This past Sunday I listened to three people share their personal stories. Within each one was authenticity, emotion, and inspiration. It was a simple agenda with power to help others and illustrate how life can present challenges with a purpose far beyond what we expect.
I found myself sharing the stories I heard with others as my week progressed and then thought of how I can effectively share my “mini” stories in life with others. In fact, it is becoming a popular practice for restaurant venues to feature “Story forums” where people volunteer to share their stories on stage. It is becoming more and more popular and drawing big crowds.
I realize that sharing a personal story is a way to be seen and feel we have a place in the world. It is a way to connect the dots of the past that seem hard to understand and it is a way to heal, especially when our story brings hope to another soul. It is a way to process the emotion lodged in our heart and done in a way that allows vulnerability, but provides safety. This builds confidence and helps us grow. Now, when an opportunity to share my story is presented, I embrace it more freely and find fear and anxiety diminish.
I also noticed sharing my story or listening to a story brings connection. A connection a bit deeper than technology can deliver. Connection can build relationships and strengthen trust. I find these to be the building blocks for a flourishing life, a life with some spontaneity and joy, shared with others as a gift. As life progresses, my collection of stories translate into my story book, a legacy of perseverance and hope, encouragement to others that our stories matter.
“God is the writer. You are His book.”
Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle