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Changes From STORYtelling

October 15, 2010

I remember growing up loving stories. My mother read to us at times, but I also listened to the stories of others. Some people were very good story tellers. A friend of our family who was Native American was especially good.

Three weeks ago I had the privilege to attend a conference called Story. Musicians, artists, actors, authors, play-writes, videographers, and others joined together for two days to learn about telling stories, the value of stories, and the importance of not always having a happy ending but to share of struggle and pain. We shared about how to tell the greatest story ever told, the story of a God who is unseen.

I am amazed at some of the ways creative people work, and how inspiring they can be. The conference was not full of flash, but instead was awe-inspiring, thought-provoking, and heart warming. My heart and spirit were inspired to action, but also calmed to reflection.

I was reminded that I have stories to tell. First, of the one and true God, and secondarily in how he has worked in my life.

I want to be a story-teller, a person who shares of what has come before in ways that teach, inspire, lead, guide, and empower.

I want to empower others to reach for their dreams, push through their challenges, and believe in things that seem impossible.

Over the last few years I have faced disillusionment with what I have seen in Christianity. I have been frustrated and angry at the brokenness that I have experienced, and I have grieved over the pain I have witnessed. Recently I have struggled with knowing a radical, outrageous, enormous, inspiring, amazing God, and listening to those around me tell me he is small, unable, and unworthy. My heart has ached as I have listened to others tell me stories of how God didn’t come through to meet their expectations, how they don’t really know him and won’t take time to change that, and how they are more interested in pursuing their plans instead of God’s plans.

The three weeks since the conference have been an up and down roller coaster of emotions. I have rejoiced and grieved, dreamed and wept, pursued and failed. I have realized that every day I am a character in a story, a story God is writing in my life. I can participate with him that, or I can fight him.

This weekend I will be sharing with others in another type of story telling experience. This one will not be about happy endings tied up with a bow, but about struggle and pain. It is a story of how darkness has prevailed and light is needed. It is a story about suffering, abuse, abandonment, and the need for chains to be broken and freedom to be found. This weekend I will be walking out telling a story, writing a story, and living a story, a story of bringing redemption and hope to those who need it most. I will stand with others who have suffered much, who need to break their silence, and who will step forward with courage to end injustice.

We all have stories to tell. Stories about what was, what is, and what is to come.

Today, I know the God I follow is big. He loves me. He brings healing and hope.

Today, I am choosing to be a story-teller, a light, a witness, a hope for those who need a hand to hold.

I know the greatest story ever told. I have met the author, the unseen God, and today I will tell his story.

I have an amazing, life changing, hope filled story to tell. I will strive to be a great story-teller, because stories hold power, hope, promise, courage, and life.

(*Photos are from Ben Arment, creator of Story’s blog. I think he owns the copyright.)

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