The following is a guest post from Bo Lane of ExPastors.com. Bo is a writer and filmmaker. I really like and resonate with this blog post, especially after attending Donald Miller’s Storyline Conference a month ago. Read on:
My great-grandmother passed away when I was in my early twenties. She was fortunate enough to live a long and full life. But not a life without its difficulties. Grandma Margie, as I always referred to her, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for as long as I could remember.
It was difficult communicating with her at times, especially when she barely remembered what had happened just a few hours, and even just a few minutes, earlier. I grew to expect repeated questions and being called every other person’s name but my own. But, despite of how challenging it was to talk with her at times, she held onto something no disease could ever take away … almost one hundred years of great stories.
I’ve always been captivated by stories. And my greatgrandmother had many of them to share.
Although her life spanned such events as both World Wars, the Great Depression, and the Civil Rights Movement, there was one story that surpassed them all. It was the day she made a decision to follow and devote the entirety of her life to Jesus Christ.
With my profession, I’m fortunate enough to hear many stories of life transformation. I’ve been fortunate enough to have filmed stories from many individuals who have taken your next right step and have decided to put Jesus in the forefront of their own lives. It’s a big decision. Actually, it’s the biggest, and by far the greatest, decision anyone could ever make.
But, if I’m being totally honest, sometimes sharing our stories isn’t easy because life isn’t easy. It’s often messy and full of hurt and anger and brokenness and sin. But as challenging as it may be to share our story with others, it’s equally as difficult to keep it trapped within.
“There is no greater agony,” as Dr. Maya Angelou once wrote, “than bearing an untold story inside you.”
If you’ve made a decision to follow Jesus, it really comes down to this: you’re an ordinary person who has been transformed, and are being transformed, by an extraordinary God. He turns your ordinary story into something extraordinary and, regardless of the hurt and the mess, that untold story within you begs to be told. There are countless individuals out there who need to hear it. They need to hear what we’ve gone through and the work God has done and is doing in your life along the way.
My great-grandma won’t be remembered by the disease that plagued her life for numerous years but, instead, by the stories that filled her heart. She may have forgotten most of the names of her family members and friends, but she never forgot about what Jesus did in her life. She shared it with me and I’m confident, if she were here today, she’d share it with you as well.
And I encourage you to do the same. Share your story. Don’t lose it. Don’t keep it trapped inside. It’s way more important than you might think.
How valuable do you think your story is?