Last year when I was writing my e-book about the first year after our son’s autism diagnosis, I read lots of memoirs. I wanted to hear people’s stories. I needed to hear their testimonies.
Those story tellers pulled out a map, showed me the spots where they started, pointed out the highs and lows of their journeys, and showed me where they ended up. I needed someone (lots of someones) to say, “I survived this in my life and you can too.” Their experiences didn’t even need to exactly match my experience. I just needed to hear I wasn’t the only one walking through a deep valley.
Your story is important because it gives people hope.
You were not called to the path of life you’re on just for your own sake. Your journey is part of the big picture, the ultimate story.
You’ve probably heard the saying:
Man can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only one second without hope.
Even Scripture tells you to tell your story, “[God] comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God,” (2 Cor. 1:4).
God has not wasted a single moment of your life. Each twist, turn, and pit stop has a purpose. When you become a story teller, your purpose is to comfort (or entertain, or teach, or challenge) someone else. Your story takes on its own life and journey.
Think about your story. What events have happened in your life that have made you who you are? What is your most embarrassing moment? What moment are you most proud of? What event has been the most painful? What event has brought you the most joy? As you think of your stories, thank God for them. Ask Him to use your stories to give other people hope. Don’t waste your journey.