Tell your story

My husband is a worship leader who uses stories (or as we call it in the church, “testimonials”) in our worship services. In church language, a “testimonial” is a good old fashioned word for “sharing a story of what God has done in your life.”

The toughest part of all, he tells me, is finding people to share their story.

Standing up in front of people isn’t exactly a piece of cake—it takes the ability to organize your story, communicate it well, and have the guts to do it.

In a church of 1800 people, there are a lot of stories.  But remarkably, he has trouble finding folks who have the willingness, giftedness, and time to share their story.

It’s a reminder that the first step in telling your story isn’t just having a story.  It’s being willing to share your story. 

And that takes a certain amount of vulnerability and self-sacrifice.

It’s about letting go of appearances and reputations.

It’s saying, I’m willing to do this, not because it makes me look better, but because it lifts God higher.

This is the uncomfortable part of telling your story. You have to decide if your story is just for you or if there is something that glorifies God in sharing it.

In other words, are you willing to share the ugly, so that He gets all the glory?

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I don’t mean sharing just the nice parts of your story, but the doubts, the pain, the fears, and not-so-pretty parts.

In a world filled with suffering, people are searching for not only how they can heal their pain, but how they can have hope in the midst of suffering.

Sharing our hurt means revealing who has healed those hurts. 

Sharing the ugly parts of our story shows God’s great redemption plan, the beautiful unfolding of His story, where our mistakes and difficulties become part of an even greater epic.

When we communicate God’s glory through life’s greatest suffering, that’s when we realize: My story isn’t just for me.

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This weekend I had the chance to share Silas’s story at an event celebrating motherhood called Listen to Your Mother.  After two and a half years, it’s still not easy to stand up in front of people and share the worst nightmare of my life.

But after sharing my story, I met others who wanted to share their own personal pain. I heard a story of a son with mental illness. I listened to a story about a daughter suffering from multiple tumors.  By sharing our pain, we were able to say, “I know how you feel.”  Our stories connected us because they had the thread of suffering woven through them.

By being vulnerable, I opened the door for others to be vulnerable too.  That is the first step: Be willing to become a vulnerable storyteller.

The willingness to share our story is what makes people see Christ’s suffering and glory as the reason why we hold on to the promise that He will make all the wrong things right.

He redeems our mistakes and sufferings

He gives us a new story, where the tears become laughter.

Where the pain becomes joy.

Where the ugly in our lives is made into something beautiful.  Finally.

Sara

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