Thursday, February 28, 2013

Stories...We All Have Them

Happy Thursday!

I am new to blogging and honestly do not know much about it at all. It could be that I'm going about it in EXACTLY THE WRONG WAY :). But I suppose in the end, that is my mistake to make. So here I go!

I toyed with the idea of making my first blog just a "Hi, my name is Sarah and I have a crazy life" kind of blog. You know tell you a little about myself. But then I realized, this blog is attached to my Google Account, which is attached to my Facebook and Pinterest accounts. You can find out all sorts of general info about there! I give you full permission to stalk those pages :). Instead, I'm going to dive right in and share some thoughts that have been on my mind the last few days. Please read and enjoy! And I welcome any and all comments! :)

Stories...We All Have Them defines a story as:
 a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale.
I agree with this definition. But there is yet another definition from that I like even more: 

 a narration of an incident or a series of events or an example of these that is or may be narrated, as an anecdote, joke, etc.
Based on this definition, I submit to you that every person's LIFE is made up of stories. Stories that they have written themselves and stories that have been written for them. Stories that they have narrated and edited for themselves and stories that have been shaped and woven by others. 
We ALL have stories to tell. Our stories define us and give us depth. Our stories give reason to why we are, the way we are. Our stories have the ability to make us laugh and to make us cry, sometimes both at the same time.Our stories are alternately painful and joyous, remorseful and sentimental, bitter and loving, lonely and crowded, and just about every other opposite pairing you can think of. Our stories were MADE to be told.  And, whether, we know it or not, we all have people in our lives who are willing to listen. 
Looking again at the first definition of story, particularly the phrase "a narrative...designed to...instruct the hearer or reader...". This intrigues me a little bit. I have listened to and read stories all of my life and fully comprehend what this definition is saying. Some of the greatest lessons I've learned in my life have come from the pages of a book. But another idea has come to me. What if the AUTHOR of the story were to benefit from the telling? I'll use myself as an example. What if I were to be interested, amused, or instructed by telling my story? Is this even possible? I believe that it is. 
I have a theory that applies to me personally. This may or may not be the case for you. I believe that when I look back on my life, the stories that are the most painful, the ones I am ashamed of, the ones I want to hide and pretend never happened, are the ones that NEED to be shared the most. Now, that's not to say that I have aired my "dirty laundry" for the entire world to see. Quite the contrary. I still protect those painful stories with the ferociousness of bulldog. But I am slowly coming to grips with the idea of when and where and to who these unpleasant stories should be told. I have already told some of my "scary" stories. I can't say that it was a wonderful experience that I look forward to occurring again in the future. But I can say that the experience, painful as it was, did benefit me as a person and as a child of God. 
If I could be REALLY TRANSPARENT for a second, I would like to say that it was during recent REVIEW of my stories, particularly the difficult ones, that I sort of, met myself. It is very strange to look in a mirror and WONDER WHO IT IS THAT IS LOOKING BACK AT YOU. But I did. For YEARS, I did. Thanks to me FINALLY sharing some of those "scary" stories, I am beginning to know that girl staring back at me from the glass. Honestly, I don't like everything I'm discovering about her. She tends to be selfish and resentful. She procrastinates and puts herself in the judge's seat way more often than she should. These are areas I now realize I need to work on (not alone, of course...I can do NOTHING in my own strength, but I can do ALL THINGS WITH HIM...Philippians 4:13). I don't know if I would have been able to say that had I not REVIEWED MY STORIES first. 
Now, I don't dislike EVERYTHING about myself. There are a few parts of me, I rather like :). I'm a very strong person (the scary stories in my life have seen to that!). I am a highly-motivated person. I have a great capacity for love that, honestly, puts me in a position to be hurt quite often. I'm loyal and dependable (at least I try to be...) These are GOOD qualities to have. But I cannot take the credit for their development in my life. That's ALL on Him. Max Lucado says in one of his books (and I'm paraphrasing), "God uses our storms as His paths to come to us." Similarly, I submit to you that God uses our STORIES as points of entrance into our lives. Wherever we have a hurt, God sees a doorway. If we will just SHARE THAT STORY THAT IS SLOWLY KILLING US FROM THE INSIDE OUT, instead of HIDING IT AWAY IN A LOCKED VAULT SURROUNDED BY ARMED GUARDS, God can AND WILL come to us and helps us deal with it, learn from it, and EVENTUALLY learn to LOVE it as just a part of what makes us...US.
As I previously mentioned, these are just some thoughts that I've had swirling in my head the last few days and believe me when I say, THEY ARE ALL DIRECTED AT MYSELF!!!! I just thought I would share them to see if maybe, just maybe, there was someone else out there that could identify with them :). 
Thanks for reading! 
Sarah D