The best stories are the real ones

The best stories are the real ones.

We all pause in front of the catching covers and gripping titles, but the moment we flip to the first page only to discover it begins like thousands of others, our interest fades.

The best story is the one you’ve lived.
The retelling of your hardest moments,
followed by the stunning view when you at last reached the mountain’s peak,
or the crushing realization that you were still days from the summit:
here is where your unique story lies.

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Our lives aren’t all about arrival and having finally conquered our fears.
Perhaps the greatest quality of our stories is in the mundane.
Yes, we do eventually reach the top and feel the icy cold wind whip up the side of the mountain and steal our breath away.
But without the panting and grappling with the elements,
the struggling against the rugged stone,
those hours and days of climbing leading up to the summit would be worthless.

God knew we needed people ahead of us on the trail to shout over their shoulder,
“You can do this!”
And he also knew that we would be made stronger by offering a helping hand to someone beside us who is panting hard and feeling that they aren’y made of tough enough stuff to keep going.

We are given experiences with a purpose in mind.

“…the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who 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. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Wounded people tell better stories.
Not because you were wounded,
but because you lived to tell the story.
Because you can offer more than words, you have experience to back it up.

Your story matters, your experiences are valuable.
Your losses and your gains,
your deep gut laughter and salty tears are important.

When we share our stories, perfect lives give way to real struggles and experiences.
And oddly enough, we find that we are safer in this crowd, not because we are a good story teller or can post a pretty picture, but because we each have a story.
And in choosing to be vulnerable and courageous enough to share it,
we are reminded of God’s faithfulness.

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Let’s keep our stories going.
Tell them here. Tell your children.
Take a moment at the grocery store and look into the cashier’s eyes,
and ask her about her life.

Reach out and connect with people.

The online world is a massive opportunity,
but don’t overlook the physical people you come into contact with each day.
Take time and ask questions.
They have a story too, that needs to be told.
Some days we do the telling, other days we listen.
Each story is worth hearing.

The best stories are the real ones.

_______

(Photo credits to Gretta Coates and her time in a refugee camp in Greece this last year. Follow her blog and wait for the incredible stories of the incredible souls who braved the icy waters hoping for a future).

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2 thoughts on “The best stories are the real ones

  1. Thank you for this. Now that Women of Purpose is listed on amazon, I’ve been freaking out just a little–because sharing your raw moments with the world is frighteningly vulnerable. But THIS. Exactly what you said.

    1. Love you girl. You are exceedingly brave in these unknown waters of publishing, but I have no doubt that your words will inspire others as they have me. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Women of Purpose!

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