teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name... psalm 86:11

Friday, October 28, 2011

our stories...

At any given moment in my purse you can find: my phone, at least 5 bobby-pins, a bandaid, a tube of lip gloss, my wallet, a tub of gum, an envelope of coupons & Groupons & such, and a book I keep just in case I get stuck bored somewhere. For the past couple months that book has been Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. I probably should have finished reading it a long time ago, but I made myself go slow with it… trying to postpone the inevitable. Well, last night, I finally finished it.

One of the last chapters of the book was Shauna’s manifesto of how important our stories are… how important it is to share them… how they are a piece of the bigger story that God is telling the world. She writes:

“We dilute the beauty of the gospel story when we divorce it from our lives, our worlds, the words and images that God is writing right now on our souls. If you are a person of faith, it is your responsibility to tell God’s story, in every way you can, every form, every medium, every moment. Tell the stories of love and redemption and forgiveness every time you experience them. Tell the stories of reconciliation and surprise and new life everywhere you find them.”

I never feel like I have stories to tell… I tend to be more of a listener than a talker. I’ve been challenged in that this past year, though, and I feel like this excerpt describes perfectly what I’ve been learning. I didn’t see the power of my own story at first… I was too lost in heartache and frustration and fear to see beyond my emotions to the story God was telling others through me. But slowly, I started listening to their comments and responses to what God was doing in me and M’s life and I saw a theme emerge. It was a theme of life from death, beauty from ashes, good coming from loss. In observing our journey, our friends gleaned hope. Walking through each step with us, their faith in God’s goodness and provision was renewed. It was nothing we said… nothing we did… it was simply the beauty of the gospel displayed in real life, together learning the relevance of Jesus.

We’re still in the middle of this story… there’s been no conclusion, no resolution. The sense of transition and unsettledness has become our norm. And that’s ok. We’re learning a lot from it. At the end of our lives, it will be just one of many stories where we’ll be able to see… to share… the power of hope, of new life, of redemption. Our prayer has always been for God to use us in some way to share His gospel with the world… I’m learning that it happens a lot through simply sharing life and our stories.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you shared this piece of your story with me. I'll have to pick this book up sometime as I feel very powerful about this same thing. Stories...yeah. They're all part of the Bigger one.