story – for the (in)couragers

We massage them into the heart of an aching soul.

We cup them in feeble hands and humbly offer them to another to drink, with the sincere hope that a thirst will be quenched.

We crop them and edit them and slide them neatly into plastic sleeves to be tucked away for a rainy day.

We toss them, light and feathery, in an attempt to tickle downcast lips into a full-fledged smile.

We stuff them into cardboard boxes, drown them in duct tape and push them, suffocated, into the back corner of the cobwebbed basement.

We wrap them up in pretty paper and leave them on the counter, in eager anticipation for them to be opened, revealed, savored.

Gifts

They are our stories.

Your story.

My story.

Not always seen as gifts, but gifts all the same.

Precious gifts, from the Giver of all good things.

Gifts intended to be used for His glory.

Our stories are complex.  Multifaceted.  Ever changing and developing, with the continual addition of new chapters and characters.

I may never have met you in real life, but it’s very possible that certain segments of our story trains have traveled the same track.

Some of you have been where I’ve been.  Others have traveled entirely different tracks.  Some of us have intersected at critical junctions, to boost and spur on and be sent off with added gusto for the remainder of our separate journeys.

The verses that kept rising to the surface of my mind as I pondered ‘story’ were 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 —

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”

God gives us story for a number of reasons, one of which, I believe is ‘so that we can comfort those … with the comfort we ourselves have received ….’

What if, one day, those bottomless buckets of tears you cried over the pain you had to endure could be used to wash the feet of another?

How can your story, and the comfort you have received from God, be used to comfort others?

This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, all the day long.

This post was written on the prompt, ‘Story,’ for a link-up with the (in)Couraging Writers group.

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Photo Credit: Steven Depolo

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5 thoughts on “story – for the (in)couragers

  1. Yes! For me, the hope that my experiences might give others hope is redemptive. It’s the reason I share. So others know they aren’t alone. It’s a beautiful thing!

    Christy @ A Heartening Life
    http://www.ahearteninglife.com
    visiting from the (in)courager group

  2. Yes, I love this. I agree that when we share our stories of pain and triumph, of our worst memories and our best days, we see God is the midst pulling and binding our hearts together. I loved how you started this post about the ways that stories are gifts. It’s true, they are the grace we give each other to be who we are and to lean into Christ together. Thanks for linking up!

  3. Ah yes – the call to live Real and be vulnerable – all in the hopes that He will take the mess and make it beautifuil and use it for glory! Love this, Kate!

  4. Oh so lovely friend. I also loved the line of our tears washing another’s feet. You have such beautiful imagery and such a way with phrasing. Our stories do often intersect, that is why I am convinced that we were made to be in community so that those intersections can be uncovered for healing and rejoicing. Beautiful friend, simply beautiful.

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