Recently, I was on a plane ride that took me across the country. I started a movie, in hopes the time would pass quickly. I chose Aretha– the story of America’s “Queen of Soul.” I love a good story and it is even better when it’s true! I was fully immersed- feeling the emotions, singing the songs, and experiencing life through Aretha’s eyes. At one point, her story overwhelmed me and tears began to well up in my eyes. I couldn’t control it as the emotion streamed down my cheeks. My husband looked over, perplexed. I had succumbed to Aretha’s story- experiencing her hurts, pains, and confusion. I understood her story. Although mine was different, I could relate.
Story: the building blocks of life. Our entire existence is comprised of stories. It is no wonder that God chose to compile a book that is full of them! His very Word is a collection of stories. It begins with the story of creation and ends with the story of our future. Jesus spoke in story form: parables. His Father sent Him to fulfill a prophesied story and He came to redeem our stories.
It is no wonder that Satan would like to attack this area, for it is life itself! He would love nothing more than for us to keep our stories to ourselves. There are 2 main tactics the enemy uses to keep us from sharing our stories.
- “Your story is insignificant”
Satan would love for you to believe that your story is insignificant and your life doesn’t matter. He wants you to believe being a mom, a business person, or working at the grocery story has no significance. Please understand, dear one, that Jesus was purposeful in his stories! His parables had business owners, farmers, and slaves as the lead roles. Stories are what make us human. They are the very essence of connecting with another person. It is through sharing our stories that we develop bonds and create relationships. Whether we are creating the story together or we are simply sharing a story with another person, a bond occurs. In an article published by Psychology Today, it was found through MRI brain scan that as one person shared a story, openly sharing their emotion, the same emotional region was activated in the brain of the listener. As you listen and comprehend someone’s story, you experience the same brain patterns as the storyteller! In this way, as you share stories, you are helping the listener to experience your experiences! Now apply this to the Story of Scripture. As we sit, read, and meditate on His Story and those who have gone before us, we are able to experience their experiences in our minds! A rewiring occurs- electrical impulses are sent from one area of the brain to another, creating new neuropathways and memories. It is Romans 12:2 coming to life: be transformed by the renewing of your mind. All because of STORY! Wow, What a gift! We are transforming our minds each time we enter into His Story or the story of another child of God.
The enemy of our soul uses shame to keep us quiet. If he can keep you silent, the difficult parts of your story will have power over you and the healed parts of your story carry no power for others. A healed story coupled with a bold voice causes an explosion of power that is experienced for a lifetime. In The Gifts of Imperfection, author Brene Brown writes, “Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it- it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.” Whether the shared piece of story is big or small, it deserves being shared because you deserve being healed. Satan would love to keep you silent and in shame by believing your story is much too big to share. He whispers, or sometimes screams, “Everyone will hate you! No one else’s story is as bad as this! Your sin is too big!” On the other hand, Satan also loves a less dramatic story and will use that to tell you how insignificant it is. He will yell at your soul, “Get over it! That is so stupid. It’s not a big deal. Why are you even upset about that?” Yet, each time we ignore that destructive voice and share our stories with a trusted friend, more healing occurs. Hurt is exchanged for wholeness, and a deeper bond forms with that friend. While Satan would love to keep us silent in shame, he will not stop there when we have learned the power of our voice, trying to pervert the blessing of sharing. We may begin to share our sensitive and fragile stories with the wrong people: those who are not trustworthy or who have not earned the right to hear our most vulnerable places. We share with FEW our places of hurt, we share with MANY our places of victory. As we invite God into our hurts, sins, and circumstances, sharing it with a few trusted people, those areas begin to heal. This enables me to share with many people the victory that God has done! It becomes my testimony- the very Gospel of Jesus in my life!
I want to encourage you, reader, your story really does matter! You matter! Your story- the good, the bad, the hurtful, the joyful- all of it, matters! Your story is a beautiful tapestry that is being woven together by a Good God. Those terrible things that have occurred can be healed. Those areas of shame and sadness are not in vain. As we allow our Good God to speak to us, He will re-write our stories for our good and His Glory.