Every Tuesday night, I go to a service called “The Porch” for young adults at Watermark Church in Dallas.
This past week started a movement called “my story”, (see examples of #mystory on twitter).
This is not a shameless self-promotion for The porch, but rather a plea that you would take the time, even three minutes, to read a few of these stories of grace.
Everything from lying to cheating to sex to drug addiction to abortion to alcoholism to materialism to anxiety to suicide to depression to everything else: there is no issue or struggle that is too deep or dark to expose.
As I listened to the stories shared on the stage that night and continue to read the stories shared on twitter- which stretch from Norway to California- I am absolutely blown away by God’s grace and redemption in our lives.
But not just that, I am deeply encouraged that people are willing to be so vulnerable with a very judgemental world.
I am encouraged that slowly but surely, we are reminded that this life was never about us and will never be about us.
The calendar was restarted 2013 years ago because Our savior was born. Call me crazy, but I am pretty sure since then, our birthdays haven’t had quite the same impact.
We are valuable because of who our Maker is and because of who He is, we are.
Exposing our weaknesses and our struggles, whether that means porn addiction, alcoholism or severe anxiety, does not make us weaker. Or smaller. Or less valuable.
Exposing our weaknesses and our struggles opens the door to God’s faithfulness. It invites others to experience life with us when we live in the fullness of His grace and the transparency of His unconditional love.
Think about this: Before you buy a product, don’t you like to see the before and after picture so that you know your purchase is worth the money you are spending?
Every infomercial is packed full of transformational pictures that persuades every couch potato that their lives will never be the same once they obtain this product!
While neither Jesus nor living for Him could ever be comparable to a product, I do think that people want to hear the difference He has made.
They want to feel safe and assured that this Jesus guy they are hearing about is who He says He is.
They want to hear your STORY.
Not the boot-legged version that sums up your past as “some incidences that scarred you” but rather the specifics; the exact names of the robbers who stole your joy, no matter how shameful that robber made you feel.
If you’re scared of what someone will think when you tell them the real version of your story, chances are they have a story that might scare some away too.
And the way I see it, if someone runs away from you because of your past, they absolutely do not deserve a role in your future story.
We are instruments here. Vessels. Spokespeople. Disciples. Story-tellers.
We are not weak because of what we have been through but rather we are powerful because of what Jesus has brought us through.
Have you ever told your story?
Not the fake one. The sugar-coated one. The romanticized one.
But the real one, full of raw truth and undeserved grace?
You should. People need to hear it.
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” -Matthew 5:14-16
“A porn addict, alcoholic, narcasistic, materialistic, dead-man-walking who heard good news about a new life in Jesus. NOW I’M FREE! #mystory” @JPokluda
“Molested as a child; and dad died when I was 8. Suicidal porn addict for years, til I found a love in Jesus stronger than my pain! #mystory” @FortodayMattie
“Glory thieving, people pleasing, worshipping all that felt good. Then met Jesus, collided with grace, and have never been the same. #mystory” @JeffersonBethke
“Sought worth & approval from everyone around only to be left feeling empty. Redeemed & saved by Jesus. Only His approval matters. #mystory” @Cleerecherry
Check out the message that started this #mystory trend here:
Share your story in 132 characters or less, including the hashtag, “#mystory”, and help us point to the only story that matters: Jesus.