Author: Paige Winn
The Courage To Share Your Story
“True COURAGE is to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”
It sounds so easy, but telling our stories honestly and allowing people see into our messy lives can be downright daunting. It takes great courage to open up our hearts and our lives and share our stories. Our faith stories are a bridge that can connect us to others and connect others to our Father. As Christians, we all have a faith story to tell. We have experiences and lessons that God has taught us in this life. There are things we have gone through and survived and times of abundant Grace that have changed us for the better. Sharing these experiences with others is our gift to them and our gift to our Good Father.
1 Peter 3:15 “Instead, you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if someone asks about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it.”
So, I’m sitting with this young beautiful mom as she shares with me some of her struggles and I can see myself in her. I have walked where she is walking and I have lived through some of her same worries. It’s a part of my story. I listen carefully and I humbly admit to her the mistakes I made when I walked in her shoes. I tell her the doubts I had, the embarrassing and the downright sinful. It is hard. I want her to like me and respect me, but I reluctantly put my brave on and let my ugly show. I share with her the broken, but also the beautiful as I tell her how God was faithful and how He was with me through it all. I am reminded quietly that God put me in this very moment to breathe life into her and encourage her and give her hope based on my own experiences. He reminds me again, that it is not about me. It is always about Him and pointing people to Him. Our faith stories are not ours to keep, they are intended to be shared, to grow faith and bring hope to others.
To admit our shortcomings and mistakes and to put ourselves out there will sometimes open us up to ridicule, rejection, and often judgment. It takes courage to intentionally be vulnerable, transparent, and honest. It may cost us. It’s so much easier to stay in our comfort zone and keep our lives private, safe, and secret. But our stories lose their power if they are not shared. After all, it is not what someone thinks about me that really matters in this life. Ultimately, it is all about what they think of Him. What if your story has healing powers for someone else going through the very same thing you did? What if your story can give hope to someone hopeless? Our stories allow our past to serve as testimony of God’s great faithfulness. They are proof that He can take what the devil meant for evil and make it good. There is nothing He can’t redeem. He never wastes our pain. We have so much to give each other – experience, wisdom, and hope… yet we guard them so as not to expose our pain and mistakes. However, in telling our stories, God heals not just those who hear them, but often us as well.
Our stories get to the heart of who we are and what is important to us. They help us understand where we have been and where we are going. They strengthen our faith. There is awesome power in our faith stories that can transform lives. We must tell others of the God we know. It is our witness to the King. After all, we are here on earth to know Him and make His name known in order to bring Him Glory.
You are the only one who can tell your story. No one knows but you. It’s who you are. No one else can see what God has done in your life – your seasons, lessons, and hardships. Our Good Father has done great things for us and we have the privilege to share that good news with others. My story says God answers prayer. He is a miracle working God. Your story may say God is healer, God is faithful, God is freedom, God is redeemer, or God sees you and will never forget you. Someone needs to know that. You may never know whom you will reach and what they may take away from your story. You have the power to affect others lives for good, to give hope, and to change someone else’s story for the better. Let me encourage you today to tell someone what God is doing in your life and why you love Him. Take the hard road and put your brave on. Your story matters.