What’s Your Story?
“The woman left her water jar beside the well and ran back to the village, telling everyone, ‘Come and see a man who told me everything I ever did! Could he possibly be the Messiah?’ So, the people came streaming from the village to see him.”1
We all have a story. Like the books we read, each story is different. Some may be filled with laughter and feelings of peace and tranquility, while others may be filled with pain and regret. Whatever your life story looks like, each is equally as important and is usually marked by certain experiences.
When I was a teenager, I was abused by a “Christian” man. He made me feel like anything that happened to me was my fault, and unfortunately, I believed him. I lived with feelings of anger, disgust, false guilt, and bitterness thinking that I was alone and that not even God could love me for the things I “caused” to happen. I trusted no one, because after all, if a Christian man was doing this to me, what could I expect of everyone else right? I thought of suicide many times, but there was something I clung to in the midst of my pain. I knew how to play guitar, piano, and could sing. I turned my pain into song and my tears into lyrics. It took a long time to heal emotionally, but I did. I learned to forgive and slowly started trusting others again.
A more recent part of my story is in 2019 when we lost our son. He had a chromosomal defect and died in utero. When I gave birth to him and held his lifeless body in my hands, I felt hopeless, confused, and again I felt great pain and grief. But as opposed to the experience I had in my youth, this time I never felt alone. I could feel God’s presence around me, and even when I cried out in anger to him, I knew he listened and cared for me. This came as a result of the relationship I have cultivated with Jesus over the years and is something I am so grateful for.
There have been many good times in my story as well, but I have found that these painful parts of my story that I would have preferred never to have experienced, are what has allowed me to connect to others going through similar pain or experiences. I have had the opportunity to share with numerous youth groups and adults alike, and have seen how people who have carried their pain for so long, suddenly find peace and rest in God.
Friends, nothing happens by accident or chance. God has a plan and purpose for everything that happens. Even the hard times in our stories can be used to honor and glorify God. It all depends on if we are willing to invest our pain or not. I encourage you to take a moment and write out your story. Once you do, ask God to give you opportunities to share with others. We never know who may be listening who needs to hear it. The woman at the well could have chosen to keep her encounter with Jesus a secret considering her past and all that Jesus had told her, but instead she chose to share it immediately! Because of this, many people from the village came to see Jesus. Let us choose to be used by God as well.
Suggested prayer: “Thank you for loving me just as I am. Despite my past, present, or future, you invite me into a personal relationship with you. Thank you for being with me in the middle of each circumstance that happens in my life. I pray that you allow me to use my story for your glory. That through my story, others would come to see you and experience the hope that I have as well. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
John 4:28-30 (NLT).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.