Share Your Story: The 'Why' Behind The 'What'
by valerie cabadonga
"When we share our stories, what it does is, it opens up our hearts for other people to share their stories. And it gives us the sense that we not alone on this journey."
- Janine Shepherd
In one of the church service last year, I wrote down a word that I believed I could use to make a difference in this world.
I wrote voice.
Needless to say, I didn't really quite grasp the reason why I wrote it then, and how that word would mean so much to me right now. Yeah, I started blogging here and there, but it was only until recent that I found the purpose of such a simple, yet powerful word.
Our voice has the power to change and save someone's life. It has ability to create, reshape and rebuild one's attitude, perspective and confidence in their current situation. Our voice can take shape into any form from an art, a written article (like one you are reading now), a song, a poem or even a dance. But the form of voice that we so often use to share in our day to day lives is our stories.
I'm not sure if you're like me but when my friends ask for an advice on a certain topic, in many cases, I share my own experience. I share my struggles, my broken hearts, my breakthroughs, and the Word that has kept me going. It wasn't to boast, but to say, "Hey, you are not alone on this. I am here to support you." I can't count how many times other people's story have meant, "I know what it's like to be in your shoes. I know and I feel your pain. I am here for you - to love you, to hold faith for you, and to pray for you," to me. Their sympathy have also given me hope and strength to keep moving forward despite the heartaches. I can't also count the amount of times that the lessons I learnt from other people's stories have saved my heart from broken seasons.
I love how Paul says this in Philippians 1:18-21 (MSG). He said:
"...Everything He wants to do in and through me will be done. I can hardly wait to continue on my course. I don't expect to be embarrassed in the least. On the contrary, everything happening to me in this [jail] only serves to make Christ more accurately known, regardless whether I live or die..."
Our challenges provides as a pulpit or a platform to share our stories - stories of breakthrough, encouragement, empathy, sympathy and gratitude. A pulpit that does not point to us, but to The One who has brought us the breakthroughs. And from a person who has personally witness the power and wisdom behind someone's story, here are a few things that happen when we share our stories:
- We provide support, encouragement and counsel to the people that hears our story. When we breathe life to our stories, we also give life - a breath of fresh air - to the people who hears them;
- We give people a chance to open up their lives and share their stories, causing a ripple effect towards a positive change;
- We give praise to The One who has turned our messes into messages, and tests into testimonies, and lastly;
- We give a chance for others to meet with God, to seek Him, to go deeper into their relationship, and to be more intimate in spirit and in truth.
I do hope and pray that one day you will have the courage and boldness to share your story and the lessons that you have learnt along the way to those around you. Let us be a community who is willing to lend a helping hand through our testimonies. Let us be a people who pay the faithfulness of God forward. Let us be a people who set aside our ego and shame in order to shed some light in people's darkness. Let us be that people.
If you have any story and testimony to share, we would love to hear from you! It doesn't matter if it is a light or a heavy story. Your voice will not go in vain and fall on deaf ears. Your story will always save lives.