I bought this ring on a clearance rack at an accessories store. You know, the kind my friend’s daughter calls “the color store”. It caught my attention because of my passionate desire to tell stories. I get a huge kick out of telling stories that make people laugh and it warms my heart when something I have said or written encourages someone else, but I get the biggest charge when I tell people stories about Jesus.
As a teen and young adult, I believed my story was as dull as the knives my husband makes me use in the kitchen so I won’t injure myself (true story). I grew up in a lower middle class Christian family. Both my parents taught school, volunteered or actually drew a paycheck from our local church, and they remain married today. They rarely fought, raised us to love Jesus, and took us to God’s house every time the door cracked open. I asked Jesus to save me at 12 years of age on my bunk at church camp and – with the exception of a rebellious season in college – have never looked back. I’ve never been to prison, lived on the streets, been in an abusive relationship or harbored an addiction to drugs. Thanks to my idealic childhood, my testimony didn’t feel compelling. No dramatic rescue story for me.
Except it’s still an amazing story. Jesus rescued me from the punishment for my sins, and He’s still rescuing me from sins I struggle with. And now, as time is marching quickly toward by 45th birthday, I’ve been through some stuff. I’ve coped with a medically fragile and intellectually disabled child and endured bouts of my husband’s unemployment. I’ve been diagnosed with cancer and operated on more times than I care to remember. And God has seen fit to leave me here with my family for another minute. Rescue stories all over the place.
And yet, now that I have what my finite mind considers “interesting” stories to tell, I find myself connecting on a greater level with others over life’s more commonplace moments. We all want to know we aren’t alone. Universally, we want to relate. At times I’m filled with doubts and insecurities about this writing life. I’m not making any money at it. In fact, I’m in the hole as I pay for page layouts, web hosting, workshops and books to hone the craft. So even as I feel this calling to put stories to paper – so strong at times that I can do nothing else until I get one out – I wonder if it’s a waste of what precious time I have. Am I making a difference? If I shut my website down today, would it matter to anyone but me?
And then I publish an article about something as trivial as swim suit shopping with my teen or being the worst sports mom ever, and I hear from you. Our shared experiences and feelings strike a cord that ties us together. And I feel community with you. I experience the ministry happening between us. THAT is why I keep typing away. THAT is why I answer the call when God puts a word (or many) on my heart. THAT is why I keep doing what I do through the times it seems fruitless. I can’t thank you enough for reading when you do and commenting when you can. I know your time is valuable and I don’t take that lightly. The fact that we are bloggy friends is more encouragement to me than you will ever know. So I will keep wearing my ring. Even though the words are so small that no one else will probably ever notice them. I have fancier, prettier rings, but this one reminds me to keep telling my story. The one He gave me and allows me to share. Because all of our stories are important. They are how we share the love of Jesus with others.
I would love to hear your story. If it is too long to mention in a comment, use the CONTACT tab on my website to send me a personal e-mail. Or if you live in the greater DFW area, I would love to set a time to have coffee or lunch and hear it. Who else in your life needs to hear your story? If you’ve never asked yourself that question, pray about it. And then be bold enough to tell. “But encourage each other daily, as long as it is called “Today”…” Hebrews 3:13