Jesus is a master Storyteller. Speaking the language of the heart, Jesus taught through parables so we would better understand him. The Bible is ripe with one story after another. Remember the story of the woman in Mark 5 with the issue of blood? It’s one of my favorites. It's about the woman who pressed into Jesus, reaching out to touch him in her desire to be healed. Touching him in faith, she was healed! Feeling power go out from him, Jesus stopped and asked, “Who touched me?” Then falling at his feet, this brave woman told him her story. Scripture says she told Jesus "her whole story: the whole truth.” Is it possible that even more healing came to her through telling him her story? Is the very act of telling one’s story—at the right time and to the right person—immensely healing? I think so.
About twenty years ago I learned there is goodness to be had in telling our story in a safe place. I was in a small group where, in love, we had chosen to share our stories with one another. My evening came. In terror, I prayed and then quietly and awkwardly began to tell my story. Childhood games, joys and sorrows—markers in my life—good memories and defining wounds. I only had about two hours so, you know, it was the “Reader’s Digest" version.
The room was quite silent. I’d reached telling about my early twenties when a friend's heart couldn't take any more, and she exploded into sobs. She burst into tears in a response to my story. Hers were tears on my behalf. Her reaction surprised me. See, I wasn't crying over my story. It was all I knew. It was my normal. You have your normal. Our lives are normal…to us.
That night, the other members' shock, their tender faces, their compassion, even their horror, were great gifts of mercy to me. An invitation to further healing came to me. An invitation to not live in the lies I'd come to believe because of my history—nor to dismiss my story as a fluke, an embarrassment, or as merely something to be overcome. Healing power flowed to me through the telling of my story at the right time and to the right folks.
I shared a lot of sorrow that night. My life story, like yours, has a lot of pain and loss in it. But that is not all there is in it. There is beauty in it, too. One of the beauties of the Gospel is that it is a Gospel of restoration. God is restoring all things—the world, creation, our hearts, our lives—even our memories! Yes, my life story can be harsh. But the truth is that God has always been in the midst of it. Saving me. Shielding me. Wooing me to his heart.
Do you remember much about your childhood? What you were like? What did you like? What games did you enjoy? Were you enjoyed? Why not carve out some time and ask God to help you remember? What was your childhood like? What do you remember even now? What did you love, dream of, play, feel, believe? Then invite Jesus into your memory and into your perception of your youth. And ask him—where were you, God? Some of you may know the answer immediately. For those of you that don’t know, keep asking. He will tell you.
Your life is a story. It’s one worth telling. And further healing is always worth asking for. If you don't have someone safe to entrust your story to, ask God to bring them. And by the way, a perfectly safe person to tell your story to is Jesus. Like Aslan asked Shasta to do in The Horse and His Boy, God would love you to tell him your story. Yes, He knows it quite well. But no one tells it quite like you.
You know my story. You know my desires and my embarrassment—you know my sorrow and the places where I have begun to give up hope. Would you please come for me, Jesus? Would you please breathe life and hope into the places of my heart that need to be revived? I pray for your eyes on my life. I pray for the grace to believe more deeply that you love me completely right now, even before I have gained the healing, the victory, and freedom I long for. I pray for more healing and a deeper work of restoration for me and in me. Thank you for that, Jesus. I know that is what you would love to do.
In Jesus’ Name,Amen