Your Story is a Treasureby Cynthia Jennings on March 3, 2021
As a child most of us remember stories beginning with “once upon a time.” Everybody loves a good story, but not everybody loves their own story. We have mistakes piled high like weeks old laundry. Shame constantly whispers, “if only they knew.” Tear stained faces and memories with spots worn thin from rubbing a mental eraser over words that won’t go away. Images we’ve tried to cross out instead they stand out and taunt us. Yes, we’ve all got them—unwanted pages of our story.
For most of us, it’s not the whole of our stories that we don’t like, just certain parts. Our tragedies, traumas, and too dark to tell memories may be different but the pain is the same.
I used to cringe at the thought of telling parts of my story. “If only they knew”, my shame would whisper.
I don’t know the difficulties you’ve been through, but I do know your story doesn’t end at your difficulty. There’s more to be written. God is dipping his pen into the ink, writing your story and mine into His larger story. God turns broken stories into beautiful compositions and unwanted pages into stunning narratives of victory. This is a truth I know from personal experience.
Although, I must admit my resistance to sharing parts of my story was real. During my resistance I often heard God ask, “do you want others to think well of you or to think well of Me?” So, I hesitantly surrendered to God’s gently prodding and began sharing my story with women about a very sensitive issue I thought was only unique to me. After surrendering to God’s will, I began to see a harvest of redemption amongst many women, including myself. He transformed my childhood trauma and dark memories into a grace infused peaceful adulthood.
Every redemptive story, like a raw seed can’t realize its potential until it’s planted in the heart of another person. Just like a plant born of a seed will become a plant that bears more seed.
One day Jesus told a parable to a group of listeners. This particular parable is known as the Parable of the Talents. But I like to look at it as the parable of three choices. This parable talks about a man going on a journey and entrusting his servants with property. He who had received five talents went at once and traded them, and he made five talents more. Another was given two talents, and he made two more talents. But he who received one talent went and buried the one talent in the ground (Matthew 25:14-18).
When the master returned home, he was pleased with the two servants who had invested and doubled their talents. The master praised them by saying “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:23). But he was furious with the servant who buried his one talent in the ground because of fear.
As I read this parable, I see Jesus teaching us about more than investing money. He was demonstrating what God expects us to do with what He has entrusted us in every area of life. We can plant what He give us and watch it grow, or we can bury it out of fear and walk away.
None of us are proud of certain parts of our story and at times you may feel that you wasted part of your life because of past trauma, failure or fear of your story. But the greater waste would be not telling what you learned (sharing your story) from past trauma, failure or fear. How God turned that trauma into triumph. How he turned you around in spite of your failure and how God drew you in when you pushed Him away due to fear and shame. Don’t allow the enemy to trick you into burying your talents (story) thus causing you to lose out on investments (God’s glory).
It’s amazing that God can take our darkest chapters and turn them into our greatest victories! Beauty can come from our marred and tattered stories. Immense light can emerge from our darkest and desperate days. It wasn’t until I turned the broken pieces of my life over to God that He showed me how to have a better story.
Are you willing to say yes to God and share your story of redemption? The opportunity to share your story could happen anywhere, and you never know when your smallest investment will multiply in another heart.
PEARLStoPONDER: God never intends for us to say stuck in our past pain. He longs to heal the broken place and fill the empty spaces. Allow your story to be someone else’s treasure
Isaiah 44:22-- I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you
Isaiah 61:1-- The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
Psalm 111:9-- He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!Galatians 2:20-- I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.