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.
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.