The power of our stories
Tears dripped down my face and my heart wept as I prayed over my sister; asking God to touch the deepest pain.
We had spent the weekend listening to each other’s deepest fears, darkest hours, and moments where God powerfully reached down to touch our spirits. The details should not be shared in this space, and frankly, don’t matter to understand the depth of community that was formed- simply by hearing one another’s life stories. At the pinnacle of the story, tears seeping and heart pounding in righteous anger, asking why God, why God, why God, the rain started to fall. Lightly at first, then pounding on the rooftop. And it was as if God was crying with us.
Telling our stories opens our hearts up to painful, real, genuine community. Hearing others stories opens us up to receiving deep compassion and understanding.
Stories are crucial part of who Jesus was and is.
Jesus took the time to get to know the stories of those around him. He spoke freely of his own identity as the Son of God. He taught using stories. Looking at His life, we see how intimately He knew those around Him, and how intimately He allowed others to know Him. Although we can never fully emulate who Jesus is, it is after His heart to speak life into others by telling our stories. In the same way, hearing others stories brings us closer to the heart of the Father.
And so, the whole weekend, we stayed. Tucked away in a cabin in the woods. Away from internet, and phone calls, and outside distractions, while one after one we told our stories. You guys, transformation happened that weekend. The heart of our community grew three sizes, and we were able to see one another not for our sin, but for our redemption. We were reminded of grace.
Creating a safe space to allow ourselves to be known and to give others a place to feel known holds much power and great healing. You’ll often hear me talk about how I believe that vulnerability is the greatest form of encouragement. Nothing makes a person feel more known than saying hey, I’ve been there too, and it’s okay.
But more than that, I believe that great love stirs in our hearts when we hear others’ stories, and we are given the unique opportunity to grow in empathy. We are able to choose grace just as Christ has chosen grace. There isn’t one sin that Jesus didn’t die for. And there is no person beyond His reach of love and grace. Telling our story is the start of our own acceptance in that. Hearing others tell theirs is a way of welcoming them into our arms, full of grace and love.
God created man because He loves stories. –Elie Wiesal