Your Story Matters | Alex Reynolds
As a part of the 150th Anniversary, we were asked to collect stories. As the church’s media producer, this is not an unusual duty for me; we like to share and record stories. But for the Voices of Taylors stories, I wanted to do something different.
Normally, the stories told are “selected” because someone has heard about a particular event in someone’s life that has led to a life-changing circumstance. And normally, the reason a story has made it all the way to us is because it is somehow dramatic: it is a story that demonstrates a radical shift in circumstance or action from one point to another. And our culture doesn’t help us here: we love dramatic stories; there is even an entire TV network with the tag line “We Know Drama.”
Dramatic stories are good. They serve a very powerful purpose as they demonstrate the awesome, life-changing power that God can bring about in a life. Our God is so great that He can totally and completely change a life in powerful ways, causing people to be completely different. That said, dramatic stories cannot be the only stories we value.
Most stories in life are not dramatic. Most change occurs so gradually and so incrementally that we struggle to see it happening.
Most stories in life are not dramatic. Most change occurs so gradually and so incrementally that we struggle to see it happening. Most change feels very insignificant until it is viewed in the scale of years, decades, or of lifetimes. When we put our stories up against these “dramatic” stories of life change, we feel like our stories are not worth telling. We often feel our stories don’t even matter.
Except our stories do matter.
In Frederick Buechner’s book Telling Secrets (pg. 30), he writes,
My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours. Maybe nothing is more important than that we keep track, you and I, of these stories of who we are and where we have come from and the people we have met along the way because it is precisely through these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes Himself known to each of us most powerfully and personally.
Your story, no matter how little “drama” you feel is in it, is powerful. The story of God at work in your life, regardless of whether it is over days, months, years, or lifetimes, is a story of redemption that is unique to you. It has the power to connect with someone with whom no other person may ever be able to connect.
We sometimes forget that in God’s eyes, the difference in our story happening over days or decades does not matter.
We sometimes forget that in God’s eyes, the difference in our story happening over days or decades does not matter. Whether our story starts from the bottom of the bottle or at the age of nine in a church pew doesn’t matter. The fact that we have been saved by the same grace through faith means that our story has value.
So the next time you have the opportunity to tell your story, whether during an open, honest conversation with someone or via electronic medium, don’t for one second believe that your story has no value. Your story matters. Your story has the ability through the grace of God to change lives. And that is something.