Sharing Your StoryAuthor: Crystal Ortmann
Everyone has a story, or do they? I ask many people about their life histories and often they respond by saying, “Oh, my life is too boring!” or, “I’m not a writer. I wouldn’t know where or how to begin.”
Well, I am convinced that every person has a story and that story contains valuable life lessons for the coming generations. Younger people don’t always ask or show much interest in the lives of their elders, but that doesn’t mean our stories aren’t important.
As a gift to my young son, my great aunt told her tale to her daughter, who wrote it down. Aunt Emma lived ninety-four years. Her record is a priceless treasure of details from the past as well as lessons she learned. It gives both my son and me a sense of family and connection with those who went before us.
The Bible is very straightforward about the necessity of sharing God’s Word with younger generations. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 says, ‘These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up’ (NASB).
What better way to teach our children, our grandchildren, and those yet to come than by sharing your walk of faith The Bible doesn’t leave out mistakes or sins. It is real and transparent, giving hope and direction to those reading it now and in the future.
You become real to your family members when you share your life-story. Maybe your life was pretty bad before you accepted Christ as your Savior. Include that part. You don’t have to go into gory detail, but you still can show how Christ helped you to overcome even the most messed-up life.
I write notes in my Bible; they are a history of my faith walk. I wish I could be around to see my descendants when they read my Bible and I become a real person to them.
God’s Word is a record of many life-stories and is designed to help us turn to Him for help. We can glean encouragement and faith from it. We can learn from it and try to avoid making those same mistakes. It is a love letter to all who will ever read it.
Your story is just as crucial to your family members. Let them get to know you–the real you.
I interviewed several seniors in my community and each had something interesting and inspiring to share. They didn’t think their lives were worthy to write about. They were wrong. I was enriched writing their stories, and reading them in our local newspaper enriched others.
If the thought of putting your finger to the keyboard (computer) or typing is too much, then think about recording your information on a cassette. You may even want to videotape it, then it will be a literal picture of you, showing how you look, what your voice sounds like, and how you felt about God, family, and life in general.
Don’t deny the coming generations what you have learned. Long after you are gone, your written or taped word will live on. Share your story for their sake.