I’m in the middle of a story and it comes to me in fits and starts. Sometimes it just rolls along, unnoticed and then sometimes it seems to suddenly drop out from under my feet.
I don’t have a testimony for this story. Not yet.
You know how, in some churches, the preacher will ask for someone – anyone – to give a testimony? And someone will rise to their feet and lean with two hands on the seat in front of them, or walk to the front of the church where there’s a microphone and they will tell their story. Start to finish. Beginning, middle, and end. A complete and total story.
I’m still in the middle of this story, and what I’ve got is hope.
Because I’ve sat in churches and listened to the testimonies that others had to tell. I’ve even had complete and total stories of my own to tell in days gone by.
And I’ve heard your stories…your beginnings, your middles, and your ends. You tell us about courage and joy and strength and your stories offer hope.
Do you know that? Do you know that your words give hope? Do you know the gift you offer when you tell your story? When you write it down, or type it out, or dip your head and offer words of hope into a microphone at the front of the church, or over the phone, or across the table over a cup of tea?
When you tell your story, your voice starts out soft and then it grows in strength along the way as words get strung together – one after the other – and then are fastened together like the “Amen” at the end of a prayer…
Your words shine.
Solid. Finished. Precious and good.
You stand tall. Your testimony sparkles there – draped around your neck. The going through has made you stronger. Your getting through gives hope.
I’m in the middle of a story and it comes to me in fits and starts. Your stories keep me going. Your stories keep me hoping. I put them in my back pocket and tuck them into my purse and press them into my heart along the way.
No one can tell your story like you can. No one knows the truth of it like you do. No one knows better how much we need to hear your story than those of us who are right in the middle of our own.
So, what story of hope do you have to tell?
What stories have you pressed into your own heart along the way?
by Deidra, writing regularly at jumping tandem
Leave a Comment
Michelle Franklin says
I’m in the middle right now myself and I thank you for this reminder. I pray one day I will have a whole story to tell, that I will get through this seemingly endless trial and begin to tell my story.
for the last 18 months i have worked part time supporting a family of 4…some how the bills get paid each month…and the end of that story is now coming into view…
If we are still breathing, our story is still in process. I wrote down my story-thus far-and shared at a ladies event at our church this Spring. My story is a journey. The packing list keeps changing. God shows me what to hold on to, what to get rid of, and sometimes I listen quickly, other times I don’t hear so well. One thing I know: He is Faithful!
My life is a work in progress. Some seasons I feel the growth so strongly and other seasons I feel the barrenness of my walk with God. I read this quote this morning and thought how appropriate it is to my current season with God.
“Perhaps one reason God delays His answers to our prayers is because He knows we need to be with Him far more than we need the things we ask of Him.”
I realize that during this season in my life I NEED FAR MORE than I need anything else.
I’m in the middle of a faith-walk right now. Waiting. Trusting. Hoping. Praying.
I’m sure compared to some, my walk is insignificant. Still, for me it is frustrating, and some days makes me weary. When will God answer? I don’t know. But He does. And so I remain faithful, knowing that he is at work even when we don’t see it. Jeremiah 29:11 says “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord”. Thank goodness I can rest in his assurance. I can stop trying so hard, and let him work. And I can look for encouragement from others along the way, and hopefully offer encouragement as well! Keep praying-he is waiting to bless you!
God is teaching me so much about trusting Him. Here’s a post I recently wrote on my blog about depending on God as He stretches my faith and encourages me to grow:
I am in the middle of my story. I have no clue where we are going. No clue what He has written. All I have is the hope of things to come. A promise written with the blood of His son, Jesus. There is rejoicing in what lies behind and joy knowing that what was will somehow fit with what is and is to come.
St. John of the Cross says that the reason for obscurity in our faith walk is to keep us safe, so we do not stumble because we think we know where we are going.
I’m trusting the story He is writing…
Cat G. says
I am in the middle of my story too. I have spent too much time waiting around for “someday”. I have faith that God will set me on the path I need to be on if I will just let Him. That’s been the issue for too long, I haven’t let Him
Michelle DeRusha @ Graceful says
I like this Deidra — a message of hope and inspiration! I feel like yelling, “Yeah, baby!”
I’m in the middle, too — or perhaps even at the beginning…some days feel like the first day, if you know what I mean. But one foot in front of the other…
I think perhaps we are always somewhere in the middle of our faith story . . . it changes and grows with us as we change and grow. I remember a test of faith in 2000. My mom was in an abusive nursing home situation in TN, and I knew I had to move her closer to me as my brothers weren’t watching. The first question I asked God: “How can I care for this woman with whom I have only a struggling relationship, this woman who verbally abused me all my life, this woman I call mother and love because she is my mother but I don’t like her?” A wonderful woman of faith, my gyn, pointed me in the right direction and said, “You have to trust Him once again.” So, I did. Mom lived another 10 months in OR near us in a convalescent facility. During that time, through His grace, our feelings for one another healed in silence — no words were ever spoken of the past. If that isn’t moving through life with faith, I can’t think what is.
Marilyn Yocum says
I type posts
and don’t hit ‘publish’
that need a home
don’t seem to fit anywhere else
and yet are important.
we don’t know
if we are
beginning, middle or end
but the key
is to start telling.
Start right where we are.
You’re encouragement, precious.
Thank you, Deidra.
Kelly Langner Sauer says
You remind me of that passage in Philippians, what Paul said about shining like stars in the universe… beautiful, wonderful, encouraging post, Deidre – from someone who is very much in the middle of a story…
Melissa | Madabella: made beautiful says
My theme for this year is new beginnings… I felt so much like this year was a year of starting over… But God showed me how His new beginnings are just turning each page of the story He’s already written in me… I’m not starting over, I just moving forward, following the bends and curves in the road, heading toward the Highway of Holiness God spoke of in Isaiah 62…
beautiful post, Deidra!
So many little ones unfolding into a bigger one that I’m still in the midst of…
Currently grasping and holding onto peace that passes understanding and experiencing real joy while walking through grief and anxiety and the everyday stresses of life..and letting all these things coexist in one little life 🙂
My heart goes out to Anna above… I know how it feels to think maybe what we’re going through doesn’t matter much. But like you shared today, and Emily shared yesterday at http://www.marydemuth.com, even the mundane stories are full of God. Those thin places where we can see His shadow through the veil of our experience. I’m in one right now. Hubby lost his job. Not much to say there since lots of people are in that place. But it’s stretching me. It scares me when I look at my 4 girls and wonder where we’re headed. And I’m choosing to look forward to the whole story – beginning, middle and end. Thanks for the great reminder!
From the beginning of my journey with anorexia:
Measuring up/ IfeelsoFAT
ED speaks to me while I drive to work:
There are three people at church who are smaller than
There is one teacher at school who is smaller than
Twenty-two of the fifty girls you teach are smaller than
Your twin sister is smaller than
You’ll have to work harder to
I can workout this afternoon while
Hank is practicing
Chris is out of town so
he won’t know if I don’t
And if the kids ask about it
I’ll tell them I’m going to eat
After I workout
He’ll be gone for the week
so I think I could maybe lose five more pounds
Everything jiggles when I walk
My fingers are plump, pink sausages, ready to burst
From the end:
I praise you because
I am fearfully and wonderfully
Your works are wonderful
I know that full
I believe this
Today I praise God for setting my feet on solid ground!
Anna See says
Amen Kendal! Wow!
The journey I’m on right now is hitting 40 and feeling restless and not very good at much of what I try. I feel disconnected to God, my husband, and others.
Stories have such power–I firmly believe this. i am finding that my stories overlap and at the same time I am at the end of one, the middle of another and the beginning of one I can barely sense right now.
HOPE. We cannot underestimate it’s power.
Thanks for sharing your story when you are still in the middle. Sometimes we think that we only get to share at then end…cause then we can help others. Sharing in the middle is a great hope-giver.
Beth Werner Lee says
I love to tell the story of unseen things above, of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love…
There are so many good stories. I want to tell the ones that point to Jesus. In some ways my married life was like Persephone until I had a daughter after 11 years of marriage, and that’s where I had to discover that I was only being what those I loved wanted me to be when I was with them. Now I am trying to please God, and love people with his love. He is restoring my heart especially this summer.
Belinda Burston says
I loved the image of the testimony sparkling around the kneck of the one testifying. What great encouragement to keep telling the stories that are the stuff of our lives.
The weekly roundup 8/20/2010 | Dannie Speaks says
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