On this Monday morning, I send a shout out to the wonderful women of “WOW” at Living Word Lutheran Church in The Woodlands, Texas. For several years, these “Women of the Word” have been faithful supporters of my writing, sharing my Monday Motivations with friends and family, even reading some of my messages at their meetings. Over the years, they have sent lovely notes of encouragement and lifted me up in their prayers.
Our connection began with my dear Aunt Sandra sharing one of my messages with a few of her church friends. Soon, most of the group was following my weekly posts.
Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to speak to this lovely group of ladies, and what an honor it was to share a bit of my story with them. In my journey through blindness, God has been so faithful, showing up again and again with His presence, His provision and His people. I hope that God was honored by my testimony. So many people have helped me along the way. It is my prayer that God will use my story to help others as they struggle through the rough places of life.
“Don’t be afraid,” he said, “for you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!” As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, “Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me.”
Daniel 10:19 – NLT
One of my favorite motherhood activities was reading to my little boy. Nap time and bedtime were all about stories. What book would we read today? What message did I want to convey?
I spent hours in the bookstore flipping through the books, trying to find just the right story. I searched for books with vivid colors that would captivate Jonathan’s attention, but I also evaluated the story line. What could he learn from this story? Did it share our values? Did it offer a life lesson?
Often, I returned to books I enjoyed as a child, smiling at the memory of my parents reading those words to me. Of course, Jonathan had his favorites, books we read so often that I could quote the words without even looking at the page. Those stories were committed to my memory bank, and to his.
Stories are powerful. Words have weight.
Through stories, we share our hopes, our dreams, our joys. Through stories, we share our heartache, our losses, our disappointments.
With our words, we teach, we treasure, we testify. With our words, we pass on wisdom. Through our words, we convey what matters to us.
Certainly, some of us have more words than others. Some of us find it easier to share our thoughts. But each of us has a story to share.
Our lives are a collection of stories, some that can be used to encourage and support, others that can be used to teach and to testify. As I look back over the events of my life, what I remember are the stories. I remember the stories of God’s faithfulness. I recall the moments when I felt God’s presence. When the storms of this life roll in, I take refuge in those stories, reminding myself that God will see me through this rough place as He has all the others.
Listening to the stories of others brings me encouragement, reminding me that I am not the only one to experience heartache and loss. When I hear the story of someone’s triumph over adversity, I am moved to soldier on. When I hear a story of kindness and generosity, I am reminded that goodness matters, that light overcomes darkness.
Everyone has a story. What’s yours? How has God shown up in your life? Is there someone who needs to hear about a God-moment in your life? Can your story of God’s faithfulness encourage someone else who is struggling?
No, you don’t have to be a public speaker or write a blog. You just need to be open to your opportunities, and when the time is right, share your story.
Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.
Philippians 2:1-2 – NLT
O Lord God, You are so faithful. You are always working for good in our lives, even when we can’t see it. You take the successes and struggles of our lives and weave them together into a story that speaks of Your presence, Your purpose, Your faithfulness. Help us share our stories to encourage our fellow sojourners along the way. For our stories are Your story, and in sharing them, we glorify You.