I have a story
…like everyone else.
Monday nights lately have been wrought with stories. Tales of emotional aches, physical abuse, memories often much too painful to dredge up. Listening to them is difficult, and sometimes the stories stun you to silence. But there is also healing, comfort and peace in the act of sharing them. They are not easy to share; for anyone. But what comes after, makes the uncomfortable spotlight; bearable.
Occasionally a difficult experience will simmer inside. Sometimes embarrassment will cause us to shove it deep because often it is the pain that we cannot handle. The pain of remembering.
You may have a difficult story; or maybe something much easier. But there are others out there who need to hear it.
- They need to hear about the failures.
- They need to hear about the successes.
- They need to know that they are not alone.
When we share our life experiences, we give others hope and encouragement to keep going, to press on in the confidence that tomorrow will bring something better. Alone, we can feel despair. Have you ever noticed how you relate to someone who is in the same place in life that you are?
They have little kids at home….just like you.
They struggle with the people at work…just like you.
They like to travel….just like you.
We tend to gravitate towards those who are like us or have similar interests, because they can relate to our experiences. And while I think that having friends from a variety of backgrounds can expand your horizons, I also think that we need those people who can offer us perspectives on the exact things that we deal with each day, or are struggling with, through virtue of experience.
No one want to feel alone.
I mostly hear “my story isn’t a God story, no one wants to hear what I have to say. I have nothing to share.” But every story is a God story.
God is the creator and orchestrator of your life! Whether you see it or not, His hand is on everything you do, and He has given you these experiences and brought you through them for a purpose…
…so that you can share them and encourage others to seek Him above all else.
There is a passage in the bible that I have read numerous times in many different versions, but the message bible says it so beautifully:
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” Matthew 5:14 msg
We are light bearers…bringing out the God colors
We are light bearers…showing others what they are missing out on
We are light bearers…reflecting His goodness through the sharing of our lives with others
Your story MATTERS!
…it matters to you, it matters to God…and it matters to others.
Here are some ways to share:
- Writing – book, fiction piece, journaling, letters of encouragement
- Verbal – speaking to an audience/church, sharing with friends or even strangers whom you encounter.
- Art – creating a piece that describes your pain, suffering or the healing/ hope you experienced.
- Photography – a photo journal of your journey
When we share, we are working through the pain, exploring and sorting through the details. To take the “secret” and make it public takes away its power over your inner life, which ultimately leads to healing.
There are always exceptions of course. If your story is destructive to people who are important in your life, I’m not suggesting that you stand up on a soap box in the middle of the street announcing it. Start small. Share with a trusted friend; a stranger if it is easier. As you share and begin to experience healing, you will know how far to go…God will lead you. But always consider the other people in the story. Be sure to stick to your portion of it, and if it is something that would destroy personal relationships, keep it within a private group until a time that you feel freed to expand the “knowing” group. Let the Holy Spirit guide you through this process. The important thing is to not bottle it up, allowing it to simmer and destroy you from the inside, but let your healing help others to heal.
Above all, know that your story is important to who you are – to who God made you to be. Embrace it, and share it for His good.