Just the other night I sat down to do a journal activity. I began by writing at the top of the page “God, what’s one thing you want to help me with this week?” Then I sat in silence for a few moments and began to let myself write what I heard him saying. He responded with:
Your story is not anyone else’s story. I have not forgotten you or one moment of your story…You are my daughter and I delight in your moments.
I often struggle with my own story. Many of my gifts feel boring. As I sit and listen to other people tell their stories, my life feels mundane and plain. I hear people tell of the wild things they did in their youth and mine seems lame. I find myself shying away from joining in when friends are recounting fun things that happened because I feel I can’t compare. I then shut myself down.
But as I sat there and listened to the Father tell me he delights in my moments, He showed me myself from his perspective. In all of my moments, whether it was crocheting, making a spreadsheet, or obsessing over some new topic and digging up every piece of info on the internet I can find, my heart was flooded with this feeling of His adoration. It wasn’t the big moments of accomplishment that he showed me. It wasn’t the emotional moments he showed me. It was the everyday moments when I was just being me.
It can be so easy to compare our stories to other people’s. But there is so much more to your story than you know. Comparing your story to someone else’s only kills true connection. Maybe your experience seems less exciting, or maybe it’s more painful. But it’s your story. There are things that happened to you that are not okay. There are things that happened that are amazing, and things that are just plain boring. But each of these moments are the building blocks of your experience.
As I have been walking this journey of emotionally healthy spirituality, I’m learning to cherish my story. I’m learning to grieve my story where it needs to be grieved. I’m learning to celebrate my story. I’m learning to share my story without apology. And I am continually asking Jesus where he was in each moment of my story, letting him renew my memories.
The crazy thing is this has given me so much more capacity to empathize, enjoy, or be present with other people’s stories. Remember what I said earlier, comparison kills connection. When we are focusing on how we can compare, compete, and one-up a story we are not connecting with the person who is sharing with us. If we are feeling shame about our own stories we cannot engage with others as they share their story.
Your story is precious. Ask Jesus what he thinks about your story and let him show you His perspective. You will probably be surprised by the moments he shows you.