I am a storyteller.
Some people are teachers, some are encouragers, some are writers, etc. And in some ways, I am all of those. But mostly, I am a storyteller. For those of you familiar with “five-fold-ministry”, I’m an “evangelist”. If I love something, you will know it, and I will do my utmost to convince you to love it too.
So, as I shared recently, I’ve been in a tough season. Again, I have no other way to be but real, so the reality is, I’d been depressed. Not necessarily clinically, or in need of medical intervention (although some closest to me may have thought that was the next logical step) but in a way, I had been paralyzed.
I spent the afternoon the other day with an old friend. You know those friends that you can’t seem to shake (not that you’d ever want to shake this one) no matter how much time goes by or how much both of your context changes? We spent hours in a nearby park talking and laughing and dreaming and crying a little (well, just me, but that’s apparently my new thing). The kids ran wild in the pond and the trees and the clock seemed to run just as wild as we caught up on life. As the sun was setting and our empty stomachs and full bladders could take it no longer, we began the trek back to the car.
As we walked, my friend asked me, “So what was it that finally snapped you out of it?” I laughed as I told her because I knew exactly what she meant, “it was a song, of all things.” I was a little embarrassed to admit that while I had been so overwhelmed by heaviness, all it took was this one song in this one moment. I smiled shyly and said, “it was the lyrics of a Big Daddy Weave song.” We both got a chuckle and I began to explain.
My mom and sister invited me on a “girls’ weekend” to visit some of our relatives in St. Louis. I couldn’t get away from home for 4 days, so I decided to drive separately and join them just for one night. We had a great time, seeing the house I grew up in, walking the cobblestone streets of old St. Charles, laughing and enjoying conversation without pretense or anxiety. It was the most peaceful 24 hours I had spent in a very long time. There’s something about going home and being with family that gives you the freedom to be you.
I told her how on the drive home, all alone in the car, this song comes on called “My Story”. The very first lyrics begin with, “If I told you my story, you would hear hope that wouldn’t let go, and if I told you my story, you would hear love that never gave up. If I told you my story you would hear life, but it wasn’t mine. If I should speak, then let it be of the Grace that is greater than all my sin. Of when justice was served and where mercy wins. Of the kindness of Jesus that draws me in. To tell you my story is to tell of Him.”
As I heard these lyrics, it was as if God Himself bent down and whispered into my ear, “This is not your story. It’s just a chapter. I AM your story.”
So, like I said, I am a storyteller. That’s the whole reason I put this little blog together in the first place. Because as Bill Johnson once said, “Once you’ve tasted the real reason you’re alive, nothing else will satisfy.” I help and heal and encourage by telling my story. So as one chapter closes, another begins. And while I’ve experienced a bit of a plot twist, I am assured that even through the rough days, my missteps, the ways my heart has broken, the fumbling through uncharted territory…it isn’t the ending.
So if you find yourself in the midst of a chapter you wish would end, remember, this story doesn’t have to be all about today. There’s always a bigger story.
What story will you tell?
“This is my story, this is my song: Praising my Savior all the day long.”