Live Your God-Glory Story Well
“Only God can write a story that resonates not just in the power of the imagination or the heart or the mind, but in the very soul.” Jared C. Wilson
“Every day, in everything we do and experience, we are busy hearing, seeing, and telling stories. Human beings are storytellers because God himself is the greatest storyteller. He is the gracious narrator of the most excellent story ever told: Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection for the life of the world.” Samuel P. Schuldheisz
James 3:1 “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.”
Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I Timothy 1:4 “Nor to devote yourselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardships from God that is by faith.”
John 1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, free of grace and truth.”
Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instructions, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”
Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.”
Joel 1:3 “Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
I have always considered myself a storyteller, telling stories verbally or writing them for others to read. I just love telling stories.
I remember as a little girl how much I loved Show and Tell time in school. I loved bringing in items and standing in front of the class to share the story of how I found this item or how it changed my life in some way. I remember in third grade bringing my new baby sister to school for Show and Tell, well actually my mother brought her to school but she brought her so I could Show and Tell my class about my new baby sister, JoAnne. I was so excited to share the story of how she was born 9 years after me and how my daddy, sister, and brother sat at a local restaurant the morning she was born and came up with her name. I would share stories about bringing her home and suddenly I realized I was not the baby of the family anymore, and I was not so sure I liked having a baby sister.
I remember as a little girl being the first one in the neighborhood to welcome new neighbors so I could share stories with them about my family or things that happened on our street. I was known as the ‘Welcoming Committee”, never met a stranger. I just wanted to talk to everyone and tell stories about life.
As time passed, my love for storytelling continued and became an integral part of my classroom. I loved telling personal stories to my students because it helped them see me as someone like them; someone who made mistakes, cried, laughed, and got angry. Storytelling in the classroom became second nature, especially when I was telling my ‘Patrick stories’. My son, Patrick, seemed to always create situations that developed into life learning stories. One of my favorite Patrick stories to tell was about the time we were at the mall, and he got lost. He was about 4 years old, and it was just the two of us on a shopping trip to the mall. He got lost, but he was not just lost for a few minutes. Those minutes turned into hours, and a very scared mommy. Patrick will tell you that he knew where he was the whole time, he just did not tell me where he was going or what he was doing. As a result, security guards and local police were involved, and if I correctly remember the local TV station came to the mall. His daddy left work and came to help us look. Long story short, Patrick was fascinated with the mannequins in stores. So, he decided to go look around the store at the displays, and eventually made his way to the back of the store where there were several displays of family sets of mannequins. Patrick was pretending to be a member of the families. He would go from one set to the other, hold hands with either the mother or father mannequin and stand still for long periods of time. Eventually, an employee realized what he was doing and that he had been there a long time. He came and found me and asked me to please follow him to the back of the store. That was when I found Patrick, standing there with his little hands in the hands of the two mannequins, standing still and being quiet. When I told this story to my students, I would usually get a lot of giggles, and some shocked silence, and then always the question, “Well, Mrs. Murrell, what did you do when you found him?’ Lots of life learning examples in that story, and a great way to show my students the personal side of me and my family. Storytelling would also open the doors for them to share stories with me and their fellow students. A great way for building community in the classroom.
Then several years ago I was given the incredible opportunity to share my story of “How Love Changed my Life” with the ‘Storytellers Project’ in front of a live audience. I love telling my story any chance I get but standing in front of a live audience was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, but it also gave me a chance to share how God brought two loves into my life.
Recently, though I have been thinking about the most incredible storyteller of all time and thinking about the story He writes of my life, of all our lives. God is the Master Storyteller. Just look at all the stories He has written and directed since the beginning, since His creation story. Each one of us, and those that came before us, and those that will come after us are characters in His story. What an honor!
Learning to trust God to write my story is not always easy. Having faith in the plot twists I have encountered along the way is difficult, even challenging at times; but that is what faith is! Stepping out and following the ups and downs, the twists as well as the straight, easy paths is what faith in God is all about. Romans 10:17 tells us, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ.” Christ’s words, His storytelling is where we place our faith. For Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God writes the story for each of us. He writes the plot twists knowing that each twist and turn is meant to help us grow in our faith in Him. Each twist and turn help to shape us into the servants He wants us to be.
God wrote my story beginning with my parents coming together after WWII with a strong Christian foundation and a beautiful love for each other. He wrote the stories of each of them and the lives they experienced before they met, knowing that He had plans for the two of them to come together and grow this family. He wrote the stories of my siblings, knowing what their futures held, and knowing as they walked through the paths he had set before them that they would become the adults they are today, and that the twists and turns they each went through would strengthen their faith in Him.
Our lives are God written and illustrated. Each day he writes from sunrise to sunset what we will experience, and He writes it with such beauty and artistry that nothing else compares to His work as an author and illustrator. He is the Master! God is the author, director, and publisher of our stories. Without Him we would not exist. Our stories would never have started without God has the creator and author. How incredible is that – the fact that He loves us so much that He wanted each one of us to be a part of His incredible story.
In the moments of sadness, anger, frustrations, and fears it is hard for us to remember that He is the author. Yet, when we do remember that He is writing the story, it is easier to have faith and trust Him to know the outcome. We need to remember that what we see now, at this moment, is NOT the whole story. If we could see what God sees and know what He knows our hearts would be at peace, our faith in God would carry us through those moments.
When my first husband was killed in the helicopter crash in 1987, there were many moments that I could not imagine a future without him. I could not fathom where my son and I would go, or what we would do. But now I see I was too busy, and my vision was too cloudy living in those seconds of fear and anger, and not resting in the knowledge that God was writing the story. God knew the whole story; He still knows the whole story because He is the incredible author and illustrator of my story. In Him I will have faith. Each dark and sad moment in life, is part of His story. Our faith strengthens through each one of those moments. That is our testimony for others to see!
Through the twists and turns, the ups and downs, the sunshine days, and the stormy days, whatever comes our way, it is up to us to live our God-glory stories well! Our reactions to the stories He writes for our lives are the evidence of our faith and trust in Him. Our reactions serve as a witness to God’s glory for others to see. Putting your faith into action speaks louder than just saying I have faith in God, we must live that faith in every word and action we take. God writes the story, and we need to show others we have faith in the story He has written for each of us.
What is your story? How do you live the story God has written for you? I would love to hear your stories.
God is Good! He is all-knowing, faithful, and loving. He is an incredible author! We can trust Him to write our stories!