Why Your Story Matters

Sharon JaynesEnough, Expectant Living, Gratitude, Identity in Christ, Knowing God 20 Comments

I was 16 years old and weighed about 100 pounds soaking wet. I’d only been a Christian for two years when I was invited to share my testimony.

My friend’s dad, Mr. Evans, gathered up a few of us teenagers and drove us to a church just outside my hometown. We were going to give our testimonies at a Saturday-night gathering of strangers. I’d never stood behind a podium, spoken into a microphone, or stared at a sea of faces who thought I had something to say.

I had been in a Bible study for teenagers for two years, but I certainly didn’t feel qualified to talk to a room full of adults and kids about Jesus. What in the world am I doing here? I thought as I waited for my turn to walk up the steps that led to the podium.

When Mr. Evans called my name, I walked up the stage steps, took a deep breath, and simply told all those staring eyes my story. I told them about how Jesus plucked me out of a very difficult home situation, about parents who fought all the time, and about hiding in the closet.

I also told them about the woman who introduced me to Jesus and how I accepted Him as my Savior when I was 14. I told them how Jesus was making me not so afraid anymore and how I was praying for my parents to know Jesus too.

Was I eloquent? No. Did I quote Scripture? No. Were there tears? Yes.

Several of my peers also shared that night. Like me, they didn’t know a lot of theology, but they knew their stories, and that was enough. There wasn’t much room left at the front of the sanctuary when Mr. Evans gave the altar call that night.

And so it began … my journey of learning just how important stories are.

In Mark 5:1-20, we read a story of Jesus casting out a legion of demons from a man who lived in the tombs across from the shore of Galilee. This unrestrainable man broke chains, shattered shackles, cried out in the night, and cut himself with stones. After Jesus delivered him, he was miraculously healed.

When Jesus got in the boat to leave, this man wanted to hop in the boat and go with him. I would have too!

But Jesus said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19, NIV).

I didn’t know this verse when I was 14, but I know now that it sounds a lot like Psalm 66:16: “Come and listen, all you who fear God, and I will tell you what he did for me.”

Every redemptive story, like a seed, realizes its potential when it is planted in the heart of another human being. And that plant, born of a seed, will become a plant that bears more seeds.

Make no mistake about it: Your story matters. Don’t be afraid to tell it!

There is an enemy, the devil, who doesn’t want you to tell what God has done in your life. He wants you to keep it bottled up and hidden away. He doesn’t want you to tell how you traded in your broken pieces for a beautiful masterpiece.

But if we listen to the wrong voice, we will make the wrong choice. The devil will do everything he can to keep us silent, yet the Bible says God’s people will overcome the devil “by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony” (Revelation 12:11, NKJV). Your willingness to place your story in God’s holy hands will lead to full redemption, where the pain loses its power to do you harm and gains the power to do others good.

So don’t hide your story. Own it! Tell it! Rejoice in it! Realize that no matter what has happened in your life, your lows, your disappointments and your struggles can be the most compelling parts of your story as God redeems them all. People will rally around you, and you will find love and connection in the process. With God, your wounds can become the source of your greatest strengths.

Father, thank You for giving me a new ending to my story. I pray that You will give me opportunities to tell others what You’ve done for me and that I won’t hold anything back. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

If you’ve never told your story, start with these three statements:  This is who I was. This is what Jesus did for me. This is who I am now.  Click on comment and share your three statements.

When You Don't Like Your Story

Your story matters, and someone needs to hear it. But are you ready? Has the healing happened? If you know you have a story to tell but not sure where to begin, this book is for you. When You Don’t Like Your Story: What if Your Worst Chapters Could Become Your Greatest Victories. A Bible study guide is included in the back of the book. It’s perfect for individual or group study.


I also want to offer you my Free Downloadable of 55 Bible Verses of How God Transforms Our Lives And Redeems Our Stories”. 




© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.

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Comments 20

  1. Sharon,
    My mamma went home to Jesus from metastatic breast cancer when she was 39. I was 10, my brother was 8.
    Our family was devastated. Jesus gave my dad strength to keep our little family together.
    Unfortunately, I lost my childhood since I was given too much responsibility for helping my father and going to school.
    The skills that I learned as young girl helped me more than you could imagine as an adult.
    I still struggle with fears of sickness but the Lord is helping me.
    This little girl is now a 67 year old. Blessings to you Sharon

    1. Dianna,
      Thank you for sharing your story, it has me inspired to tell my story.
      I lost both parents at 14 and 18 and unfortunately I missed out on so many things in my life because I had to work to take care of myself.
      I feel comforted in knowing I am not alone in my struggles and I’m looking forward to finding a support group in my area.
      Be blessed and stay encouraged,
      Lisa (age57)

  2. This is who I was:Insecure, felt inconsequential and unworthy of love. A sex addict trapped in a dark world of lies, deceit and adultery.
    This is what Jesus did for me:Never left me or condemned me. Protected me from harm and from Satans desire to destroy me, my marriage and my family. Literally saved my life multiple times.
    This is who I am now: Free!!
    Free to serve my God in truth
    Free from condemnation and the shame I carried my whole life.
    Free to experience His love and the love of others.

    Thank you for the opportunity to share my story.

  3. I was a strong-willed little girl caught in the throes of sexual abuse, but Jesus found me, showed me how much He loved me and took away my sin and my shame. He then gave me the courage to stand up for myself and He protected me! Now, I am a a missionary and a biblical counsellor. My husband and I travel all over the world assisting missionaries with anything they need from construction to evangelism and I am often called upon to assist in personal matters that require biblical counselling. I am so very grateful for the work God has done in my life and through my story to help others find Him!

  4. I was a sinner lost and undone then Jesus found me and he knew were I was all the time. My story now is Gods story and I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength. He died for me, us all so that we may live. Thank you God for the precious gift of your Son. Jesus Christ my Savior reason for living

  5. When I was young I had epilepsy and because of it I lost all my fine motor skills. I was very discouraged and thought there was no reason for my existence. I never had the nerve to end my life but always continued going to church. When I was about 18 I was baptized because I didn’t want to go thru this world without Jesus. I now know there’s a purpose in everything I do and Jesus continues to change my heart daily.

  6. Hello Sharon
    Who I was, broken and afraid little girl who was terrified of exposing that part of me that knew was so much greater than I was ready to believe. I was burned in a house fire when I was 2 and ALL OF MY LIFE I struggle with accepting that the very scar that I try and hide with my hair, it’s in the scar that I reveal that give me the strength to be a better version of myself. what Jesus has done for me and doing for me is teaching me that very important lesson. I am learning that physical scars are no match to what I tell myself in that self talk late at night, when nobody is around, but the silence of me. God is healing me and I am so grateful that he has never left me, over the past 40 years of serving him. I stay at his feet, cause I like most have to dwell in the shadow of who he is, where I find my strength. The girl I am now, wears her hair off her face and still learning to love who God has created me to be and not the person I created to survive my pain. I am so much stronger, some days are great some days are tuff, but I am determined to be the best version of myself and give God all the glory for arriving to my God given destination..My story…In the mean Time …..Letral

  7. This is who I was: I was lonely looking for attention and leaning on the wrong person.

    This is what Jesus did for me: God redeemed my life. He saved me from a life of sin, hurt, pain and discomfort. God restored in me life, hope, a hunger to get to know Him better and a reason to praise him He saved me from the pit of hell. This is who I am now: a child of God who wants to give him my whole heart and I love him so much. I’m so grateful for my pain and disappointments because without it I would not have found what was missing in my life. All I need is God! He will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank you God for your saving grace, hallelujah!!!

  8. Who was I? An over confident, beautiful, but extremely lonely young adult seeking love and acceptance in all the wrong ways.
    What did God do for me? He moved in to my lonely apartment of a heart and took up residence forEver through all my bad decisions, broken relationships, terror, pain, disappointments, losses, sorrow, and showed me joy, acceptance, love, peace, growth, confidence in Him.
    Who am I now? I’m a mess again, in my aging adulthood, at the end of a big life tragedy, wondering how I’m going to make it, but He’s Here, right in the middle of my fears, my loneliness, my pain, showing me glimpses of new joy and perhaps a dream or two.

    1. Who was I? I was an angry, bitter woman who just had her children plucked from her. I was too poor to ensure they wouldn’t have to live without parental supervision since all I could do is work. I let them go live with their Dad.
      What God did for me. I now understand that He had to remove distractions from my life in order to focus on Him. I’m very bull headed. He was with my children keeping them safe and working in their hearts.
      Who am I now? I’m still bull headed but God knows what he’s doing. My boys and I are very tight now. I have a great, Godly husband and 5 boys. Our lives are not without drama and pain since my husband is chronically ill but God is always making sure I follow His will. I have to be constantly reminded to surrender everything.

  9. You did it again, Sharon, you made me cry! When I begin to share my story with others of what Jesus did for me, I usually get cut off. Lol! Sometimes I finish my story, most times I don’t. Oh well, I’ll keep reading my Bible.

  10. I was a broken child who walked away from God and only talked to him when I was in deep trouble. But he re-opened my heart and led me to trust in him again. I am still imperfect and have a long way to go to be a better Christian, but I am doing better most days and keep working on it. He restored the relationship with my stepdaughter and she has come to rely on me a lot to watch her adorable son and made me a happy Granny. God reminds me to respect their approach to raising him because my mother and mother-in-law often defied my rules. It has been one of the greatest gifts to be so close to my grandson. Even if they (stepdaughter, son-in-law, grandson) aren’t my blood, they are my family and I thank God for them and that they have God in their lives. I am learning to be more gracious to everyone, even the dreaded customer service reps. God has gotten me through so many hard times and I know he will be there, always, as long as I keep connecting with him and his word.

  11. Thank you for this platform and allowing our voice expressions. I was the individual looking for love in all the wrong places.
    God has guided me in ways there was no ways. I always felt disconnected to this world and different from other participants in the workforce or daily members lives. God has guided me thru so many individuals of hopeless tragic lives around me, that are no longer on this planet to give me any instructions to live or better my direction in life. God put me in the unknown land to go in this world and God walked side by side by putting me thru college, putting me in the workforce, and bringing one of his special children into the world. I am so thankful and grateful God is with me and gives me his lens perspective to see the world as he wants me to see his God’s Story revealed.

  12. Sharon, I want to thank you for answering God’s call on your life. Your words have blessed me time and again throughout the years. I got the opportunity to meet you many years ago in Jackson, MS. I pray continued blessings upon your ministry. Now I must go order this book!

  13. This is who I was: a self righteous, judgmental, Pharisee.

    This is what Jesus did for me: freed me from the burden of the self righteous, judgmental, Pharisee.

    This is who I am now: someone who strives to act like Jesus, but not act like I AM Jesus; someone who can hang out with people who are so completely unlike myself, and love them, where they are, because that is exactly how Jesus first connected with people. This has been a long journey, but a good one. When Jesus told the woman, “Go and sin no more,” I used to believe those words were meant for me to quote. Now I know that they were simply meant for me, “Go and sin no more, Erin…”

  14. Hi Sharon,

    I really appreciate your ability to share your story. I have thought periodically about sharing my own. What seems to always hold me back is that my painful past stems from a bad home life growing up also. My parents are still a part of my life. At our church, when folks share their stories, they are often video taped and shared online. With or without that, I worry that sharing those details with a large group will get back to my parents and be painful and embarrassing to them. And strain my relationship further with them which has never really healed. How did you overcome this or what are your suggestions?


  15. This is who I was: hopeless addict, who lost everything and almost everyone I cherished. I turned my back on God, and drugs became my idol-my only priority in life.

    This is what Jesus did for me: He delivered me from my addiction-out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. I was in such a dark place that I did not want to live.

    This is who I am now: Clean because of God’s infinite mercy and grace.
    I am so grateful for God’s unconditional & unfailing love, mercy, grace, and faithfulness.
    I now know what it means to experience the peace that surpasses all understanding.

  16. I feel less than…. Has been my cry the past couple of weeks. I interviewed for a job and haven’t heard anything for 2 weeks. My past tells me that I did not get the job and so I am once again less than others. My teaching career is filled with less than situations. I teach part time and will be pulled to sub at a moments notice and I do it well. But instead of feeling special, I feel less than. I have applied for full time positions and have never landed that full time job. So it is a career of feeling less than. So when this devotional landed in my inbox this morning… it was God telling me he hears my words of I am less than. I took these words to heart as I was subbing today with a cloud of apprehension surrounding me. I reached out to see if there was any word about the job and was told that I would get a phone call after school. I was dreading the phone call because I was sure it was a thank you but we offered the position to someone else. About 4 hours of worry and anxiety later, the phone call came but instead of a NO, it was please wait a bit longer as we have more people to interview. So I am still waiting, but it is with a renewed sense of hope. Thank you for these words that helped me in a very specific way.

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