I don’t know your story.
Maybe it’s one of pain, twists and unexpected turns. Maybe it’s all roses and sparkles. Most likely it’s a combination of the two – joy and pain all mingled together. Your stories could include things that are too painful for you to speak of, hurts and fears realized. Perhaps your stories speak redemption, grace uncovered. Are your stories about overcoming, fiercely battling disease and poverty and limitations? Or do the stories your life has written reveal dreams unfulfilled and passions unrecognized?
Some stories are specific, all dates and numbers, beginnings and ends. Other stories are more foggy, their authors wading through as they untangle parts and pieces that have gotten jumbled together. Once in a while a story will get buried, and then emerge with force and change us. Sometimes a story lives in its best version right at the front of our heart until we see that it actually doesn’t have to be such a big part of who we are.
I may not know your story, but there is One who does.
Not only does He know it, inside out, uglies and all, but He wrote it. He is writing it. And though parts are painful, antagonists quarrel and heroes fall and plots thicken, He writes on and there is freedom in knowing the Author, even if we are unfamiliar with the way our story is unfolding.
For the Lord is the Spirit,
and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT)
Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand!
Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
Galatians 5:1 (MSG)
In my distress I prayed to the Lord,
and the Lord answered me and set me free.
Psalm 118:5 (NLT)
For the last six weeks, nearly 2,000 women have been gathering online, sharing their hearts and stories with one another in small groups. They encourage each other, grieve together, share ideas, celebrate with, and pray for one another. These women have decided that there is freedom in their stories because they know the One who is writing theirs. Some of their stories are sad and could be defeating, but instead of living in defeat they choose glory and share it with others. And in the sharing of their words, another soul is released from isolation within their own story.
This – this partnering of paths, this intentional encouragement, this writing and reading and praying – this is how they are finding freedom, no matter what their story is.
In community, they are finding freedom.
In sharing their stories, they are finding freedom.
And in their own stories, they are finding freedom.
I don’t know yours, but He knows each and every story ever told.
We are concluding our spring session of (in)couragers community groups! Dates for the fall session are still being determined – to be the first to know about registration, sign up for the (in)couragers newsletter here. In the meantime, we’d love to hear your stories of community, friendship, and how you’ve found freedom in your story. Won’t you share with us? Link-up a post below, or join the conversation in the comments!