Our Stories Matter
An excerpt from my talk to Church of the Common Ground, a faith community for homeless families in the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, Georgia. “Common Stories, Common Ground”
“Three things I’ve learned about the power of telling our stories:
1) The Bible encourages us to tell our stories.
Let the redeemed tell their stories (Psalm 107)… Telling stories build history, create legacies, help to explain joy and pain and suffering; they teach and demand to be remembered; they empower, they give hope; they matter, they truly matter.
2) Telling our stories empowers us, liberates us and leads us on the path to self-reflection, forgiveness, healing and pure joy.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu lists telling our stories as the first step in the path to forgiveness and as Brene Brown also proclaims, when we own and share our story, we have the power to write our ending. It takes courage yes, but we already have that deep down inside of us…being vulnerable is uncomfortable but never weak.
3) It is not enough to just tell them- align them with God’s story; tell them with hope.
As children of God, we are invited and encouraged to align our stories with God’s story which brings us closer to God, to draw strength empathy and love. And enables us to tell our story with hope, believing that when we are desperately falling and we reach the bottom, we will not crash and break into a million pieces, instead we will bounce! And we can pray like Flannery O’Connor did, “Don’t let me ever think, dear God, that I was anything but the instrument for Your story.
Your stories matter…tell them.”
Beautiful thoughts on telling our stories…i have been doing that a long time. In fact i met a new friend a few weeks ago, as we were posting flags on our courthouse lawn…and we talked and shared so much in the couple of hours, after posting. Then, Monday, we were taking down flags and we talked again another 1 1/2 hours about our coming to the place we are now..it was not all easy for us, yet we survived and laughed, being Grateful that we were where we are in this moment in our personal lives.
God is so Good – we know it and i do Thank Him all the time.
Many Blessings to you, Sarah-Beth, you are a dear soul…You and Bishop Rob Wright are a beacon for me…God’s peace and Love, always, Hebe Wall
This is the second message I’ve received this week on sharing our stories. The other came through Facebook. Great benefits open for me when I share my story. It helps because I stand taller than the story and realize I can rise above it. It’s also a guide for those who read it or listen to loose from their minds those emotional experiences and see them as lessons and experiences for overcoming. And when for years I was afraid to share my story because I was taught to keep certain things private, I found when I began to share in confidence the listener also had the same story. We laughed, cried, embraced, and felt our kindred spirit. Thank you, FL Beth-Sarah for your truth and sharing with us.
Thank you Hebe, continue to tell your story! Blessings to you.
Thank you Sister Gloria. I love when you say “I stand taller that the story and realize I can rise above it.” Yes! Continue to tell your story.