The Authority of Your Story
WHATS IN A STORY?
I’ve never written a blog post before (makes you want to keep reading right?) and let me just say this: it’s hard. I have way more respect for people who write on a consistent basis. I’m an artist; I just draw and sing all day right? While I was thinking what on earth I would write about, a few things happened. I came up with a list of some stellar ideas, only to find that Brady Herbert had written on that exact subject 3 years ago. Either I’m embarrassingly late to the game or my memory is really good from reading all his posts years ago. After “my” ideas were crossed off, I began thinking what I even have the authority to write on–lets be real here, I’m no theologian. So at this point, every idea on my “blog post ideas list ” (I’m a list person, can I get an amen?) had been crossed off leaving me with…nothing to write about. Awesome. Thinking more and more, I realized the one thing I do have the authority to write on; the one thing I am definitely an expert on– is me. Everyone is. Not experts on me (that would be weird…) but experts (or at least pretty knowledgeable) about themselves. For all intents and purposes, we’ll say people are more knowledgeable about themselves than most others would be.
That’s something God has given us authority on. Our own, unique story.
Sometimes, I shirk from sharing my faith with people because I’m worried I’ll say something wrong, or blasphemous–because I’m “no theologian.” We may not be theologians, but we are an authority on the story God has given us. We have witnessed God in our lives firsthand, so why can’t we share that with others? Who better to tell that story than us? My #1 excuse not to share my faith just went out the window. Shoot.
You can probably see where this is going. Maybe you say, “I don’t know what my story is…” or “Where do I begin?” My answer: “How am I supposed to know?!” No, kidding. But really, the beauty of how God arranged all of our stories is that they’re all different. So basically, I’m no help. But what I am going to do, for starters, is tell you my story.
I grew up in Garland, TX for the first 18 years of my life. Christian home, my mom was a stay at home mom, and my dad taught (and still does) at Dallas Theological Seminary. So basically I was as close as I could be to being a preacher’s kid without actually being a PK. I accepted Christ when I was 4 yrs. old, but I didn’t really understand it. I went to church every Sunday just like I was supposed to, pretty involved in the youth group, recited my AWANAS verses, it was classic. It wasn’t until 7th grade at summer camp (again, so classic) that I really began to understand what a true relationship with Christ was. It was that same summer that I picked up the guitar because there was a need for it in my youth group. They must have needed it bad, because let me tell you, I was REALLY bad at it. So, from 7th grade until I graduated from high school I led the youth group in worship. By the time I was ready to graduate high school though, leading worship had really become an idol in my life. Realizing this, when I graduated, I made the decision to not lead worship when I went into college. I wanted to get rid of that source of sin in my life. Funny thing is (and fortunately so), God had other plans for me and I didn’t hold to that decision for much longer. I came to Baylor and the very first Sunday away at college I attended Harris Creek Baptist Church for the very first time (little known fact: I only attended that Sunday because they we’re offering free lunch…are you surprised?). Obviously, I never left after that. There was an announcement that morning that musicians were needed to which I stuck to my guns that I wouldn’t play. After about a week or so I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I can’t even describe the feeling. After talking with some people, praying A LOT more, trying to interpret what God wanted for me during this season, and through some other circumstances that urged me in this direction, I sent an email to Drew Greenway to see if volunteering would really be beneficial. The rest is history I suppose, but the craziest thing is now, doing what I do at Harris Creek, I’ve never felt more at peace that this is exactly where God wants me to be.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned through God’s work in my life is that when you release your grasp on something you’ve been holding on so tightly to, that is when God does his best work. And the great thing is, He’s not done with my story. There’s more to my story that I haven’t even mentioned.
I’m adopted. And that’s the best part of my story I’d say. The one I had nothing to do with, but the one God has used to teach me the most. I was adopted when I was a baby so I only ever remember being adopted. Last year, I had the awesome opportunity to meet my birthmother and I can honestly say she has taught me so much in the limited time I’ve spent with her. The first night we met, she shared with me how hard it was to give a child up for adoption. She also shared with me something I am sure I will never forget. It’s something that follows me everywhere I go, in a good way that is.
She told me she remembers the moment when she was the only one who knew she was pregnant. She remembers sitting there alone on her couch in her apartment thinking no one would know the difference if she had an abortion, no one would know the difference if she had this child or not. But then she remembers in that moment thinking, “God will know. God will know what I choose to do in this moment.” It’s in those moments, when no one else would know the difference if you choose right or wrong, In the moments where it is just you and God, your faith is truly tested. I felt really convicted after she shared that with me. I want to be the person that when no one else is watching, when no one else would know the difference, that I choose to have integrity and make Godly decisions. It is in those moments that our true character and beliefs are shown. The decisions we make in those moments have consequences. In my birth mother’s situation it was my life!
I could write on and on about what God has taught me through adoption, but so this doesn’t turn into a novel, you can watch this short video about what I’ve learned.
Tell Your Story
We even have more stories like this on our website. Right now, they’re mostly adoption, but I’m hoping we get more! You can fill out this form to submit your story, because you never know how God will use your story to change the lives of others. That’s why it is so important to share them.
There are so many examples in scripture (i.e. the healing of the demon possessed man ) where Jesus tells individuals who have experienced his grace, to go and share their experience with others. To tell their story. So this isn’t a new thing I’m saying here. Jesus was way ahead of me. Surprise.
Even though most of us aren’t theologians, or scholars, or experts on much, God has gifted us with experiences. Experiences that make up a story of how God has redeemed us and is continuing to do so everyday.
So share it.