Everyone loves a good story. Stories capture attention and invite participation around the table, over a cup of coffee, or in the pages of a novel. However, we don’t just enjoy stories; we need them. Scientists have marveled at how our brains crave, interact, and grow when we engage in the narrative of story. When we do, the story becomes more than an experience that happened. It becomes a narrative of influence.
In our media savvy world, we are inundated with content and words that often maximize our ability to process information. Google processes 40,000 search requests per second, and the average American spends hours a day consuming media. I wonder if this level of consumption prohibits our mindful reflection on life and our ability to see the work of God in it. Consequently, we accept life and the circumstances in it as a series of unexplained, unconnected, astigmatic events that happen without cause and effect. However, if it is true that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, we were intricacy woven in the depths of the earth, and every one of our days were written in God’s book before any one of them came to be (Psalm 139), — in other words, if our entire lives are scripted by a Divine Creator — then nothing that happens is inconsequential or random. Your life story is of Divine design, a narrative of purposeful sequence. Journaling your life story, either literally or mentally, will increase your ability to empathize with others and develop long-term personal change in yourself.
This Summer, I have engaged in a study of Biblical characters mentioned in Hebrews chapter 11 through a message series called “The Cloud.” These narratives have been very encouraging and have given voice to the pain, passion, doubt, or fear that span the spectrum of human emotion. They are proof that our personal stories can often be lifelines to people in need, counselors to those who can’t understand their lives, and the hand that steadies the shaking. Often, we will never know the impact that our stories have on others. The people whose stories have impacted me the most may not even know it, but this is the reason we should share our stories. Embedded deep within our stories is the ability to transcend ourselves for a moment, to touch the soul of another, and to return to ourselves more complete, understood, and human.
At CFCOG, we want to create the platform where you can share your story. We whole-heartedly believe that God has brought us all together as one body to provide a mutual ministry of growth and encouragement. Pastor Kevin and I get to stand up front each week and speak from the narrative of Scripture, but in reality, your story might just be the most influential message someone will ever hear. We are currently stepping up our efforts to capture real life stories which we will share with the rest of the church family via video. If you would be willing to meet with us and allow us to capture a portion of your life story, we would love to do that. We are looking for a narrative of life change. Maybe it was a low time, when your faith was weak. Maybe it was a time when your faith was the only explanation for you to go on. Yes, sharing your story requires a level of vulnerability and courage, but it might just be what someone else needs to hear. If you would consider sharing your story, please contact the church office and ask to speak to Pastor Kevin or myself. We will help you create the framework of a good story and the best way to share it with others.
Remember…everyone loves a good story, and your story is a narrative of influence written to bring life to someone’s world.