I give credit to Writer Carol Kuykendall for her essay called Stories: Lost and Found that was featured in the online publication Fullfill Magazine Monday. Through her stories, Ministry Kuykendall helps others find and tell their own stories. The essay is so good. I’m going to share a couple quotes from it.
We all have stories. We all have struggled. We all have had victories in our lives. We all have learned something we can share with someone else to encourage them to keep breathing.
Typical “average” stories have value, as much value as tragic, heart-wrenching ones. The latter are the ones that get made into movies. The former are the ones that often go unnoticed by everyone but the one experiencing it.
And that’s OK.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
It means you need to put it gently away in your memory until it is needed by someone in your life. If we share our stories like throw-away gossip with just anyone, we will begin to doubt our own significance.
In the Book of Matthew, Jesus says, “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”
Pigs will eat anything. They just want to consume. So do some people unfortunately. Your stories are precious but if shared at a wrong time or with the wrong people, they will be thrown out like trash, and the beauty in them will be buried in filth.
But when shared rightly, even the worst of stories have grace to give.
Back in 2000 a single was released by John Michael Montgomery that touched millions, not because of its violence, but because of its grace. It was the song, The Little Girl.
It’s about a little girl whose father drinks and gets violent and whose mom does drugs. The little girl watches TV alone at night while her mom sleeps and her dad goes out.
The parents fight and yell and hit each other. Daily it gets worse. One night the violence takes both her parents’ lives.
And some people from the city took the girl far away
To a new mom and a new dad
Kisses and hugs everyday
Her first day of Sunday school the teacher walked in
And a small little girl
Stared at a picture of Him
She said I know that man up there on that cross
I don’t know His name
But I know He got off
Cause He was there in my old house
And held me close to His side
As I hid there behind our couch
The night that my parents died
I urge you to listen to this song on YouTube. It’s powerful.
So too are our stories.
Kuykendall writes, “When we shape our answers into a story and share it with others, especially those walking a path we’ve already travelled, we become useful in God’s hands.”
Even the most violent of backgrounds can be redeemed.
Even the most horrific of circumstances can be turned into treasure when we let Him wash it clean and use it.
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