What’s your story?
I get the opportunity to sit one-on-one with a variety of people these days. In newly established relationships, one of my favorite questions to ask is “what’s your story?” As you might imagine, the responses I get to this question vary greatly. A common initial response is “where would you like me to start?” To this, I normally respond, “just whatever comes to mind when I asked.” More often than not, I actually get people opening up and sharing parts of their stories that the average person wouldn’t know as they’ve never really asked with genuine interest.
For me, one of the reasons it is so impactful is that I find encouragement in other peoples journeys. If people are willing to open up a bit, you normally hear them speak of many defining moments in their lives. I often hear about all the successes people have in life. Things such as playing on a state championship football team, achievements in their career, the great works they’re doing for The Kingdom, and the likes. While these are encouraging and great to hear, I’m particularly draw to the one’s who are able to open up and share more of the valleys in their lives.
Clearly, my observations are that the times in the valley are some of the most impactful times in peoples lives. Stories of things like when individuals were in a deep dark place. Things such as a death of a loved one, job lose, divorce, or even an abusive relationship driving them to a place of despair. Then, hearing how that one person or group of people took the time to notice and came alongside them in the journey to help pull them through. Even better are the ones of how they wrestled with God through that part of the journey. Then looking back, how He taught them so much about themselves and what a true, authentic relationship with Christ looks like. Yes, these are the “real” stories that impact me.
“Real” stories coming from people willing to “get real” in their relationship with you. These are the people I enjoy spending time. Candidly, we live in a world where everyone seems to be hiding behind a mask attempting to gain the approval of everyone they cross paths. While I’ll love you all the same, my preference is to be in community with those willing to “get real” and bring full trust, authenticity, and openness to the relationship out of the gate. These people have no issue responding when asked “what’s your story” as they know it’s through the telling of their story that they are a light to this world.
So, next time you sit down to get to know someone, I encourage you to simple ask the question, “what’s your story?” and be prepared to be blessed by their response.