Everyone knows the value of a good story. I am so thankful for the storytellers. I don’t consider myself a writer. You writers will surely say, “She’s right about that!” Even so, we all have a story that should be told. Some of us tell our stories through pictures, songs, or poems. Whatever the “means or medium”, stories should be told. This leads me to begin to share my own. I think it’s what the Spirit wants me to do.
In 2010, I facilitated a gathering in Lancaster, PA with approximately 50 women. It was a “Beauty for Ashes” prayer gathering, a ministry of ManyWaters that had been meeting annually since 1997. The focus was about the importance of telling our stories ~ important for ourselves to express and important for the spread of the gospel message of hope. I was excited to see that the women mentioned in Luke 8 had been so touched by their experience with Jesus and those whose stories they had heard, that they left the comfort of their lives and joined in with all they had. Our prayer gathering was well received. Many had the opportunity to share their own personal story of how their lives have changed for the better by knowing and growing in relationship with God.
One of the most encouraging insights was that we could see more of God’s love and care for us as we listened to each other’s story. Professionals might call this encouragement a form of good “pastoral care”. It truly was that! We heard stories of hearts being softened to forgive, and healing of strained relationships. We resonated with others whose story seemed to tell our own story. Most of all, we saw more of the love of God through each other and in many cases, received restored hope.
Some of us felt that the topic, “They Told Their Stories”, would continue on with intention when we went from that gathering back into our ongoing routines and work. I wondered if the title would one day become a book! One of the speakers was so inspired that she launched a radio program as a platform for other women to share their stories. She hoped much needed support might be given to other women, and it was the “means” she had available to her.
So here I am now seven years later thinking about this again and sensing the Spirit prompting me to explore the topic here on this platform. I am saying “yes” and hope that it’s okay to just begin and see where it takes me – and those who might join in. It’s my hope that my own story will be of encouragement, and the stories of other women that I share will spark an insight or prompt a story from the reader to pass on, too. Look for stories to be told in the weeks ahead, and do let me know if something touches you ~ perhaps you’ll be prompted to tell a story of your own.
With anticipation, Carol