This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Women of Faith conference in Columbus, OH with my friend Priscilla. It was an amazing conference. We spent lots of time talking and sharing our stories with each other. And we learned that we are so much alike in so many ways. We also heard lots of stories from so many of the speakers.
Mark Lowry shared lots of hilarious stories about his childhood, which gives me hope for my youngest!! Patsy Clairmont shared a funny story about parading through her town with pantyhose stuck to her pant leg. Many of the speakers shared stories of trauma or sexual abuse in their lives. They also shared stories of healing and restorations. Some shared their stories through the words of songs they sang.
One thing that Amy Grant said stuck with me. She said that everyone has a story and we don't know where they are on their journey of becoming who God wants them to be. How true is that? When we encounter someone who isn't so nice or lovely, we don't always know their story. And when you don't know their story...then you don't know them.
I love hearing or reading the stories of the lives of other people. I love to hear how they overcame trials and difficulties. I love to hear how God used those times to strengthen and change them. When I have the honor of knowing someone's story then I feel like I understand more about them. Many times those people who are a bit difficult to get along with are still in the healing process from some major blow that life has dealt them. So before you write them off as a cranky, whiner or complainer who never sees the positive, ask to hear their story.
Once you take the time to hear someone's story, you may just find out that they're more like you than you ever thought. Maybe God has put them in your life so you can be an encourager to them. Your story could inspire them to keep moving towards complete healing.
God has given each of us a story to share. So don't be ashamed to share that story. Your story is what makes you who you are today. You never know whose life you could touch by just telling your story.
Over the next few blogs, I'm going to be sharing my story of what has made me who I am today. Some parts of my story will be easy to share while others will be difficult. However, I am at a place in my heart where I have forgiven myself and others for past mistakes and hurts. I'm hopeful that my story can help someone else make different choices.
So join me as I share the story of what God has done in my life and how he has made me a new creation in Him!!
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.