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It’s All About The Story

Sometimes when I get ready to speak to a group – even though I’ve done it many times – I still have this thought that pops in my head before I talk. It’s usually like a little voice that will say things like, “what are you doing? This is just dumb. What in the world do you think that you have to say that anyone cares about hearing?” In those moments I’m consistently reminded that it’s all about the story, and everybody has one – whether you think you do or not. And usually stories are what move us.

Several years ago a friend of mine, knowing the details of some serious health struggles my family had been through, asked me to share my story with his Sunday school class. The first question I asked myself was, “What exactly is my story?” I assumed that since I would be speaking to a Sunday school class, I should talk about the role God has played in my life. My story started to sound like a testimony of sorts.

My pastor says that we are all part of the Great Story. I believe that, but I wasn’t always convinced that my part of it was anything people would care about hearing. I told myself that there was nothing special about my story, and I didn’t see how it could be impactful for anyone. The problem was that I kept having this nagging feeling that I was supposed to “do” something with it. I spoke to that Sunday school class for nearly a half hour and received some good feedback when I was finished. In fact, I noticed one lady tearing up while I was speaking, so I knew I had made some kind of impact. A couple of months later, I was asked to speak again at a local civic club. I gave that talk and I could feel it was starting to resonate with people.

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I felt like God was leading me, but I was worried this was more about me than about God. Many times throughout this process, I’ve struggled with the fear that this might be more about my own pride or ego. I’m not a big fan of people who feel the need to draw attention to themselves. In life, business, sports, or whatever, I’m always drawn to those who are successful but don’t need to talk about it. But like I said, the feeling persisted.

At some point during this process, I experienced something of a tipping point. I had been praying for some guidance on how or if to share this story more, and during a flight one morning, I happened to look over the shoulder of a man reading a blog concerning this very subject. I got nosy and started reading the article too, and a line stood out to me that said something like “Put away your false humility and do what you feel like you are supposed to do for God.”

I planned on talking to my pastor one Sunday after the service, and his opening that day was to challenge us all to consider sharing our story with the congregation. I was floored – AND as certain as I could be that I was supposed to keep on going. I spoke to the church about a month later and haven’t looked back. Since that time, I have moved out of my comfort zone to a place that pushes me to reach, grow, and do more. It’s not always easy, and the path I now walk requires a lot of faith. The only thing I am certain about is that I’m supposed to keep on walking.

I’m inviting you to go on this journey with me. We all have a story and my hope is that I will provoke some thought and wonder about life, faith, doubt, inspiration, fear, motivation, and anything else that feels worthwhile. We will explore how to get out from under the blanket of comfortable that many of us snuggle under – when comfort has become a crutch that keeps us safe and oblivious, immune from taking risks, and from diving deeper into situations, relationships, faith … life!

It’s time to take the leap. Reach...grow…do

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