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

Monday, February 6, 2012

...what's your story?

This weekend was the first official day on the job for my husband at our new church. It felt like a whirlwind of names and faces as we met the families and individuals of our new community there. I’m excited, anxious, overwhelmed, humbled… but mostly, I am antsy… I’m antsy to dive in and build relationships and to learn who these people are beyond just their names and faces.

Because here’s the thing, each of them has a story. And there’s nothing I love more than to hear people’s stories.

As I interacted with all these new people and dreamt of the day when I would be more connected and know them better, I was reminded of the first sermon I heard this year. It was a message emphasizing the fact that everyone’s life is a story being written, and that every story has a message to share. Our stories are important because our stories matter…

Our hope as believers is that ultimately our lives would be a story demonstrating love and redemption and the beauty of Jesus.

I love what Paul writes to the Corinthian church about the power of the story of a transformed life…

Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God's living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives… We wouldn't think of writing this kind of letter about ourselves. Only God can write such a letter. His letter authorizes us to help carry out this new plan of action. The plan wasn't written out with ink on paper, with pages and pages of legal footnotes, killing your spirit. It's written with Spirit on spirit, his life on our lives! ...2 Cor. 3:1-5

What a powerful image- as we open ourselves to God’s work in our life, He uses it as a communication tool to speak into those around us. We have the privilege of telling the story of God’s power and love to this world- a world that is craving something to find hope in. And what I’ve learned to love most about this is the beauty of diversity in the way God writes into people’s lives, into their stories. It doesn’t matter how dramatic or how simple the story is, though… because really we’re all just broken sinners who need to be restored to our Father, our Creator, our Savior.

This is a universal truth… not just for theologians, or public figures, or people who have been through extremes… your story matters too! You are crafted perfectly and intentionally by God for God. You are valuable. You have a message to share, and it doesn’t rely on carefully crafted words or persuasive arguments… it’s a message shared by opening up your life and letting the story of God at work in and through you be seen. Our stories are constantly unfolding and being continually woven with each new day, and God delights in using us as His letter to others.

“…we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.” -Paul


  1. I'm like you: I love to hear other peoples' stories. Thanks for sharing yours today. Blessings to you and your husband on this new adventure.

  2. Oh, Denise,

    I am just like you. I love stories. I want to know where you grew up and who your first boyfriend was and why you chose to live there and who is taller you or your sister...

    My husband calls it nosy. Not me!

  3. Haha Amy! We're not nosy... we're just interested... right?! I think we are definitely kindred souls ;)

  4. Love how you highlight that our stories are in different stages, different places. But we can bind them up together, can't we? I think this is how we find strength. We're stronger for sharing. We stand like a mighty volume of God's story among us.

    May God bless your story. And make it grow.

  5. So true Matthew... love that- "a mighty volume of God's story"! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I'm a sucker for anyone and everyone's story too...hoping all the best for you as you sink in!!

  7. yes yes yes! I love it & some might say I've never met a stranger :) God uses it for relationships - HIS!

  8. Oh, yes. I am a girl that wants to know the heart behind the small talk. Always. I can see how God is going to use you in this church -- I can see Him using you to bind together these women in such loving ways.

  9. I really get this one, Denise. When I think of the power a story holds I am hard-pressed to find a more effective teaching tool. That's why Jesus so masterfully used stories--he is the author of all, I guess.

    Many blessings to you and your family as you embark upon this new adventure! How utterly exciting. I'll be praying all good things...