My daddy was an amazing story teller. I remember friends and family sitting in our family den listening to him as he sat in his arm chair, legs crossed, throwing his head back in laughter as he recounted a memory or tale he had heard. Sometimes he would laugh so hard at himself that his eyes would water and he would have to wipe his nose. I’m not sure who enjoyed the stories he told more, him or us?! This is a sweet memory for me. Well, I guess you could say I’m a chip off the old block. I just love to tell stories. Telling my own story? Now that’s another story!
There is no way to put a price tag on the value of mapping out your life and seeing your own story. Rediscovering your story can be illuminating both for your present chapter and the unwritten chapters to come. The value lies in seeing purpose, redemption and weavings all throughout your days so that you believe with conviction that there is a reason for this crazy thing we call life!
But, yeah, I can hear you right now. You are saying, “It’s hard to tell my story.” Well here’s why...
The Four Myths of Telling Your Story
Myth #1 “I don’t have a very impressive story.”
Life has a way of complicating things. We become wrapped in day to day needs and struggles. The mundane takes over. Each day seems like the day before. As we get entrenched in the day to day it is so easy to forget the bigger picture. Believe me, YOU DO HAVE A STORY...its your’s and nobody else’s. Your story is unique and no one has a tale just like your’s.
Myth #2 "I’m not a good writer/storyteller."
Get over it! I remember vividly in junior high learning to write an essay. It started with something as simple as - beginning, middle and end. After reading, Show Your Work by Austin Kleon I wrote a tiny story about my life for the very first time. Austin made it simple and doable and gave the motivation I needed to just jot it down. So I’m stealing from Austin Kleon here because as he instructed us in his first book, it’s okay to Steal Like an Artist! Yep, beginning, middle and end. That’s all it takes. (BTW, I recommend both of those books.) The story itself is worth the telling, not because of how well it’s written. Besides, this may not ever be read by anyone else.
Myth #3 "I don't like my story."
Many stories contain pain, sin and suffering which make it difficult to approach. The is where the gospel comes in! "He has come that we might have LIFE!" He has given new life through the riches of His love, the righteousness of His Son and the resources of a Heavenly Father who adores you. Lay this gospel over your story for sweet healing. (Oh, and go see a counselor when necessary! I believe in therapist!)
Myth #4 "There’s no point in telling my story."
The value of your story will become crystal clear once you have taken the time to put it down on paper. What is the point?
To see the bigger picture of your life. #perspective
To see redemptive threads. #gratitude
To see that God has taken care of you all along. #Hisfaithfulness
To see that things worked out after all, even though sometimes differently than you had hoped. #hope
So, why are you telling your story again? You tell your story to yourself (and maybe someone else someday) to be more intentional in the way that you live each day. You realize that you are the main character in the story and you play a major role in how it is being played out. You begin to live life with more purpose when you believe that this thing called life is a big story and you can decide how the next chapter is written.
Here is a video made up of some brave women who stepped out to tell us a part of their story. May their stories inspire you and in turn may your story inspire others.