We all have a story. We all have a past. Our story is neither a good nor bad story. It is simply ours. We own it. It’s part of us.
The church I attend is based around small groups that meet in each others homes every week or every other week for approximately 2 years. The group lives life together, through fellowship, study and prayer. At the end of one of my groups, we were asked to write a note to each person. I found my book of notes the other day. Wow! Just reading the thoughtful, caring comments my fellow group members wrote about me brought tears to my eyes. One theme stood out…vulnerability. Most of them mentioned the courage it took – risking vulnerability, in order to share my story. Now, granted, it was during that time that I was going through my worst period of depression. My group rallied around me and out of necessity I shared more about my past that I would initially be inclined to share. I used to be ashamed of my past, but now I see it as part of who I am. And I’m now so thankful I did find the courage to share! Opening up and sharing my hurts, struggles and depression, encouraged others to share openly. Do you know what happened? I received healing, and so did they. It helped us become connected quicker and deeper.
So how does sharing our stories and pasts, help others with their future? When we share our mistakes, or our wins, we share knowledge and experience. We learn from each other. Of course, I’m not suggesting you go to your next group, friends get together or family function, and lay your whole life out for all to see. There is a time and place. But when someone is going through a rough time, knowing that you can say “I understand”, it does bring comfort. How many times have you heard someone say, “I felt I needed to see you today, and here you are.”, “How did you know I needed to hear that?” or “Wow, knowing you went through that, makes it easier for me to handle.” God brings people into our lives at just the right moment. He knows who we need, and when we need them. We just need to be willing to listen, and be willing to share.
Do you have a “God moment” (when either someone shared their story, or you shared yours, at the exact right moment?) that you would be willing to share? I’d love to hear! Who knows someone might be reading today that needs to read your story.