I’m sitting in that uncomfortable space of waiting while a couple of trusted friends read a draft of my story. As much as I try to steer my runaway thoughts in more helpful directions, they seem to have a remarkable ability to slip under the fence when I’m not looking and make for this week’s favorite question: Are my friends cringing as they read, wondering, ‘How am I going to tell her this is really, really bad?’
At the same time I’m preparing to share pieces of my story with my small group and some (pretty big) part of me is wishing I’d found a way out of this.
I want to faithfully steward the story I’ve been given to live and write. But the actual stepping out of hiding and sharing it can sometimes feel like one of the scariest things in life—right up there with stepping on that plane heading for Afghanistan.
I turn for the hundredth time to my list of ten reasons I can (and must) dare to put my heart out there. This week God has added three more:
1) God wrote my story first. “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Ps 139:16) Every one of us has been given a unique and beautiful story to live. And with God as the author, there’s no question that the story is worth sharing.
2) I am meant to need help. The idea that I should be able to live—or write—my story alone (and perfectly!) is a lie from the pit of hell. We are not isolated individuals with something to prove. We are body-members, called to live together in God’s love and work together for his glory. Only I can live and write my particular part of this story. But others have been given overlapping bits of story to live which include helping me see and write my story more clearly, or praying for me in the process. Living a story, and writing one, is a community project, with every person’s part important.
3) Telling the story God is writing in our lives is one of the most powerful ways to overcome the enemy of our souls. “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Rev 12:11) The God of peace who dealt the fatal blow to Satan’s head through Jesus’ bare, nailed feet continues to crush Satan, now underneath our feet (Rom 16:20). And in the upside-down-ness of God’s kingdom, vulnerable bare feet, willingly offered, crush Satan’s head far more effectively than self-protective steel-toed boots.
So, friends, let’s take off our shoes. We need to stand barefoot anyway, here on the holy ground of helping each other live and share the stories God is writing into our lives.
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I love your three new reasons!
The shoes are off and my toes are wiggling.
Bless you, Carolyn. Grace and peace in the waiting, the walking, the witnessing through story-telling. I too would like the courage to kick off my protective footwear and walk barefoot, alongside you and all our dear sisters and brothers at FBC.
Thanks Pastor Tim. Grateful for you and the way you are already modelling, in so many ways, walking barefoot, as you live and serve among us. Your life and words challenge and encourage me, and increase my longing to love and follow Jesus in truer, riskier ways. Thank you!
Love this! Our version of storytelling is all different rather written or in action. Thank You for encouraging me to put my heart out there. I am wiggling my toes and putting them in the water! Blessings!
Wise woman!! Hugs!
And to you, Lynn!
Beautifully expressed. Vanity – to be thrown aside. Our story is given to us by God, not created by us alone. It is not about us and our embarrassment, it is about Him! Yeah, you!
Amen, sister! This is so beautifully written and spot on. I’m encouraged, both in the work I do to help other people tell their stories, and in my own stewardship of the story I’ve been given. “Let the Redeemed of the Lord tell their story”!! – Psalm 107:2.