No Spoilers; No Skipping Ahead

I’m an obsessive person. We all know that. Sometimes, my obsessive tendencies seem like too much, and you know what, maybe they are. What people don’t see is that I’m not just obsessing over silly things. I’m also learning about God and life. Even when I obsess over things that don’t really have anything to do with spirituality, I’m almost never closer to God than when I am obsessed. I learn more about God, my relationship with Him, and life in general when I’m obsessing over silly things than at any other time.

Right now, I’m obsessed with The Vampire Diaries and its whole universe. I am not a casual fan. I don’t do casual anything. When I’m into something, I am fully invested and fully committed. I’ve been wanting to watch TVD pretty much since it came out. When it came out I was in high school and my parents’ had conservative rules about what I could and couldn’t watch. TVD was not on the list of approved shows. Then, as I got older, I still wanted to watch it, but I couldn’t because streaming wasn’t a huge thing yet. Finally, when Netflix was all the rage and TVD was on Netflix, I didn’t have the time or energy to invest in it. Then, The Originals spin-off became a thing and I knew I’d have to watch that too. When TVD ended in 2017, I knew I’d finally be able to join the fandom soon, because I wouldn’t have to commit to an open-ended fandom. I still didn’t have time though, because I was a working adult already committed to other fandoms. Finally, last year, I was able to start watching TVD. Then, I met and fell in love with the Originals characters and knew I would for sure have to watch the Originals. And recently, the new spin-off Legacies came out. Now, of course, I have to watch that too. The thought is a little overwhelming, but I’ve got this! For the first time ever—unless you include Heartland, which is still putting out new episodes—I’ve decided to slowly binge my new obsession instead of taking it all in at once. I’m still watching it every day, but I’m taking my time, re-watching old episodes, and just enjoying the process. Because I’m watching it now and not when I originally wanted to, I’ve had a spiritual epiphany that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. And the epiphany is all based on the idea of not skipping ahead and just enjoying the process.
I’m a very intense fangirl. I have rules. One of my rules is that if I’m going to get involved in a fandom, then I have to commit to the whole fandom. When I do commit to the whole fandom, I have to watch or read everything in order. I can’t watch new Avengers or X-men movies if I haven’t watched all the ones before it. I can’t watch new episodes of the Arrow-verse unless I’ve watched every episode of all the shows—Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, etc.—in order. When I watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I had to watch every episode of Angel between every episode of Buffy. Star Wars is a little more complicated, but the same rules apply. When I watch it, I have to watch it in chronological order. I came to the fandom late and when I did, we watched it in the order that my dad played it starting with The Phantom Menace. Now, I’m like 3 movies behind because I also have to watch all the movies every time there’s a new movie if it’s been more than a year since I watched them all. It’s this whole ordeal and I think it drives my best friend a tiny bit mad because she thinks it’s silly. She’ll recommend a book or something to me and say something like, “There are other books too, but they aren’t really connected, so you don’t have to read them.” Yes, yes, I do. If it’s the same series, then I have to read them! And I can’t skip ahead!
Now, as I’m watching TVD, I’ve learned in TVD season 7 and The Originals season 4, there are a handful of crossover episodes. That means I have to watch the first 3 seasons of The Originals, before continuing past season 6 of TVD. Except, I’m not ready to watch the Originals yet, because that means I have to say goodbye to a TVD character I love and I’m just not ready for that. I thought about skipping ahead, but I can’t. Because it breaks all my rules and it’s cheating. I have to watch it all the way I’m supposed to. I can’t just skip ahead because I don’t like what’s happening or because I know of a spoiler that I know I’m gonna love so I just wanna get there already.
Anyway, I say all the above to say that God has really convicted me. I have all these rules about order and not skipping ahead while reading books and watching TV Shows, but in life I’m not willing to be just as patient. In life, I wanna skip the boring scenes or the scenes that hurt—which are my favorite scenes in books and shows—and skip ahead to the happy scenes. I wanna know all the spoilers about my life so I can know what’s gonna happen next. And that’s just wrong. How I could I be so adamant about hating spoilers and not skipping around in TV and books, but be so ready to do just that in life?
I learned from watching Pretty Little Liars that I can’t always trust writers to put the best story out there. I can’t trust them to answer all my questions and put a pretty red bow on everything in the end so that I’m happy and satisfied with everything that happens. Yet, even after PLL I refuse to jump ahead on shows and books that already finished with endings that are easily accessible. Why then, with the Perfect Author writing my story, do I fail to trust He will answer all my questions, tie up all the loose ends with pretty red bows, and leave me happy and satisfied with how things play out? Why, when I’ve seen over and over again that He will, do I question whether He’ll bring in and take out all the right characters at the right times? Why do I question if His plot and setting are right? Why do I feel like I’ll enjoy the story more if I can cheat and read all the spoilers?
The Vampire Diaries is 10 years old. I’ve seen spoilers and know how to find them. I could jump ahead and get to the parts I want to see instead of trudging through the stuff I don’t care about, but I refuse to. Why? I know the story won’t be as beautiful and special if I don’t enjoy it in its entirety. If I want the beauty, the I have to watch everything unfold as it’s supposed to happen. Now, I realize that if I’m going to have that mentality with a silly TV show, then I also need to have that mentality with life. Just like TVD has already been written, so has my life. Just like Julie Plec knew before it aired what was going to happen with her TVD characters, God knows what’s going to happen with me. Just like I trust that Julie, the cast, and the crew, made TVD the best it could be, I have to trust God has done the same for my story. And just like I enjoyed the mystery of PLL and not knowing what was going to happen next even when it was frustrating, I have to enjoy the mystery of my life and not knowing what’s going to happen, even when it’s frustrating. ‘Cause here’s the thing. I’m not the author of my story. Heck, I’m not even the star of my story. At best, I’m like the ever-present but supporting character. God is the Author and star of my story. That means I need to trust Him and stop trying to skip ahead because it’s hard or boring. If I did that, then I wouldn’t be able to truly appreciate the happy and beautiful scenes. So, please pray with me as I try to remember that truth during this time and future times in my life when I just wanna get to “the good stuff” already. And, if you’re like me, then you’re totally welcome to join me on my journey to love life as it unfolds instead of always looking for spoilers!
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