This is a great question and a brave one to be asked. It’s simple, yet extremely loaded. My answer conjures up a woolly ball of entangled emotions, with strings of hesitation immersed with eagerness, and I am not quite sure if I should be combing through the mess. The mess is further entangled by the urging of one person to write my story, whilst another chides my inclination with a question of my ego-centric motivations. Does the world really need to hear your story?
Isn’t the bible the only story we need?
God wrote his story from the tip-toe start of Genesis, right to the rambunctious march of Revelation. In her short piece, Why the World still needs your Story, Leslie Leyland Fields portrays the leap of God’s story out of its pages and into flesh and veins – behold the living word: Jesus Christ. But God’s story continues throughout today; yes through the living words of Scripture, but nonetheless noteworthy in the lives of men and women who have and continue to stand firm in Christ. Preaching and proclamation are invaluable, but so too are the records of faithfulness, then and now. Patricia Hampl in her book I Could Tell You Stories wrote:
“We do not, after all, simply have experience, we are entrusted with it. We must do something – make something with it.
A story, we sense, is the only possible habitation for the burden of witnessing”
The world needs to hear your story, because it is the story God has entrusted to you.God has entrusted each of us with a life; he has given us the burden of witnessing it and he has inhabited our hearts. As a professional writing coach, Leslie has seen and believes that the best stories come soaked in the storyteller’s blood. Stories are better with life behind them. And even better when we see the author’s blood, sweat and tears merge with the blood of God’s covenant promises, the sweat of his faithfulness and the tears of his mercy and grace. The Bible is not the only story God has grafted himself into. We need to hear your story, her story, my story; because God’s work is rich in each of our lives.
Let us be a landing place for elegant, cultivated, beautiful stories.
Leslie challenges us in our tendency to be caught up in the books, articles and essays that drive the message that we lose the art of voice, elegance and a beautifully cultivated story. Not to say that sometimes the case is an emphasis on the latter, but for now let’s be mindful when we are only message-driven listeners. Story is an intrinsic part of life.
“God is everywhere in life, I am not only freed, but compelled to discover Him and make some aspect of His being known through twig, creek, moonrise, miscarriage, forgiveness, cyclone, salmon fishing, burial and supper…God’s truth is experiential, relational, and incarnation…I am trying to share a story from a faith that I am trying to live in and out of, rather than a faith I am simply pronouncing.”
(Leslie Leyland Fields, Why, the World still needs your Story)
This is where Come Away wants to fill the gap in the way we listen and see God at work. As we value, craft and shape many of our posts to centralise around the message of God’s living word, we also believe wholeheartedly in being a landing place for elegant, cultivated and beautiful stories. Stories that reveal the poignant, never-ending mark of God in our lives and that ensure our faith has a pulse.
Hearing your story allows us to showcase God
So, TALK allows us to showcase God. The world needs to keep hearing story, because it allows us to keep telling God’s story. God at work in the “ordinary and extraordinary” spaces in which women have found themselves. And I place them in inverted commas because, let’s be honest, sometimes we believe the extraordinary is a better CV for God. Yet we must not forget that any and every moment a woman chooses to trust God in her circumstances is a hand of grace.
“through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God”
EPHESIANS 2: 8
Check out Leslie’s short piece: “WHY THE WORLD STILL NEEDS YOUR STORY AND HOW TO TELL IT?
Watch our first TALK video: LILLY’S LIFE
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