Back in the Fall of 2018, Kevin Huggins of Fellowship Church spoke in our worship service about the importance of storytelling in the life of the believer. As one who enjoys writing, this of course piqued my interest, but really I had never stopped to consider how important storytelling is to our testimony as Christ-followers. Just the idea of “storytelling” conjures up images of us all gathered round a campfire or on our mats in preschool ready for someone to spin a good yarn. But once I rid myself of those mental snapshots, and long after the sermon was over, I took some time to truly consider the story that God is writing in my own life, the story that I can tell.
Human history as we know it came to us from an oral tradition that was solidified in writing. The facts and figures you studied in history class were essentially the documentation of our story, carefully written, examined, and clarified over thousands of years. So in that sense, storytelling is crucial to who we are on the most basic human level. I do wonder though how that has changed with the coming of the digital and social media ages. Stories and information are submitted at lightning speed, and we try to digest it just as fast, no doubt with the accompanying indigestion. We’re given little or no time to truly examine a story, since the rebuttal is not far behind. Within the last 40 years, have we lost the ability to tell our stories in a lasting and meaningful way as our ancestors did all those millennia before us? Are we doomed to repeatedly post meaningful events or stories that are rendered meaningless by yet another tidal wave of other similar posts, flooding that small moment of our heart’s exposure? How can we tell our stories the way we need to, the way we were designed to?
I don’t have a solid answer to that, for you at least, and probably not for myself either. This is one of those subjects that will take much time to explore and even more to unravel. But for me at least, what you’re reading now, and the platform that holds it, is my attempt at beginning to answer. You see, for some time I was mulling over ways I could begin to write, or rather, reasons to do so. But that reason finally solidified after listening to Kevin’s message. One of his main points was that, by telling our stories, we communicate to others about how God has worked in our lives in the past, as a reminder for ourselves and an encouragement to others.
Especially our children.
In the weeks that followed I watched in amazement as our first child began to transform Laura into a walking incubator. As I was both amused and fascinated, I began to realize that this child, this new life that shared half my DNA, was the “why” to my storytelling. Here was the reason to stop mulling and start typing. I want him or her (that will be our final surprise) to know my story of how God has led me, taught me, disciplined me, and strengthened me over the years. No doubt my goal is to speak and model that to our child, but to have it in writing, to take the time to examine and clarify those crucial points, will serve as a foundation upon which to build our family’s story. I want my story to become our story.
So that’s how this blog was born. But to be clear, it’s not just for us, but for all of you too. Many of you have an abundance of experience and wisdom in building a family, and I look forward absorbing as much of that as I can. That’s my challenge to you – I want to hear your stories too. Your stories of how God has worked in your life will also challenge me as a husband and father. Maybe now we can begin to see the deep importance of storytelling, for in it we all remind one another of God’s amazing grace and our desperate need for it in every aspect of our lives.