Share this story

When Life Throws You Curves, You Learn to Swerve

By Chiara Talluto, a Parishioner at Resurrection Parish, Wayne. | June 2021

When Life Throws You Curves, You Learn to Swerve

I once read the poem, "Footprints in the Sand." It’s about a man walking the beach with the Lord. At first, the man sees two sets of footprints. Later, he only sees one set, realizing that, during that time, Jesus had carried him through his trials. Jesus answered my prayers when I read the Bible in its entirety — by carrying me through the pandemic and teaching me how to deal with life challenges.

In January 2019, I embarked on one of the most transforming voyages: discovering my life purpose. It began as God nudging me in the form of sleepless nights, loneliness, and severe anxiety about the happenings of the world around me.

One day, while surfing the internet, I came across a site that listed Bible Scriptures to read in chronological order of events. It was a huge undertaking. Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days of daily Bible reading? It would require an enormous commitment to fulfill this tall order of reading. Could I do it? Was I willing to take this giant step? I’ve read enough testimonials to know that people have been changed in extraordinary ways while reading the Bible. My life was comfortable — or so I thought. Was I willing to expose my brokenness?

After praying about it, I started reading the Bible. Like a construction worker who pours cement in a foundation, God’s Word began filling my shallow reservoir, coating the nooks and crannies of my supposed “stable” ground. The Book of Genesis captivated my heart. The Books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy made me nervous with God’s strict rules and laws because we, as humans, repeatedly fail.

We are frequently tempted when our heavenly Father has been removed from the secular world and replaced with all kinds of idols. God’s Word also reminded me to live righteously by adhering to these rules and knowing with certainty His faithfulness to me because He said, “I will also walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Leviticus 26:12).

The Books of Ecclesiastes and the Book of Proverbs were the most encouraging books next to Psalms. Such wisdom for everyday life. The Song of Solomon was a gorgeous love story for couples. I learned that Solomon, who authored these books, did eventually succumb to desire and impulses. It helped me to understand that he wasn’t just a character in a storybook, but an actual person with flaws.

And then another nudging occurred…

When Life Throws You Curves, You Learn to Swerve.

As an indie-published author of three books, I did not intend to write another book soon. Something happened, though. While reading the Bible, I resurrected a story I’d written back in 2007. I had it professionally edited and ready to go to market in 2015, but I felt it wasn’t ready, so I put it away until the summer of 2017, where I ramped up the courage to have a dear friend read it. She offered brilliant advice, only for me to put it away again until 2019. The yearning to revisit a story I shoved in the drawer kept swirling in my mind.

It was a story of overcoming addiction and temptations, earning forgiveness, and finding self-worthiness. I found similar themes in the Bible on how the Israelites kept faltering and God’s unrelenting plea for them to repent and return to Him. And so, the editing began again, side by side: reading the Bible and making changes to my new novel, She Made It Matter. This continued throughout 2019.

In the spring of 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, and everything shut down. Family gatherings stopped and all socialization halted.

When Life Throws You Curves, You Learn to Swerve.

My kids were yanked out of school and placed in distance learning at home. My husband’s business travel stopped abruptly, and we had to rearrange our house, reshaping and moving things around to meet the changes of homeschooling and working from home.

As the world caved to chaos, I pushed myself to stay the course. A year and two months passed, and I hadn’t fulfilled my commitment to finishing the Bible in a year. I had lots to read still, but the slowdown allowed me to absorb, reflect, and comprehend that reading God’s Scriptures wasn’t a race, but a redemptive journey for me to return to Him. It made me look at myself, my idols, and my cravings in a new light. I felt ashamed and wondered how God could love a messed-up person such as myself.

I started praying more, and my book editing continued at a positive pace. And then I entered the New Testament. It was here that everything gelled. I was struck by how much God loved us; He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us. The stories Jesus told and the miracles He performed, I’ve heard them so many times before, but now they’d become powerful truths. These were the action plans for His disciples after He resurrected as they explained it in the Book of Acts, Romans, Hebrews, Galatians, and many others.

With the Book of John becoming one of my favorite reads, I saw my writings change too. God tugged at my heart so much that He allowed me to complete She Made It Matter, publishing it with a new storyline vigor in November 2020.

When Life Throws You Curves, You Learn to Swerve.

Throughout the presidential election, scaled-back holidays, new adjustments to life with a global virus, and push for vaccinations, I learned to adapt. And when I finished the Book of Revelations, I celebrated because, in the end, this world will pass with everything in it, but Jesus remains victorious.

The Bible is our life guide. I completed the 900-plus page Bible in February 2021. It took me two years and two weeks. Would I have been able to deal with everything going on in the world? Could I have finished what I thought was a failed manuscript? Could I have had the courage to lift my spirits and gain a better understanding of my purpose? Would I have been able to be the beacon of encouragement to my husband and kids? Probably not. I can say this with confidence and conviction that God’s Word is more relevant today than anything else. There is something for everyone in those readings to experience; you just have to try.

The Book of Esther puts it all in perspective with this quote: “Perhaps you were born for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

Hmm, perhaps?

What are you going to do when life throws you curves?


TO READ CHIARA’S LATEST BOOK, She Made It Matter, go to Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever else books are sold.

To connect with her and check out her other books, go to www.chiaratalluto.com.