The Power of Story
It is not uncommon to follow someone without ever getting to know them. In our social media world, we are often inclined to observe without engaging. I can absorb facts through a scroll that get me no closer to relationship–but temporarily dull the desire for connection. Do you feel that?
The power of sharing our story with others is discovering meaningful connections we may have otherwise missed. We shed light and peel back layers of our authentic selves when we invite others in. Maybe you have been to a funeral where you heard story after story about the life the newly departed once lived. Maybe hearing the stories encouraged you to keep living yours, but maybe the stories left you feeling like too much was left on the table. I have left funerals feeling like there was so much I never knew about someone I thought I did.
To be honest–I am inclined to keep things to myself. It’s not that I am stingy, but my natural bent is toward being quiet. In an effort to be stretched outside my comfort zone, I have decided to share a little fun fact I probably have never shared before.
Here’s a Little Something You Might Not Know
For several years [in the middle of my teaching career], I worked at Upwords, the teaching ministry of Max Lucado. The other employees became family and walked with me as I was raising small children. They reminded me to have fun and exhale in the middle of daily duties.
When I walked into the office one day in 2007, a coworker was bubbling with excitement as she followed me to my office. “Have you seen it?” she asked. To be honest, I had no earthly idea what she was referring to. My day had started off rough with my youngest. He was particular about food, and we had gone to blows on the way to preschool that morning. I was still sorting out my strategy for addressing the situation at pick up when her words landed on me.
Before I had a chance to ponder what I was supposed to have seen already, she held a small book out to me. It was darling, and it was written by none other than Max. This came as no surprise to me because when he had a new work published, we loved to admire it. When you believe in someone, you celebrate that someone. That is what I thought we were doing in that moment.
“That’s a darling cover. I love the illustration.”
“You don’t know. Do you?”
The title of the gift book she held out to me was, “God Thinks You’re Wonderful, Mom!” It had already been a hard morning as a mom. I was knee-deep in shame and negative self-talk that no one else heard. I knew I had blown it in the mothering department that morning and many other times over the years. While I was digesting the fact that I felt just the opposite about myself, hope emerged and pushed back the darkness.
She turned the page to the dedication, and it was then that tears welled up in my eyes. She knew what I did not. As I focused through the tears, I read these words.
Dedicated to John and Alyssa DeLosSantos because you love moms like God does. Huh. I had been so busy loving other moms I had forgotten to extend that same compassion toward myself. The dedication was a sweet surprise and honor, but more than that, it was a reminder to remember that God’s delight isn’t determined by my performance. His love for me extended beyond the morning argument about yogurt. I could trust that then and now.
What is Your Fun Fact?
Sharing stories is about creating connection. In a selfie society, it is fun to see beyond the curtain of what someone might learn on social media. Right?
You know my little book dedication trivia, so now it is your turn! What is a fun fact others may not know about you? Share your fun fact in the comments. I can’t wait to learn something new about you!
Thanks for being here, friend.
If you are interested in hearing more details of my story and how God redeemed a very broken season, check out my book, Broken Vessels.