“Our lives are not a puzzle to be figured out. Rather, we come to God who knows and reveals to us the truth of our lives. The fundamental mistake is to begin with ourselves and not God.”
That one bit of advice from author and theologian Eugene Peterson (The Message) was all I needed to convince me that my story is not MY STORY. It is God’s. But, it’s mine to tell.
I recently shared my “come to Jesus moment” here on the blog. I’ve known the story for at least 20 years. I lived every bit of, but I’ve shared it only a few times. Why? Because it’s so personal, vulnerable. Besides, does anyone really need to know?
Yes, they do.
I love stories. Reading them, hearing them, telling them — even reading about why we should tell them. Because I believe our life stories matter, I’ve put together steps for capturing our stories, along with words to help us understand why it’s important to tell them. (You’ll receive a copy of my e-book Do Tell! by subscribing to this blog.)
I gathered up words for the e-book and put them together to remind myself that it isn’t prideful to share our life stories. It’s needful!It isn't prideful to share our life stories. It's needful. Click To Tweet
Each week throughout the month of October, I’ll feature a few tips for sharing our life stories. I’ve based them on the template for gathering facts to create a news article (something I once did for a living). We’ll look at the 5 Ws and 1 H: Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
The “who” is you. And the people who will hear or read your story. Dan Allender, in his wonderful book “To Be Told”, says this:
“Our own life is the thing that most influences and shapes our outlook, our tendencies, our choices and our decisions. It is the force that orients us toward the future, and yet we don’t give it a second thought, much less a careful examination. It’s time to listen to our own story.”
If you have a story to tell, the best way to start is to listen, to begin writing it down. For yourself. In a journal, on a scrap of paper, in an app on your phone. Somewhere, put words to an experience, person or place that is part of a story that influenced and shaped you. What do you remember thinking about it at the time? How has it formed you into the person you are today?
You don’t have to write a memoir or an autobiography to share your life stories. Capture moments that speak to you. Pray about them, then listen. Perhaps God wants you to share them. He’ll tell you.
Life stories knit us together, whether to family or to others who just need to know they are not alone. In these 31 days of October, I’ll be exploring the importance of STORY. You can read all 31 days by following the links under “31 Days of Story”. Thank you for joining me!
Tomorrow: More tips for capturing your life stories