How We Tell​ Our Story

Brokenness in our story is powerful. It is painful. It is often for a time, sometimes a very long time, deepest darkness. Then unexpectedly, even our brokenness begins to crumble. We’re in utter disbelief that this is our life. Terror and numbness cycle through our core as we realize even our own brokenness is not rock bottom, but its own crumbling foundation. We stare strangely at ourselves as if we are watching someone else’s life. We rub the crumbles of dust between our fingers, trying to grasp its reality—we are beyond our own repair.

It is here we begin to tell the story of our brokenness.

 

And we sit. We sit for a good, long while before movement stirs. Hope and fear arise, for this is an uncertain evolution. We fear the change because we want to bury our dust, not resurrect it. But resurrection has happened before and with it came the ultimate change, the ultimate salvation, the ultimate unexpected revival. What will the reviving of our dust do to us?

It is here we begin to tell the story of our waiting.

 

What we find in the waiting is what we have been looking for all along; change, growth, redemption. We work so hard to hide our brokenness, to put it to death and never speak of it again thinking this is its purpose, to simply overcome it. Yet redemption urges a far greater purpose— the promise of living hope: being re-named, re-built, used, not cast aside or thrown away. This is healing. Jesus, shifting the dust around us from what it once was, to what it’s going to be—our full goodness and His potent glory. We rise freed, captivated by His love.

It is here where we begin to tell our story of redemption.

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In a generation where brokenness has become a badge of courage to emblazon across our chests, we have begun to forget that naming it, describing it, and sharing it, is not its purpose. Brokenness is meant to be healed. Brokenness is meant to be redeemed. Brokenness is a beginning, not the ending. How we tell about our brokenness will either bridge the path to redemption and healing for others, or it will simply be a good, hard story.

 “Then a leper appeared and went to his knees before Jesus, praying, “Master, if you want to you can heal my body.” Jesus reached out and touched him saying, “I want to. Be clean.” Then and there all signs of the leprosy were gone. Jesus said, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.”

The cue for our own storytelling lies here, Jesus tells the healed leper that his cleansed and grateful life will bear witness to what He has done. Our brokenness will draw attention, but our healing is designed to be a witness bearer for Jesus. There is only one true and complete Healer, and we must learn to share this in a way that boldly reflects the light of that truth.

 

How we view our brokenness will affect how we tell about our healing. How we view the gospel in our brokenness will affect how we teach about redemption through our story. While so many of us are able to fully say, “I have been (spiritually) saved by grace alone,” we struggle to say, “I have been freed from anger, alcohol, foster-care, trauma, hurt…by grace alone.” We tend to recognize that Jesus did something for us, that He was a part of it, but too often Jesus takes the back seat in our stories of healing.

If the primary way we share about our path from brokenness to healing focuses on what we did, or a decision we made, we aren’t offering hope to those still sitting in their brokenness, we are offering worship of ourselves rather than worship of God.You offer hopelessness not healing when your life shouts of your brokenness instead of the quiet life of a cleansed and grateful witness bearer.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “Fake it till you make it,” nor, “Don’t use the tools (books, medicines, exercises, checklists etc.) and people He has given you.” Not at all. But as we are healed, as our brokenness is resurrected and redeemed, the best part of our stories can’t be about how badly broken we were, nor about the good book used to help us, nor the biblical counselor used to teach us. As a witness bearer, we must remain fixed on the God who came to save us. We must fully believe and understand that He is the Healer. No book, no person, no medicine can do what Jesus does. That is why as Jesus followers, our stories of healing must revolve around Him and no other thing. Are the tools and people used in our life a part of our story of healing? Yes, absolutely yes. But they aren’t the center, nor the foundation. The way we tell our story must reflect this!

So begin. Begin practicing sharing your story of redemption as a witness bearer.

How? Well, that’s what we are going to dive into over the next few months on here! So hold tight!

A few practical ideas to start with:

  1. Share your story with a trusted friend who does this well with their own story. If you hear Jesus in their story, ask them, “What do you hear in my story? Do you hear Jesus? If so, where does He stand out the most? If not, where does it show I am pointing to myself or a tool instead of Him?”
  2. Practice! Practice retelling it over and over. Write it out. Record yourself. Share it with someone new.
  3. Ask yourself: Where do you see yourself as the hero? What about God Himself did He use to heal you? What lies did you discover about yourself and God that led too or were a part of your brokenness?

When you can ask and answer questions like these, you aren’t denying the use of tools, or people, but seeing them for what they are, tools, not saviors.

So share your story. We need to hear your story. Don’t fear to tell it. Don’t fear to share it. But practice doing it well. Jesus saved you, be a witness-bearer to how He healed or is healing you by living that quiet and grateful life that points each of us to Him, your Healer. For He is a Healer who heals us with his own blood. He is a Healer whose war cry against evil, and death and sin is redemption!  He is the Healer we are all longing and desperate for. Share Him.

Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

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