A Guest Post by Brenda L. Yoder
We all have a story.
Inside the big story are many stories. It’s what we carry with us. It’s in our DNA, it’s our life experiences, who we’ve become, what we think, and how we see ourselves and the world.
It’s our history.
As a former history teacher, I see things through history, timelines, and personal stories. I process things by asking myself, “What can I learn from a particular experience?” Learning from life, stories, and history is, to me, one of the greatest gifts of humanity.
Your story is history. But as Christians, as children of the omnipotent, omnipresence, sovereign God, your story is not just happenstance.
It’s His Story. God’s story of your life that He ordained all your days before one of them came to be as Psalm 139 tells us.
Let me ask you a question—can you trust God with your story?
I know, you’re scared by that question. There are parts of your story you don’t ever want to revisit. There are parts of your future story you’re afraid to release into God’s hands. But let me tell you the truth:
You can trust God with your story.
There’s nothing you need to hide from Him. Psalm 139 says no matter where you go, no matter where you’ve been, He’s there. He hems you in, behind and before. God sets boundaries around your story.
Why is it important as writers that we honor our story and trust God with it?
Because our story is from where we write. For most of us, our story or parts of our story are what we write about, whether fiction or non-fiction. Our story shapes our perspective, our insight, our passions.
Let me ask you—can you trust God with how He wants to use your story as an influencer with words?
This is what makes Christian writers different from our secular colleagues. Though there’s equal skill, inspiration or creativity, the writer who has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ has the presence of the Holy Spirit in their life. And as you and I surrender our craft, our words, our story to Jesus Christ, He uses it for one purpose, and that is for His glory.
Isaiah 43:7 says God created all of us for His glory.
It’s that simple. What you and I write as a child of God, no matter what venue, has the capacity to reach people in ways you will never know through the power of the Holy Spirit. But it can only happen when we submit our story, our words, our dreams to our Heavenly Father for His glory.
It’s a humbling process. It’s risky. But it’s worth it.
My first published piece was something I didn’t intend to write. But an opportunity was offered to me and I risked putting words to a painful chapter of my story. That magazine article started my professional writing and speaking career.
When you honor your story, you honor God because you allow Him to use your story in whatever way He sees fit as a writer. You are an influencer in this culture with your words. When you merge your story with God’s calling on your life as a writer, you honor both your Creator and the story He’s created.
Here are three principles to learn from trusting God with your story:
- There’s healing when you trust God with your story. When you trust Him with your past, you also can trust him with your future—this includes the stories you write, opportunities, rejections, and success. When you write down your story, even if it’s in a journal, there’s healing. You honor both your story and God when you write it down.
- Learning about God from Scripture gives perspective to your story. Be in God’s Word while you’re penning your own story or writing project. Just as you learn from your story, you learn from God’s story in the Bible. Just as your experiences shape your writing perspective, learning about God’s character from His Word gives perspective to every area of your life, including your writing. As much as you need to read other authors, I urge you to read the Author of all life, words, and story.
- Obedience to God brings blessing. God may prompt you to write something which petrifies you, or He may refrain you from sharing something which may hurt you. He is not disconnected from your gift or calling as a writer. He is the Author of words. As a writer, your words influence. We must hold this knowledge as sacred in the hands of the Almighty. But there’s freedom, security, and safety when you obey God with your words.
God is the Author of your words and of your story. The more you trust Him with your story, each chapter, each line, each verse, the bolder your faith becomes. Why?
Faith is not being sure of what we know; it’s being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Hebrews 11:1).
You can trust God with your story. What is God calling you to do with your story in 2019?
Brenda L. Yoder is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, speaker, author, and life coach. Her new book, Fledge: Launching Your Kids Without Losing Your Mind was released by Herald Press in 2018. She’s authored Balance, Busyness & Not Doing It All and has been featured in The Washington Post and two Chicken Soup for the Soul books. She writes nonfiction for several online magazines and has a mental health column in her local paper. Brenda specializes in faith, life, and family beyond the storybook image. A speaker for women’s groups and youth, she also trains pastors and church leaders on topics relating to faith and mental, behavioral, and emotional health. Brenda is a mom of four and wife of 29 years and lives on a farm in Indiana. You can connect with Brenda at brendayoder.com or on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.
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