In the past two weeks, there has been a consistent theme running through my conversations, my reading, my prayers. There has been a thread of continuity, a steady note playing long and clear, like a violinist pulling the bow back and forth against one string, moving and working to keep that same sound alive.
Stories. It's all been about stories. I've sat down with several different friends over cups of coffee and chai lattes and brunch, and we've talked about stories, about writing, about intentionality. I've chatted with friends online, catching up on life. From each of them, I've heard one thing: tell your story, and ask people to tell you theirs.
My best friend has been telling me over and over through Facebook messages and hashtags on my Instagrams-- you're a #futurebiographer, you should write biographies for a living, you really like to hear about people's stories and you're a good writer, what better job?!
Then, I pick up the book I'm reading (Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist) and she has a whole chapter about stories-- there it is again! I think I underlined almost every word.
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.
As soon as I finished that book, I picked up another, hungry for more truth to wash over me, eager to see if this was really from God, or if I was just making meaning out of nothing. I read Allison Vesterfelt's Packing Light in one evening, and this stuck out. (It's about stories...and this is when I'm realizing God's really telling me something here.)
This is the kind of life that makes us a worshiper. It's the kind of life where we can't help but end each day with our hands lifted high, thanking God for the ways He graciously accepts even our worst mistakes, the way He uses every experience to teach us, the way He wiggles His way into the story we're writing.
This month, with all of my New June challenges and my striving to seek Christ and purposeful living, I've seen my life blossom in a way that makes me more of a worshiper. I've seen that when I rid myself of things that are unhealthy or distracting, I see Him working so evidently. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Amen. That's true. I'm seeing Him write my story, day by day.
I've been thinking about all of this, what it would look like to share my story, what it would be like to ask people to share theirs, how those conversations would play out. It's out of my comfort zone, it's intimidating, but I think some of the best things in life are like that. I think staying in the safety of my own little bubble means I'm shying away from the ways God can work when I trust Him.
I think about writing and sharing the stories I might hear from other people, and I wonder what qualifies me to do so. I wonder if I'll do them justice, if I'll get it right, if anyone will even want to share their story with me in the first place.
I get in my car this morning, mulling this all over, and Ellie Holcomb is playing.
I don't wanna tell some arrogant story, or let myself believe I'm You. I don't wanna be a thief who's stealing Your glory, will You help remind me of what is true? The only hope I've got is You.
The only hope I've got is You. Amen again, that's so true. This summer, I'm seeking stories. I'm sharing mine. I'm taking my New June challenge of a coffee date a week seriously, and I'm stepping out in boldness to ask people to join me. I'm going to be a story seeker.
There is power in our stories because they aren't just ours. Shauna said it so well: "My life is a story about who God is and what He does in a human heart."
My story is all about who God is. The story in my heart is all about how He's moved there, how He's molded me, how He has been working there to bring me where I am, how he Has been setting every beat to His perfect rhythm. Your story, whether you've never told a soul or you share it freely, is beautiful and powerful and so worth telling.
I want to hear your story. I want to tell you mine. I want to celebrate with you over conversation and chai tea and chapters of our lives and Christ's crazy glory. If you're ready to share, I'm ready to listen. Send me a message below, and let's swap stories.