By Amanda Christopher
The final Last Lecture of fall semester was given by Abby Stovall, who serves Northwest University as Housing Coordinator. Stovall’s message was centered on stories. From non-stop reading of children’s books and fairytales as a young girl, to getting her bachelor’s degree in writing from Lee University, Stovall is more than familiar with stories, and what it takes to both write and live a good one.
Stovall said her adoration for a good story came from “its innate ability to draw us in and capture us.” Stovall did just that in her talk to around 100 students and staff in Perks lounge. Referencing popular books and movies, she asked, “Have you read your own story?” stating that everyone has their own unique story full of heartbreaks and joys, and she implored listeners to remember this as they go through life.
Keeping in mind that everyone has their own story, Stovall read a quote from C.S. Lewis in The Weight of Glory, “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit.” Stovall encouraged people to care about learning and listening to one another’s stories, because their story didn’t start the day they entered ours.
Stovall used five writing components to relate to the story that is life: character, point of view, setting, plot, and theme. She used these basic story must-haves to illustrate how people go through daily life, and how they think about others and themselves. Stovall said that God is the ultimate writer of ones story, and that the most satisfaction comes from a life that is lived for him. Hardship and past decisions or events can hinder a person’s ability to give God the authorship of their life, but Stovall encouraged everyone to “decide on the turning point of your own plot,” and that it is never too late to trust God with your stories.
The evening concluded with a brief discussion where Stovall took questions from the audience and opened up a space for people to share their own stories. She ended her last lecture with a final blessing, and an encouragement to “live a story you’re proud of.”