Why We Need Story in Our Lives

Whatever our story, we long for a connection. 

But some of us have learned to hide our story deep, to bury it with false smiles or walls built thick with self-reliance and skill and instagrams of spotless floors and blue skies.

Sometimes we skirt wide paths by those who come close like a skittish creature afraid of all touch.

Some of us have learned that to connect means to be in community.

And sometimes we learn that community stinks.

Community can plunge us into rumors and jealousies and knives plunged deep while we face the other way.

Community can pile judgments and offenses and burdens onto sagging shoulders as  legalism   wrenches  sockets out of their right place in the body.

Sometimes community means trials and temperaments and people who are awkward and say the wrong thing or rub your nerves  till they unravel like frayed cord.

Sometimes community means doing all the work and watching someone else take the credit.

Sometimes community means taking the rocks thrown at you and paving the way to forgiveness.

Sometimes community sucks.

And sometimes we stave off the connection by making sure none of our story ever finds it place in this world.

Because to know and be known has been too much or nothing at all.  And if we share our story all the above will happen, has happened, could happen and that’s a big risk to take.

But sometimes we are brave.

Sometimes we trust with tentative steps and believe that the icky parts of community pale in relation to the connection in the body that only God can bring. And that His story is the one that binds us all in grace and makes the connection whole. And we are made whole out of broken parts and pieced together by one story.  

Sometimes we risk it all because we do long to be known. To be seen and still loved not just in spite of our story but because of it.

Some of us are bold and have chosen joy, chosen to get back up and try again. To follow the lead of one who was abused by His community to the piercing of flesh, and the pouring out of His very life, and to the constant rejection of even the most trivial of commands.  Sometime we choose to fling ourselves into the fray and claim that our story is one worth being told.

Even if you’ve never told a single soul your whole story, you know it word by word. You know the narrative that plays inside you.

We are made by The Word and they flow out of us or stay welled up inside  but they are there, woven through our lives. Words and story. 

So tell your story, someone needs to hear it, maybe even you. 


  1. says

    huh. This is the third blog this morning telling me to tell my story. Hate when that happens because I feel as though perhaps I should be listening more closely. :)

    Because I do end up reluctant to share. Not necessarily from fear of judgement, but because there are parts that are sad but the feel like my own personal treasure. Now, that sounds weird. We had a son born with a heart defect who only lived for nine weeks. And there is so much pain there and so much life-changing truth but also so much preciousness. Mary “hiding all these things in her heart” has new meaning for me. Sometimes there are things that just want to stay hidden in my heart. Not because they are scared to come out, but because there is something sweet and good about precious private memories.

    But as I read people’s encouragements to share I am willing to consider the value of sharing my story as well. Probably not in its entirety, but a portion of it.

    • Alia Joy says

      Janice, I am so sorry for your loss and I can see how those moments and memories that make up your story are precious to you. In the telling of your story there are always parts that we choose to leave out, and that can be a wise choice. I don’t share everything personal in this space, there are things that are private and meant to be that way. I think that what you share is something you should pray about. When I am encouraging people to connect in community and share the hard and the real, I am urging people to move out of that space of fear or hurt. In telling our stories we do connect over pain, It helps to know we’re not the only one who have been through that kind of anguish but with everything we have to use wisdom in what God is wanting us to share and when. There are things I share here that I couldn’t have shared 10 years ago. It was/is a process of God giving me words and telling me when.

      Thanks so much for sharing even a little bit of your story here. Blessed by your desire to serve Him fully.


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