a movie, a video game, or something else entirely. Whatever the case may be, that particular character inspires us for one reason or another, and as a result, we end up liking that character for the rest of our lives. I personally don’t see anything wrong with that, but maybe that’s just because I’m the sort of person who finds beauty in the small, everyday things, and sees a deeper meaning behind everything (but you already knew that from my various INFJ posts. ) Here are some of the imaginary characters that I can related to, and the reasons that I have for being inspired by them. See if you agree with my picks:
1. The Original Cheshire Cat
The original Cheshire cat from the 1950s version of Alice in Wonderland has always inspired me. Ever since I was a kid (90s baby), this beloved, kooky cat has stuck with me, and as I have gotten older and appreciated the finer things in life, some of his quotes have really stuck with me. For instance, the GIF that I just posted has one of his classic quotes. Ironically, I actually have this image posted in my cubicle at work, that’s how much I like it. You see, I know that I’m “not all there.” I can be a bit eccentric at times, I get some strange ideas, and sometimes I say and do just plain goofy things with no rhyme or reason. It’s just who I am. And people have taken notice in these instances, and often remarked on my odd behavior. However, I don’t let it get to me. Rather, I embrace it. I acknowledge that I am a bit “mad,” as Alice and the Cheshire cat would say. But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. It makes me unique. And surrounding myself with others who are equally odd often makes life fun.
2. Tomoya Okazaki and Nagisa Okazaki (Furukawa)
This is a story that speaks to my heart. The anime is called Clannad, and the continuation of the series occurs in Clannad: After Story. This is the first anime love story I ever watched, and it was the first anime that I actually liked and got me hooked on anime in general. My husband recommended it to me when we were dating. Folks, if you want a tear-fest, then boy oh boy is this the anime for you. It will tug on your heartstrings in more ways than one. Now, the reason that I relate to these two characters is because of many of the challenges that both of them face. Tomoya Okazaki has good friends, but is never really happy until he meets Nagisa, due to various circumstances in his life, some of which I can relate to, and soem which I cannot. Then there’s Nagisa. She always is trying to do the right thing, to be “good enough,” and to keep the peace at all times. She’s everything I want to be. PLUS, the love that they have for each other is amazing. You can tell they were made for each other. My husband and I have that same kind of relationship. We are soulmates. As long as we’ve been together, I knew he was the one. And we are committed to being by each other’s sides forever, just like Tomoya and Nagisa. Truly a match made in heaven.
3. Jonas from The Giver
I have read The Giver several times in life, and each time, it has utterly captivated me and rocked me to my core. I first read it in 8th grade, then again in 9th grade. All throughout high school, I would read it on my own, because I liked it that much. Then, finally, I was able to purchase the entire quartet (yes, there are ultimately four books that make up the complete series, and what a series it is!). I enjoy reading it because it helps me see things differently. I suppose that I most relate to Jonas because he doesn’t take the world at face value, but questions everything. He wants to see the world at it’s full potential, and he understands the true essence of right and wrong. Ultimately, he wants to unlock the door to whatever it is that he’s missing in life so that he can share it with others and bring them to a place of unrivaled love and happiness. What an amazing endgame to have! He inspires me nearly to tears in ways that I can’t even begin to describe. The movie was excellent, but the book is utterly AMAZING! If you’re even remotely interested in this series, I highly recommend you read at least the main book, The Giver, first, then watch the movie, then read the remaining books in the series to put the pieces together. Trust me, it’s well worth it.
4. Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars
This has got to be one of the most inspirational characters of our day. Augustus Waters never lets anything get him down, even on his bad days. He’s always finding something to smile about. Not to mention, he speaks like a poet. I mean, just look at the quote above. Hazel wants nothing to do with love, because she knows that it will ultimately end one day, and she wants him to be spared from that, and for herself to be spared as well. However, Augustus doesn’t care. Rather, he decides to spend forever with her, and to help her make the most of her life, while he simultaneously makes the most out of his. He helps her to see life in a positive way, and he helps infuse a little bit of life and happiness into the world, just by being himself. I tend to be a bit of a pessimist, but his personality is one that I aspire to have, or at least to work on having some day soon.
These are just a few of the imaginary characters that I can relate to. I can’t think of any more off the top of my head, at the moment, but I know that there are plenty more. So, what do you all think of my choices? Can you relate to any of these characters, too? Also, what are your choices for the most relatable and inspirational imaginary characters?