Share Your Story!

I love cooking shows, and recently I’ve gotten into “Next Food Network Star,” the unimaginatively named but exciting competition show with a personal Food Network show as the prize. One of the contestants talked frequently about wanting to use his cooking to help others, but he was always vague and didn’t seem to have a clear idea of what he wanted to do or why he wanted to do it – until one day he told the judges that he had been an alcoholic and drug addict, and learning to cook was what brought him out of that dark time and set his life on a better path.

His story changed the way the judges and his fellow competitors perceived him. It shed new light on how his life was progressing and it made them want to come along with him on that journey. The same thing happens when we share our stories about our faith journey.

When we share our stories, we make our faith more real and tangible to others. I can talk plenty about how worship is good and we should do it, and you might listen and agree, but I bet you would be more interested to hear about how I participated in church choir starting in fifth grade and how having the opportunity to glorify God through song kept my faith strong throughout my school years. Having a story behind our beliefs makes them more relatable and provides opportunities for connection, trust, faith, and growth.

In fact, Real Life has always placed high value on telling stories. You’ve probably seen a video or two during church services in which a family who attends Real Life shares how their lives have changed after taking a step of faith or enduring a challenge. At women’s retreat, we make an effort to find powerful stories within our community, rather than from outside speakers, because we believe that sharing our own lived experiences among people we know and trust can have great impact. Above all, we believe everyone has a story and everyone’s story has value.

Now, we want to hear from you! Real Life is celebrating its 10th anniversary this summer, and we’ve seen an amazing amount of life change during those 10 years. As we move into the fall and start our next phase as a church community, we want to hear your stories. We want to hear how your faith has grown. We want to hear how you struggled and, by the grace of God, prevailed. We want to hear about your big miracles and your little, everyday miracles. We want to hear about the times when your life looked great and the times you would’ve preferred nobody see it. In short, we want to hear about your real life! You never know who will be inspired and encouraged by what you have to say.

If you have a story you want to tell, email it to me! We look forward to hearing from you.

Laura

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