I ended yesterday’s blog post with these words:
“Tell your story. The book of this world is not finished without it.”
Author and speaker Leslie Leyland Fields was addressing writers at a conference, but I believe she was also speaking to each of us — each of YOU — with stories to share. Whether your life story is needed for family legacy, as a mentoring tool or to disciple someone, its value to this world is inestimable.
You do not have to be a writer or speaker to tell your life stories. However, you do have to be willing to take the time to explore and capture life stories, then be vulnerable enough to share them. I’ve found simply pulling out the basic facts is a good place to start. Last week, we talked about the WHO and WHAT of our stories. Later this week, we’ll examine WHEN and WHERE. But knowing the facts is just the beginning. It’s what we do with our stories that empowers them to give life to others.
I have sat with my friend many times as she’s told the story of her walk around a park in downtown Boston, the place where she surrendered to God and handed over the reins to her life. Her story of wrestling with God at a time when she was frail both physically and emotionally is powerful. The young people who are often the audience for her life story relate to the willfulness and defiance she admits were part of her nature during that season of her own young life. She is vulnerable in the telling of it and I know reliving her story brings great emotion to the surface.
She’s never written the story (except perhaps in her journal) or recorded it in any physical way, but she’s offered it willingly to any who need to hear. Her story changes lives.
I doubt my friend sat down and pulled out the who, what, when, where, why and how of her salvation story, but they’re all there. The important thing is she isn’t afraid to tell the truth about herself, and that draws others to her and to God.
The world needs your stories. Through them we can
- offer healing and hope
- let others know they’re not alone
- shed light in the darkness
- create beauty in place of chaos
“It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me,” said King Nebuchadnezzar as recorded in Daniel 4. “How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.”
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”. And, you can read blogs from other writers taking the #Write31Days challenge by visiting the website here.
Tomorrow: Stories you may not have heard before