This week has been a week of stories. Telling stories. Hearing stories. Watching stories unfold. And once again, I have been impressed by the power of story to impact lives. The power of a story to point us to Jesus and the things He is calling us to. The power of a story to help us grow in community and understand the hearts of our friends.
I started the week with some stories. After all, I’d been gone nearly a year, and I knew that “How’s Spokane? What’s happening with you?” would be frequent questions. So I thought about it, about what has happened in the last year, in the last months, in the last week. And as I thought about it, my story became clear. God was up to something, and we get to be a part of it in very specific ways.
The questions I’d been asking in the middle of our move found answers in the forming of the events into a story. I was reminded of the questions and I realized many of them had been answered. And as I pondered, I got more excited about the story I had to tell of the last year.
Throughout the week I’ve told the stories of what God is doing again and again as I’ve met various friends. And with each telling, my excitement about the reality of my life has increased. I think they were encouraged also, because I heard many amazing God stories this week. (And yes, there were stories that are still unfinished also, stories that do not yet have a clear ending, stories that have pain and chaos and questions.)
And I realized that it is not only the stories we tell one another that change us, but also the stories we tell ourselves. The ways we interpret what is happening has a significant impact on our response and the eventual outcome. The stories we tell ourselves about our past are part of what determines our future.
And the best part of this story? We get to choose what we tell ourselves. We get to interpret what happens to us in the light of the truth of God, and that choice makes a difference.