January 9, 2018

Everyone has a story! Some of us have several, depending on our age. I enjoy telling some stories, while others are hidden deep inside and only exposed for those I truly trust. I remember my mother’s warning, “Don’t air the dirty laundry!”

Over the years, I’ve discovered that “dirty laundry” can sometimes benefit others. I recently had breakfast with a new friend, who was telling me about her years of drug addiction, and 10 years of sobriety! She gave all the credit to God, who healed her from the inside out! Her story was fascinating, as she described her journey to wholeness. She’d known the darkness of addiction, and had discovered the God who could lead her to His light! Her new life in Christ is a beautiful one, full of possibilities for the future.

Another friend shared about the grief of losing a child. He spoke of “empty arms”, and how he longed to hold his child one more time. This father lamented the dreams that wouldn’t be fulfilled. But then he spoke of the beauty they’d shared, and how God’s Spirit had radiated from the little boy, even as an infant (we know this happens, as evidenced in the life of John the Baptist in Luke 1:15.) This child had brought so much joy to his family. The few years of deep love they’d experienced were worth every tear!

Another friend shared with me that she and her husband had been in an accident, and he’d lost his life. As the survivor, she’d felt a tremendous amount of guilt, in addition to the grief. She’d been overcome with memories and emotions, and even quit her job and moved. But God, didn’t stop there! She’d experienced His love in many ways in her new life; He’d sent exactly the people she needed to help heal her heart. Years later, she’s moved forward, and filled with a beauty that radiates from her! She’s a blessing to others because God’s love is so evident in her life.

When I met these fellow believers, I didn’t know their stories. In fact, I wouldn’t have guessed that they’d had such experiences. God prompted each of them to “tell their story”, and my life was blessed from hearing them. My faith is increased because I’ve heard how God doesn’t fail!

What’s your story? Maybe you don’t think you have one, but ask yourself, “How has God made me whole?” Before Jesus departed this earth, His final commandment was “Go and make disciples!” (Matthew 28:19-20)   When God wants you to share, He’ll give you an audience, and He’ll prompt you to speak. You need only to listen, trust and obey!

Susan Easttom, Director of Family Ministry