Yesterday I found myself telling my daughter a love story.
This love story was of particular interest to her because it was the one that birthed her into being. I’m not sure exactly what prompted her questions, but before I knew it, and much to the delight of my youngest, I found myself retelling those long-ago moments of early love with my husband.
I’m not sure whose smile was bigger as I shared about a walk in the woods where I first realized I was falling for my future husband. As I told the story of Jon scooping me up in his arms, dangling me over a water-filled creek, and looking at me with a smile that unsettled my young heart in the most peculiar of ways, I couldn’t help but grin at the memories. “It was like one of those movie moments,” I told my daughter, “You know, where the girl expectantly looks at the man, waiting for the kiss certain to come, only to have the moment somehow interrupted and the kiss put on hold. Instead of kissing me, your dad just grinned and set me back on my feet, but at least he didn’t dump me in the creek.”
She laughed that I compared our story with a movie scenario, but the questions continued and the story did, too. When I shared about the first kiss that eventually did come about, she giggled with me over the mention that I actually heard fireworks when we kissed. True story. Which maybe loses a bit of its aura when you realize our first kiss occurred on the Fourth of July with fireworks going off in the distance, but still, it was pretty romantic. And for those of you who know Jon and me, well, suffice it to say, “romantic” is not a word that would be readily used to describe either of us. I’ll take what I can get.
Perhaps the sweetest thing about our conversation yesterday was to see my daughter’s face as she reaffirmed my story with the words, “That’s what Dad said, too!” Unbeknownst to me, she had apparently been grilling my husband for the same details the previous evening. I’m glad to know our stories corroborated, and although our daughter still seems a bit baffled as to how her Mom and Dad’s love was not one of initial attraction, but rather a love which grew over the course of several months from a shared friendship, she can’t help but see its lasting truth. After more than 28 years of marriage, the love story continues to unfold.
But something special happened yesterday in the telling of it — our daughter was brought into it with us.
It’s important to share your story and to invite others to join in it with you.
In retelling our stories, we are reminded of truths that are sometimes ignored or overlooked or altogether neglected by the confines of day-to-day living. Sometimes love can get buried beneath the mundane and the duties, to the point that the miraculous can seem dulled by the ordinariness of it all. In the retelling of our stories, we get the opportunity to relive them in our minds and to experience the wonder all over again. And those who are listening get to experience it with us.
Psalm 107:1-3 encourages us to speak out the great things God has done as we retell the story of our redemption:
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; His love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story– those He redeemed from the hand of the foe, those He gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.
Our stories matter because they are His stories. The pages of our lives are filled with wonders of Who God is and of the great things He has done.
This life He has written gives breath to the gospel in human form — the truth of redemption revealed in finite life through the birth of infinite love. Those who are in Christ are the pages of eternal story — story of flesh and blood delivered by Divine. Of secret parts and broken parts and sinful parts, all being made new. Transformed by Spirit power.
Our stories bring the gospel of Jesus to life in real and tangible ways instead of abstract theological theories. Our stories are more than just words, they are salvation in real time. Stories of deliverance that are complete and yet ongoing, delivered and delivering still. Gathered and continuing to be gathered from the four corners of the earth and grafted into one body. The body of Christ — a story filled with stories of life after life redeemed, saved to bring life to others through the telling of their redemption.
This is why our stories are to be shared — to bring life.
To remind others of an unfailing love reaching beyond human concept to touch the hearts of men with life.
Our stories matter because they are His stories.
Stories to be treasured.
Stories to be passed down to generation after generation to show that love lasts.
In memories of yesteryear.
In the reality of today’s trials.
And in the eternal halls of a glorious Kingdom that will be without end.
Has the Lord redeemed you? Then tell your story.
How long has it been since you have shared a part of your story with others? It could be a word of praise for answered prayer, or a word of encouragement for how God is sustaining you even though you are still waiting for the answer. It could be telling your children the love story of you and your spouse. It could be making known the path of salvation to a coworker or friend. It could be, well, anything you deem to be a part of who you are or who you are becoming by God’s grace. Tell someone a portion of your story today, and experience again the wonder of love that is a part of it all.