I love a good story. Book, movie, play, or special speaker, I love it all. Some of my favorite stories are those about how God has helped people triumph over impossible odds – danger, illness, accidents, tragedy, bad life choices…overcomer stories set my heart on fire and fill me with hope. They are bold and amazing and leave me praising God and admiring the sharers for their courage, strength, and faith. 

But…ask me about my story, and it seems pale in comparison. At least in my mind. Maybe you are like me; maybe you grew up in the church listening to these stories from the time you were small. I went to Christian schools, grew up in a loving home with great parents, and wasn’t ever much of a rebel. If anything, my version of rebellion was to read all the time instead of studying. Testimony was a big word back then, one I didn’t feel like I measured up to. 

In fact, I didn’t feel like I had much of a story at all until I grew up in my faith and experience. Even now, I struggle to tell it. It is hard to bare your soul to strangers. The impulse to sugarcoat parts is sometimes strong—to edit out the sticky parts and make it short and sweet, brief and amazing. God is good all the time and all the time God is good…right? 

But I am learning that the sticky parts are where God’s faithfulness shines through the brightest. It is the sticky parts in our lives that encourage others the most.  That in my weakness, His strength is greatest. He made me for a purpose. He made you for a purpose – a purpose uniquely designed for you before you were born. Now that’s a good story.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV)

I am a writer, and my story is in the messy middle. I recently left a career job of 20 years and moved across the country. I am exploring a new career potential while working part-time and relying on the generosity of my family for a place to stay while I explore my options. I’m in my forties, single, never married, and never thought my story would be this way. It is a scary place and a humbling one – but I’ve seen God’s goodness, faithfulness, and guidance in every step so far, especially in the difficult ones. He is there, even in the disappointments, struggles, rejections, and roadblocks. He has been faithful in my past, He is faithful today, and He promises that I have a future with Him and that it is good. 

Stories are messy, and life is messy, but God is good, and He is faithful. So be brave and get out there. Pray for opportunity. Pick up that pen. Schedule that cup of coffee with a friend. Somewhere out there, someone needs your words to hear your story about God’s faithfulness in your life. 

Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.

Luke 8:39 (ESV)