I was raised in an abusive home.
I was raised by addicted parents.
I was raised by incredibly, Godly parents.
I am a terrible parent.
My kids are grown and are following Jesus with their entire lives.
My life is a mess.
My life is pretty perfectly put together and I couldn't ask for more.
Can you relate with any of the above statements? Truthfully, I regularly hear one of those statements from someone that tends to define their upbringing or their current trajectory in life. Often it's hard to hear them say it as it is followed with tears and brokenness in some of those cases. Then, other times it's easy and celebratory to hear because it's followed with excitement and gratitude. The reality behind each of those statements isn't the positivity or negativity attached to it, rather the story that created it.
We often hear that our past doesn't define us or our future is greater than our past. All of which are true, regardless of how it's said. But, that doesn't mean your story doesn't matter. In fact, I would venture to say that you have a powerful story to tell about the goodness, the love, and the power of Jesus in your life regardless of what your past looks like.
Your past doesn't have to be tainted, negative, or littered with beer bottles, drugs, and sex to be tantalizing enough to bring someone closer to Jesus. Your story also doesn't have to be so pristine that regardless of what happened you were the closest to Jesus as you could've been in order to show people the love of the Father! Your story has a point and a person in it that others need to hear!
My story is quite interesting. I grew up in church, had amazing parents, a powerful home life, and I gave my life to Jesus at 15. I attended a Christian college and had dreams of ministry my entire life. There's twists and turns as I entered my 20's, walked away from Jesus, quit ministry, had 5 heart surgeries, and decided that God was worth my all, not my some. And guess what... I had to realize there's parts of my story that someone needs to hear because it may lead them closer to Jesus! The same goes with your story!
Be bold about your story. Be confident in your story. Be proud of your story. And be excited about the God that brought you through it and into your future!
This Sunday I'll tell you some details, intimate moments, some funny and some scary, in my life that strategically changed the way I do life. And I think you'll really get something out of it! I promise, it's going to get "real" this week. Do what you need to do to bring someone to Church so they can be touched by a story. Oh, and while you're at it - share your story with them as well! It may change their life, just like it did yours!