Psalm 107:2 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story…”
I went to the grocery store and as I approached the butcher, I snagged a ticket and waited for my number to be called. I was number 94 and the red number on the wall read 56. I stood patiently waiting, making small talk with other shoppers. When the number reached 90 this seemingly sweet older lady walked up next to me and stood there waiting. I assumed she already pulled a number and continued waiting knowing my number would be called soon.
The butcher called for 94 and as I walked up to the counter to place my ticket in the basket and ask for my boneless skinless chicken breasts, the same seemingly sweet older lady ran up ahead of me and shouted her order. The gentleman behind the counter saw me with my ticket in hand and look of confusion on my face. He paused and asked who has number 94. I held up my ticket and before I could mutter the words, “I do,” the lady said she was number 94. I was shocked but continued to raise my hand to show my number. The butcher saw my ticket and told the lady very politely that I indeed was number 94 and she will have to wait until her ticket was pulled. She shouted back that she was number 94 and that she doesn’t have a ticket because I stole it from her!
My jaw hit the floor. Thankfully the butcher remembered me taking a ticket and saw me standing there waiting. He told the lady she would need to pull a ticket and wait for her number to be called. She hollered some rude words and left the butcher area completely and I got my chicken and continued on with my shopping experience laughing every time I would think about what just occurred.
I came home and shared what happened with James and told him some cool life lessons I could use as an illustration for a sermon. After laughing at my story while equally shocked at the lady’s actions, James mentioned how things like this always happen to me. Wherever I go there is always a funny story or a life lesson that I could turn into a sermon since I was youth pastoring at the time, but now could totally fit anything into a blog post.
The truth is, you have experiences to share, not just me. You have funny stories, times of trials, and different seasons of life others can learn from (or laugh with) if you stepped out and shared them.
While sharing the story about my grocery shopping/ticket stealing experience is easy and for giggles, not all stories are easy to tell. Last month the women of Ebenezer Collective asked me to share the story of the death of my only sibling. That was a hard story to share. I cried while writing and had to stop numerous times before starting again. Halfway through, I put my head down on my desk and prayed. I asked God for this article to somehow find its way to a sibling who is dealing with grief and for it to bring comfort to them.
After that article was published, the outpouring of love and support blew me away. I received messages and emails from people sharing their thoughts and experiences with grief and people shared my post with siblings they know are walking the hard path of grief. One special message landed in my inbox over on Instagram, it came from a sweet reader who lost her only sibling the month prior. She found my blog and after reading she reached out sharing from her heart. She shared how the words on my site brought comfort to her and she hopes she could in return do the same for others with her story.
What story do you have that needs to be shared? What life experiences did God move in and you’re withholding from sharing it with the world around you? Everything we walk through in life can be used for good, according to scripture, so why aren’t you sharing?
I too have struggled opening up and sharing my stories. I didn’t share my story about grief for a while. I was embarrassed because I worried what others would think of me since my brother was a drug addict. Then, I allowed myself to believe the lie that no one would care and no one would be helped.
Can you relate?
Do you hold yourself back from sharing your story out of fear of it ruining your reputation?
Do you tell yourself that others don’t care about your story and it won’t help anyone, so why share it?
Will people judge you because of your story? Unfortunately, some might. But, who are you sharing your story for; the judgemental or for those who will hear your story and lean on Christ as they become encouraged?
Will there be people who hear your story and won’t care or be helped by it? Yes, but not every story is for every person. I read hundreds of stories a month and only a few sticks out because it’s speaking to who I am right now. Your story is for the person who will be able to relate and be moved by it.
According to scripture, because of the blood Jesus shed for us on the cross and our testimony of Him and His goodness in our lives, we can overcome the devil. This means our story has power. The power to shed light on Jesus, who is the author of grace, forgiveness, and healing. The only one that doesn’t want you to share your story is the one who comes to steal, kill, and destroy- Satan.
What’s your story?
Do you have a story of infertility, or pain from meaningless relationships, or God’s healing of a mental/physical illness? Maybe you have a story of waiting, or lessons from poor choices you’ve made, or you’ve walked the path of our spouse being unfaithful?
Whatever it is, there is always a story. A story to show what you’ve learned or are learning. A story to encourage others with God’s faithfulness. Don’t believe the lies and allow yourself to be stopped by sharing your testimony.
What story do you have of God’s goodness that you can share with someone today? Share below so we can all praise God and be encouraged together.