I remember the first time I shared my story at church. Just as the congregation was trickling in, a woman looked at me and said, “Are you sure you want to do this? People will never look at you the same.”
Panic set it. Maybe a story like mine was fine to share in the strip clubs, but not with the general public, and certainly not in the church.
I ran to the bathroom hoping to ward off an anxiety attack. Thankfully, I ran into a friend with a different opinion. “Who cares what they think? If they have a problem with your story, that is between them and God.”
She reminded me that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. She encouraged me that God could use my story to set other people free.
I made a choice that day that my story belonged to God. If He wanted me to share it, I would. The vision for Treasures, the organization I founded, was birthed out of my story. I can’t imagine what my life would look like if I hadn’t shared that day.
Story is powerful. It shows people what is possible.
And the truth is, we all have a story.
In the early 1950’s there were articles in sports magazines quoting scientists explaining that it was physically impossible for runners to run a mile in less than four minutes. Nevertheless, in 1954 Roger Bannister proved them wrong when he broke that record.
Once Banister conquered the physical and psychological barriers that were thwarting previous runners, suddenly other runners began to run a mile in less than four minutes too.
Just like Bannister’s story released other people to overcome the barriers they faced, people need to hear our stories to overcome the barriers they are facing.
They need to know it is possible to finish their education when they thought it was too late, to overcome addiction, to see their marriage restored, to overcome abuse…
That means we need to open our mouths and talk about what God has done.
There is a woman in the Bible who did just that. She was a broken woman with a scandalous past who encountered Jesus while drawing water from a well. Her interaction with him changed the trajectory of her life.
She had a choice that day. After her time with Jesus, she could have gone back to the comfort of her home and relished in her experience with him. Instead, she boldly went into the town and shared her story. Because of her testimony, many believed.
There are people who need to hear your story. There are people on the other end of your perseverance. They are counting on you to overcome the obstacles you are facing and to be brave enough to share. When we share our story, we give the gift of “me too”. We help people to tangibly understand that they are not alone.
Your story matters.
Check out my youtube video on Your Story Matters!
*This blog was originally a part of Bible reading plan (Getting Past Your Past) I wrote for Youversion. It can also be found in Youversion’s Bible App.