“Sing to the LORD, all the earth! Tell of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and He is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him; strength and joy are in His place.” 1 Chronicles 16:23-27
I’m pretty much obsessed with storytelling. A good story can suck you in and keep you help tight for hours! I think most of us have casually picked up a book and then, in what feels like minute, we notice 4 hours have passed and we simply couldn’t stop reading because the story was so awesome!! Storytelling can change your life both as the teller and the listener. The power of story is beyond what we can fathom. God started telling the story of the earth thousands (maybe in even millions) of years ago when He spoke creation into existence and from all I see throughout the Bible, He will speak us all for eternity.
There are hundred, probably thousands, of verses that tell us to “proclaim His salvation”, or some version of that decree. There are all kinds of ways to proclaim how amazing God is but I truly believe the most powerful way is in telling our story. The story of your life, how you encountered God, how He has helped you, rescued you, sustained you, these elements are how you proclaim Jesus. Your story is either bumpy or smooth and in either case, you can and will praise Him when you share.
For me, I lived most of my first 40 years very compartmentalized and in silos. It was my defense mechanism. I would try to figure out what everyone wanted or expected of me and then be that person from them in a type of vacuum. Always being careful to not let some people cross paths because they knew me as very different people. Trying not to disappoint anyone or tip my hand in any way so as to stay off the radar. I had no idea who I actually was or what I was created to be, it mattered more that I appease people. I was a liar, a storyteller for the wrong reasons. I hid addiction and abuse because it didn’t want to rock any boats, and let’s just be honest, I enjoyed having secrets. The truth was, I was in such darkness that I was terrified of the light.
Then God broke through. He shined His light into the darkest corners and I couldn’t bear to go any further into darkness any longer. I couldn’t stand the compartments because God started showing me all that He created me for and I wanted to be near Him and fulfill His call on my heart. So, I started getting help, started tearing down the walls and started sharing my story. Sharing my story helped me move more and more into the light and with each step, my walls came down. I’m so thrilled to say now that I live to please God and God alone now. I have no compartments, I’m just a singular space filled with Jesus. Sharing my story has been part of how Jesus redeemed my story. My story brings His glory.
You may not have a story with a rock bottom. My daughter is a teenager and she has said to me many times that she never wants a rock bottom moment in her life’s story. She worries that she’ll be perceived as boring and I assure her, she is anything but boring! Her story will reflect how you can live a life dependent on God and He will sustain, guard and strengthen you so that your feet don’t stumble. Her story will bring His glory.
We all need your story. We need it for encouragement and for identification so that we don’t feel so alone. God needs your story! He’s been central in your life even when you didn’t choose to acknowledge Him. He needs you to tell others about how He has woven your story together so that you can change the world around you. He may not call you to standon the street corner sharing scripture, but He has called all of us to share our encounters with Him. That’s the Great Commission! Go, and as you are going and moving, make disciples and the best way to do that is to talk about what you know the best: your story.
Here’s my last encouragement about your story: own it. Face your trauma, clear out the shame and the darkness and own it all. Own the ups and own the downs because all of it together is lovely and beautiful and MORE than able to bring glory to Jesus. If you need counseling, get it. When you process the scary stuff, face it. You won’t share your story if you feel shame about it so process the shame and let God remove it. Trust me, He will replace shame with acceptance if you let Him. I know this first hand. Your story of how God rescued, redeemed or sustained you is your greatest weapon against the enemy and hell.
Your story brings His glory. Trust Him and share it.