My Life's Stories
Inspired by the testimonies of others and the invitation given to me a few weeks ago to share my own, I have created this space on my blog to share My Story. Here is the introduction and an invitation to read along as I share My Life's Stories to give a Testimony of God's Goodness. Along the way, I hope you will also be inspired and equipped to start recording your story.
The Call to Remember
There is great power in remembering. There can also come great hurt in remembering. Why do we forget some moments and remember others? Why should we work to never forget somethings and also work at forgetting others? In what ways is our faith impacted by our ability to remember?
Before I set before you the first part of My Story, I hope to inspire you to consider the power that awaits your soul when you choose to see remembering as a spiritual act of worship. An act that isn't optional, but instead a command with a promise. An act of worship that will woo your heart to believe again, hope again, trust again, and delight in a heavenly Father who pursues your admiration through the ways he has predestined your story to speak of his glory and love.
I don't know if you are like me--forgetful! I get frustrated with my inability to remember things. I forget my grocery lists at home. I forget to make dentist appointments. Sometimes I even forget to put on deodorant. This forgetfulness also finds its way into my life of faith. I get particularly frustrated when I forget to remember who God is, who I am, and how the people and circumstances he puts in my life transform me. And that his sovereign love has redeemed all the moments of all my days.
This obstacle of forgetfulness is not a new struggle for humanity. The story of the Israelites found Joshua 4 shows us that God knows that his people have a hard time remembering his love and provision for them. It also shows that the stories of his love and provision are to be passed from generation to generation, and that we are to build up “stones of remembrance” for ourselves and those who will come after us to remind us of the times God has been highly inventive in changing our circumstances or our hearts. Because he knows we will forget, he commands that we set up physical reminders.
What then does it look like for you and me to apply this command to our lives?
I don’t know that 12 stones stacked in a pile is the answer. But it might be for those of you who are into landscaping. For me, the first step is taking the time to force myself to remember and reflect. I am a runner and a mom of four, so the best place for me to do this is either out on the road or with a cup of coffee prior to my kids waking in the morning. Being silent before the Lord lets him take my thoughts and soul on little mini journeys down memory lane. The second step is setting aside time periodically to write down a few of the thousands of thoughts that have gone through my head during my minutes of running and morning stillness. Most recently, it has been forcing myself out of bed before dawn to write the story of my life into "stones" that reflect pivotal moments in my life but more importantly reveal the hand of a mighty God being in control of it all.
In order to set up these "stones" of My Story in an efficient and effective format, I have adapted each them to fit some of the Pixar Storytelling rules. This was so fun! I highly recommend it. Using this predetermined format helped me organize my ideas, and also helped me to stay true to focussing on ending each part of my story with a truth about who God is.
As you read the "stones" of my testimony, my greatest desire is that you see bits and pieces of the following:
There is great power in remembering, even the hardest of experiences hold within them a truth that could set another person's soul free to believe God is who he says he is. When we take the time to remember our past, we open the door of insight. We extend an invitation to the Holy Spirit to come in and turn our soul's eyes toward all that we have been given in Christ. In the looking back and recording of our stories we just might discover evidence we haven't seen before of God's faithfulness, pursuit, and promises. The result will likely impact both our present and our future by ushering in new hope, unexplainable peace, and unshakeable trust in God's sovereignty over our lives.
Jaclyn is a wife, mom, educator, visionary, and avid runner who uses her writing to pick up and examine life, culture, faith and running, probing to discover the awe of God who is sovereign over it all. Join her on her journey at jaclynloween.com. She is a firm believer in the powerful, effectiveness of the body of Christ united together to live out theGreat Commission. Because we are stronger, healthier and lovelier when living on mission together, she desires to help others know their unique design and purpose for such a time as this.