(Picture Credit goes to my dear husband)
We all love a good story. People flock to the movies or watch TV. Others read books, blogs, and the news. They do this for different reasons, but each contains a story or part of story. Sometimes the stories provide entertainment. Other times stories help us connect with the story teller or understand ourselves better as we relate to the story. A story can get us through a hard time. Maybe the story allows us to step back from our life and drama and get lost instead in someone else’s story.
When stories are told face to face, there is often a connection-a time of understanding where we really see each other more clearly. Some of my best memories are sitting around a table with family or friends sharing stories. Sometimes the stories are experiences we had in common. Other times, story teller is giving a gift- a chance to know something important to him or her.
Next week, I will have been in Africa one month. As I get to know my team and the ladies here, I have loved hearing their stories over coffee or in the car as we drive to the different stores. These ladies are survivors. Many were a part of the health epidemic crisis two years ago. There were evacuations, families separated, and local friends who died. These ladies endured and leaned hard into Jesus during those tough times. They are still recovering from all that goes with being part of a traumatic event, but they are recovering. As I listen, I am reminded of the times we were evacuated, separated and had friends die. We also had to endure during our time in Central Asia, but now is not the time to say that. Now is the time to listen and realize that I am not alone. These ladies know how to do hard- even if it is a different kind of hard.
Sometimes we think we are the only one who is going through a hard time. No one else can possibly understand what we are going through. It is in our stories that we find out that we have the same struggles but maybe for different reasons. It is in our stories that we learn from each other’s perspectives. Mostly it is in our stories that we see God is glorified and sovereign in all times and seasons. Some of our stories have happy endings, and for others the happy endings seem impossible. But happy ending or not, we find healing as we listen to and share our stories. We connect and begin to understand the other person. Often God gives us a glimpse of what He sees in this one made in his image. Other times we are encouraged to endure as we hear God's faithfulness in the stories of our friends.
As I listen, I am encouraged to keep seeking God, to keep immersing myself in His word, and to remember that God is not finished with me yet. What story has God given you? How is God working in you during this season of your life? Would you be willing to tell me your story? I don’t usually get a lot of comments on my blog but today I want that to be different. Not because I want a lot of comments, but because I want to hear your story and what God is doing in your life. May we encourage each other today with our stories.