When my mother passed away five years ago, I had the task of going through her photos and mementos. As I delicately and lovingly looked at all her things, I discovered a woman I did not know. This young woman was adventurous, a risk taker, and loved to have fun. Her best friend, Lottie Mae said, “Bettie Jane and I made our own fun wherever we went.” Bettie loved to travel and saved many of the mementos from those travels. She saved a paper placement from a restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska, which was a long way from Lawrence, Mississippi. She saved her citations and her letter of commendations from her commanding officer when she was discharged from the Army at Fort Lawson, Washington, 1947. I read a love letter addressed “My Dearest Darling” and signed “all my love to the sweetest girl in the world” from my father. I never heard my father call my mother “darling.”
When my mother died, the untold stories of her life also died. My father, now in his eighties and in the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease remembers them no more. I am sad for myself and for my children that I did not take the time to ask my mother or my father to tell me their stories, especially their stories of faith. I hope to not repeat this mistake with my story.
Stories are the fabric of our lives. It is through story that we learn about good and evil, love and hate, gains and losses. Stories feed our soul. We learn about life through story. We learn from William Wallace in Braveheart that freedom is costly but worth fighting for. We learn from Frodo and Sam in the Lord of the Rings Triology that true friendship is a treasure, and everyone has a journey to complete.
The Bible also teaches us through story. Seventy percent of the Bible is written as a narrative; as a story. We learn about forgiveness through Joseph’s story. We learn about waiting through Abraham and Sarah’s story. Through the story of the woman at the well, we learn that everyone has a past.
God is telling the world a story through you. We are invited to be a part of the story. If you want to get to know someone you need to know their story. If you want to know yourself and your place in this world you need to examine your own story.
Proverbs 16:19 says “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” How has God directed your steps along your journey? Who has he used to draw you to himself? What other characters are instrumental in shaping your story?
In the Lord of the Ring series one of the main characters, Sam, talks about the power of story. He then turns to the hero of the tale, Frodo and asks “I wonder what sort of tale we have fallen into?” Sometimes our lives feel like something we have just “fallen into”. But the Master Storyteller is weaving his tale of grace, love, redemption, and rescue throughout our lives. We need to take the time to look for that golden thread weaved into our story.
Your story has the power to glorify God, and heal others and yourself. Tell it, share it, write it, examine it, and look for the amazing fingerprints of God on your life, for God is telling His Story through you, and it is the Greatest Story Ever Told