There’s Power In Your Story

This was posted on incourage.me on May 31, 2013*

You don’t know me from Adam. Oddly enough, I don’t know you either.

But this I do know:

You need encouragement.

You have a Story to tell.

You are community.

If we had the chance to sit down across from each other over a frappuchino and something chocolate-y {a warm brownie, preferably}, I bet we would be fast friends.

There’s nothing that binds friends so fast as the power of Story. It’s in the sharing of Story that we find community in one another. When I share a piece of myself, you can relate to the real me, raw and exposed. When you speak of your triumphs and struggles, I’m right there with you, celebrating as you cross the finish line and holding your hand when the tears fall.

I’m convinced that Story is one of the most powerful things out there.

Our stories, like dandelions, spread farther than we’ll ever know when we breathe out and share.

You have one, you know? A Story. In the midst of the messy house and laundry piled high, with sippy cups toppling out of the sink and the van door left open, you’re living your beautiful Story.

He’s weaving a tapestry of beauty in your empty nest as you dust vacant rooms and worry about the ones you love that are too far away for your liking.

When you stay up late and rise early to chase that God-given dream of yours, do you hear the melody playing in the background? I can hear the symphony He’s putting together from here.

You have a Story, and as simple or messy as your day in and day out feel right now, He’s weaving pieces together that will tell of His faithfulness when generations to come read the pages of your life.

Laughter rises high in the air as we sit and get to know each other. The coffee has grown cold but our hearts are warm. To tell of His Faithfulness is easy, but to do so we often must show our scars, pull back the veil and let each other see the person underneath.

I found His Faithfulness in a whole new way, but I had to go through my worst nightmare before seeing the beauty of His constant presence.

Whether we realize it or not, we are community for one another. But sometimes, community isn’t all butterflies and sunshine and fairy dust. Sometimes community hurts, and sometimes community takes back-bent and plow to the ground hard, hard work.

Sometimes community breaks apart and breaks our heart in the process.

The Story of His Faithfulness in my life began the day I was born, but I feel like I was stuck in Chapter One until community fell apart and He picked me up. The scattered pieces of dreams and heartache fell into all spaces of my life, but slowly He glued them back together. I bear the scars of broken community, but they tell the story of healing.

When the health issues began, I leaned hard into Him because He had proven Himself Faithful. He used a Story most would never desire to sand off the ragged edges as He walked me through brain surgery, leaving for college, and learning to trust again.

For a long time, my Story simply pointed to Him as my friend, the constant Faithfulness. But in His own time, after writing a few more chapters, turning a couple more pages, and putting the finishing touches on a song or two, He put the gluestick away and with tattered wings I flew into the arms of community. He has given me a song to sing.

As Mary DeMuth said during (in)RL, God uses good community to heal us from bad community.

Sometimes, God asks us to turn the page, but occasionally we get to look back. This week I went back to the hospital where I had surgery. Every room holds a memory, and when I go back for tests I’m tempted to look the other way as we pass the hallway in between scanning rooms, or the railings where I pushed my legs to walk again.

But these pages in my Story are the moments clear when He is more then Enough, Faithful and Strong, and my weak self depends solely on Him. These times of weakness are not a handicap, but a gift.

He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NIV, emphasis mine)

The only way I can walk the hallways as I await the newest results is to remember this truth: these walls give Him glory.

He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers! Luke 19:40 (NLT)

There’s no need for the rocks to cry out when we share our Stories with each other. Tell me of your mess, I will feel less alone. Open your door and allow me to sit and hold your hand as you share bad news. Call me on the phone and we’ll have a dance party, miles away from each other, as you tell me He’s opened another door to your dream.

Share your Story with me, with those around you. The coffee can go cold, the pastry uneaten because we’re so wrapped up in what God has done and what He is still doing.

We are community for each other, and our Stories give Him glory. Don’t forget to share yours, but remember this: He isn’t done writing.

 

By Kaitlyn, who is stepping out from behind-the-scenes as the (in)tern at (in)courage to share a piece of her God-given Story with you. Let’s be friends? We can grab a virtual cup of coffee and share our Stories in the comments below.

Photo Source: Road Fun

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