In Others’ Words: Embracing Story

our story McManus 2014

 

My friend, Sherrinda, recommended the book The Artisan Soul by Erwin Raphael McManus. (I’m not going to comment on his wonderful middle name — Raphael — at this point. But I mean … really … Raphael.)

One thing Sherrinda said was how she was underlining the book like crazy.

So I bought the book … and I am doing the same thing. McManus’s book just breathes truth to my thirsty soul.

Today’s quote is one of those truths:

Our story is what we have to offer the world. 

McManus goes on to write:

“I wish I had a different story than the one I just lived through, but I am so grateful for the story that has made me who I am today.

Even the pain. Even the wound.

The sadness was real.

The brokeness deep.

The scars mine.

It’s my story.

It’s who I am.

It’s how I’m becoming.”

Today more than ever, I am embracing my story. Is it the beautiful fairy tale I longed for growing up? No. But it is my story … and as I allow God to soak it in his lavish grace — rather than steep it my efforts — it’s becoming something beautiful. Something worth sharing. 

Like McManus I can say:

The sadness was real.

The brokeness deep.

The scars mine.

It’s my story. 

And the healing is just as real. Just as deep.

Because God is real.

In Your Words: How are you embracing your story? How are you offering it to the world? 

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10 Comments

  1. May 19, 2014, 7:41 am   /  Reply

    Oh I want to read this book now, too!

    Talk of “embracing our story” reminds me of a conversation I had with my sister over the weekend. We talked about how sometimes we can spend so much time thinking about and trying to make happen the next “better” thing. Looking to the future and what we think we want/need to improve our lives. And in our conversation we hit this point of shared realization…that life can be so much better when we don’t only just accept, but embrace where we are right now…with our eyes on the present. Today is my story as of right now. And that’s what I want to embrace. 🙂

    • May 19, 2014, 9:52 am   /  Reply

      “Today is my story as of right now.”
      Love this truth, Melissa.
      Embracing it.

  2. May 19, 2014, 8:10 am   /  Reply

    I’would not change a thing, but not because it’s mine. I’d keep it because of the lives I’ve touched for the better.

    But I have come to realize that it wasn’t ‘me’; none of it. It was the Almighty using me a a channel for His love. My story, what I am, is really irrelevant.

    Or perhaps more properly, I am more important as a character in others’ stories.

    • May 19, 2014, 9:58 am   /  Reply

      Andrew: I am going to argue with you a bit here, my friend.
      Your story is important.
      Who you’ve been in others’ peoples’ lives — how you’ve loved them — that is your story. If you say your story is irrevelant — if your remove yourself from the “plot” then those people miss out on all that you’ve added to their lives.
      Who you are is not irrelevant. Who you are is exactly what you offer to others.
      And I value that highly — as do others.

      • May 19, 2014, 12:53 pm   /  Reply

        I see, and concede your point, Beth, You’re right.

        The spiritual tradition in which I first encountered the transcendent is ascetic, and there is a strong current of self-abnegation…or more precisely, “ego abnegation”. I tend to be watchful of things that foster the development of any kind of egocentric view.

        That said,I guess I do see that the flow of Divine Love that I hope to pass on affects the ‘channel’ – me. And vice versa, being made, as I am, in God’s image.

        If you remove the individuality of the channel, you remove the Love, because in this case – “one size does not fit all”.

        Thanks for calling me on this, and making me think. I needed that push beyond the convention I had assumed.

  3. May 19, 2014, 8:37 am   /  Reply

    Beautiful post, Beth. I fought against my story for years, wishing I was someone else, someone better. But, the truth is, God allowed me to walk through what He did so He could receive the glory as I learned to walk through it leaning on Him and so He could use me to encourage others. For that reason, I wouldn’t trade it. He’s shown me His lavish love in ways I never would have experienced had I managed to avoid some of what I walked through. So, I embrace it, all of it, because it is my story.

    You’ve given me much food for thought today.

    • May 19, 2014, 9:59 am   /  Reply

      I’m thankful our stories have been woven together, Jeanne.

  4. Bernadette DesChamps
    May 19, 2014, 10:54 am   /  Reply

    Just when I think I’ve made peace with my story a new chapter comes along. And as much as I believe in the power of my story to be an encouragement to others, I find lately that I hold back…especially in my writing. As a fairly new blogger, I still battle with the doubts of why my thoughts and story really matter to anyone else. Yet, past or present, it’s all about God’s redemption and faithfulness throughout this messy thing called life and I know that is worth sharing.

    It’s ironic that when I encounter others, from the panhandler on the corner to the timid new mom at church, I am always curious about their story.

  5. May 19, 2014, 11:07 am   /  Reply

    Great insight today…and every day. Loved reading it and the comments. Every day we have 86,400 seconds deposited into our account. Everyone gets the same amount. It’s what we do with those 86,400 seconds that make up our story. Because we all tell one, intentionally or not. I only hope that through my actions and my words someone comes to know our Lord Jesus Christ better.

  6. May 24, 2014, 5:46 pm   /  Reply

    It is funny, but in some ways I do embrace my story, but in others I do not. There is a lot of pain in my story and a lot of shame in my past. I am not ashamed of getting through it, but I know how people react to some of the things I have been through. So for now, some of my story is between me, God and a few others. What I feel led to use now, I do.

    Thank you for your wonderful post. I am definitely going to look for this book.

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