Something that has been heavy on my heart lately is testimonies. Stories. Everyone has one. And that’s the cool part. We all get to be a part of a story that is uniquely our own. No one else has the same story. It is the thumbprint of our lives. It can’t be duplicated. No one can leave the same print on the world as you. I think that is so powerful. Your story will leave a mark on the world that no one else on this planet can. But the issue here is that no one wants to share their story. There are so many reasons that go behind why we aren’t sharing our stories. We are trying to hide things. We are scared we will be rejected once people know what we’ve done. We are shy. We believe no one cares. The list goes on and on. But let me tell you, your story will never be told unless you, yourself, tell it.
God has significance when backed up by a story. The Bible is filled with stories. Why do you think that is? Because life experiences and stories are what backs up God’s attributes. If we didn’t have these stories in the Bible to turn to, we would struggle to believe. If we didn’t have other’s lives to look at and see how God used them and impacted their lives, it would be very hard to truly trust He is real. In these stories we learn about God’s love, grace, forgiveness, selflessness, comfort, the list goes on forever. Take a look at your story how many attributes of God it shows? Now think about how many people around you need those attributes revealed to them? Think on that for a minute.
For the longest time I have been so scared to tell my testimony because I was still living in it, meaning I was still dealing with so much that I didn’t think I had one. But today I was having a conversation with a good friend and she mentioned that I have “such and awesome testimony. Seriously.” And I replied with, “Really?” And we continued to talk about it and i got confused as to how my testimony could be so amazing when I’m still stuck in the middle of this mess I call my life. And her response is so crucial, “Testimonies are a constant work in progress.” You’re living in your testimony right now. God is still using you and showing you things. Your testimony isn’t finished. Chapters will continue to be added. Conflicts with continue to show up. The climax of your story will continue to change. Resolutions will continue to be made. But don’t ever belittle your story because you are still dealing with things. There is power in saying I’m still dealing with this but I’m trusting God and I know He has a plan for my life.
My own personal testimony shows God’s grace, God’s comfort, God’s love, God’s forgiveness, God’s strength, and God’s mercy. Who am I to hinder people from knowing of those things that God has done in my life, simply because i don’t see it fit to share? I have a story that isn’t always easy to tell, but it’s important that I share it. My story could be what allows or doesn’t allow someone a relationship with Christ. But so often we let our thoughts and ideas of our story stop us from sharing. I know I do, I let my head get the best of me almost 100% of the time when it comes to sharing my story. Mainly because I’m scared of what people will think of me when the hear what I’ve done and where I’ve been. We focus too much on the negativity of our story instead of the big picture. But through God I am not who I was nor am I where I was and that is SO IMPORTANT. That is the big picture.
Another thing I think is important about stories is like I said at the beginning, everyone has one. Ask. Ask people what their story is. Many people are eager to tell. I go to a university that is full of broken people with stories. And they are just waiting on someone to care enough to ask them to tell it. When you begin to show people that you care and are genuinely interested in them, walls get broken down. And they become invested in you. And you get to share your story as well. This is an amazing opportunity. I can tell you from experience that your story will make an impact on people’s lives. You just simply have to build relationships and share it. There is power in vulnerability and openness. It makes you personable. It makes you real. I’ll admit it is difficult at times, but it is important.
My prayer for people who call themselves followers that we would be filled with boldness and confidence in our story enough to share it with others. That we would’t run away from vulnerability or openness. That God would give us opportunities to share and place people in our path to minister to and that we would be real. And lastly, that we would begin to ask others to tell their own stories and that we would begin to build these life changing relationships.
Go and leave your thumbprint on the world!
“And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”” Mark 5:19