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How Stories Touch Lives, Homes and Families

Don’t let your storiesyes, even the painful momentsto go unspoken. Share them and possibly help someone else.

Your story could impact lives and families. Share it!

Have you ever thought about the fact that each of us has a unique life story? Nobody else has one just like yours—and God didn’t give those stories to us for them to go to waste. I’ve been thinking about that a good bit lately because of my involvement with YolkLive, a group that’s encouraging churches to harness the power of story, technology and faith. (My Just 18 Summers novel is one of their eight featured books, and I’m excited that God can use my story to touch homes, families, and churches.)

Jesus was the ultimate storyteller. He understood that stories take root in our hearts and minds. How many times have we been encouraged by the story of the little lad with five loaves and two fish? Or how about the shepherd searching for his one lost lamb?

The Bible is filled with stories. I love that those folks often messed up and their lives were flawed. Their stories give me hope that God can use my life.

I often speak at churches and events across the country. For many years, I didn’t talk about some of the painful moments of my life. But then something happened that showed me God wanted to use even those parts of my life story.

A friend called one morning, “I’m supposed to speak to a women’s group today, and I’m so sick. Could you fill in for me?”

I told her I would—and then realized I had 30 minutes to get ready and to get to the church. Yikes!

I prayed as I drove, “God, I don’t have anything prepared to speak on today. Could you give me what You want me to say to these women?”

And then God whispered, “Tell them your story. All of it.”

I shared with those ladies about the amazing things God’s done for me and about His faithfulness, but for the first time, I also told about the painful parts of my life. About my mother’s hidden battle with alcohol and the resulting abuse that scarred my childhood, and about my dad’s suicide and how that broke my heart. I told them about the car wreck where the doctors told me I’d never walk normally again. I shared with them about other serious health problems and how those precious promises from God’s Word soothed my soul and provided strength.

You know what I discovered that day? Because I’d shared those not-so-perfect moments, those women felt free to share their stories—and they sat there and talked for two hours after I spoke.       

It would be such a shame for your stories of what God’s done for you—yes, even in the painful moments—to go unspoken. Let’s allow Him to use the stories of our lives to reach others who need to hear about a faithful loving God, who need the comfort and strength that only He can give.

What’s your story? Will you let God use it?


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