Stories are powerful. They linger, they challenge, but above all else, they encourage.
It’s no secret that the past two weeks have been brutal. For whatever reason my transition back to school after Christmas break has felt so much harder than my initial transition to school in the fall. It doesn’t make any sense, but some combination of factors has left me in a very rough spot.
Last night, however, I felt like my soul could breathe. God has blessed me with an amazing small group connected to my church, and this group has welcomed me with open arms. In the few months I’ve known them, they’ve become family. For our gathering last night we made breakfast for dinner and talked about life. Somehow Mandee, Maddy, and I started telling each other stories of difficult times in our lives when God has come through in amazing ways. Their stories were exactly the encouragement I needed.
Shauna Niequist has a quote that addresses the power of stories perfectly. She says, “When we, any of us who have been transformed by Christ, tell our own stories, we’re telling the story of who God is.”
One of my biggest struggles is having faith that God has a plan that is better than mine. Wholeheartedly trusting him is a battle I fight every single day, but when I hear people’s stories it helps me surrender control of my life to him. A story is typically told from beginning to end, and when I can see how someone’s difficult situation worked out far better than any solution they could’ve orchestrated, it reminds me that God will do the same in my life. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose,” (Romans 8:28) is a verse that is frequently quoted. While that verse does carry power by itself, it takes on new meaning when I can see it play out through people’s stories. So today I would encourage you to share your stories. You never know when they will be exactly what someone needs to hear.