Telling Our Stories

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I think I am starting to get back into a “normal” routine. Moving seems to somehow always shake up a perfectly comfortable routine. And as I think about it, I just realized I have hardly done any writing in the last couple weeks. In fact, I haven’t written one word of my novel in the last two and half weeks; it feels like months though.

Recently I’ve been thinking about my personal story. There is an important need for us to tell our own stories. Now my story is not nearly as exciting and unique as many others. It is not the kind of story, either, that is destined for the best seller lists. It is far from that. And yet I cannot shake this feeling, this idea, that for each of us, me included, telling our own personal stories is very important.

There are two reasons why I think we should all tell our own stories. The first is for the benefit of others, especially those willing to listen. We can learn a lot from other people. The struggles we face are not unique to us, but are shared struggles with all of mankind. Sharing my struggles and how I overcome them, my questions and the answers I find, my trials and how God helps me through them, can encourage others, help them in their own difficulties. I heard Albert Tate[1], say that because sins pass on from generation to generation, the sins I struggle with my ancestors struggled with and so will my kids (if I ever get married and have any). So for that reason I need to tell my story to them so they can be better equipped to overcome those sins.

The second reason why we need to tell our stories is so that we can know our story, the themes and lessons that can be traced through our lives. And the reason we need to know our story is because knowing it will help us make decisions in our life, specifically the large, important decisions. Dan Allender, president of Mars Hill Graduate School, makes this point clear in his book, “To Be Told.[2]” (You can find out more about the book here).

Do you, then, know your story? As I begin to think about mine and examine it more closely, I encourage you to do the same.


[1] Albert Tate is Pastor of Intergenerational Ministries at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, Ca.

[2] I can only recommend the book from a seminar I heard him give on this subject.

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