“Narcissist”. The word stuck in my mind, but it didn’t make any sense. These were people I trusted. Why was the word being used to describe me? Suddenly it all made sense to me. They weren’t trying to help me. They were simply afraid of my story. Honestly, there is someone incredibly afraid of your story, too.
Running down the quiet, rural roads of Brentwood, New Hampshire, I know. When I am absorbing the scriptures and praying for God’s guidance, I understand what he wants me to do. I know where this path leads, but getting there is tougher than I thought. There are some who won’t like what I have to say when they read this, but I think being honest is pretty important. I don’t think I can call myself a follower of Jesus and not have a legitimate story. You have one, too, but yours looks nothing like mine.
Let me back up, though, and let’s work through this thought together. There are many who say just go forward and obey. Don’t write about it, just do it. They might say, “Thad, your story isn’t so important, but God’s story is important. Focusing on your own story is pretty narcissistic.”
I once had someone refer to me in such terms. It was a few years ago, and I used to look up to this man. It was actually in this moment I began to understand how evil and judgmental folks can be at times. I say it is evil because gossip and being unkind are sins straight from Hell itself, as is being judgmental in assessing the motives of another without even asking them.
This is why I want to be devastatingly frank with all of you when I say this – your story is incredibly important! Don’t ever let anyone tell you “You’re just another person among seven billion others, so who would care about you?” This is a colossal problem in our world and in the church today. Too often we are encouraged to live out a fake, downtrodden humility, conforming to the same idiotic patterns the devil himself wants us to believe. While we should be shouting from the rooftops the stories of God’s goodness and grace in our lives, we’re stuck silent while being drowned out by the craziness and negativity you see in the media and on social media around us. Instead of hearing about how God has blessed you, and how you experienced God’s grace in overcoming a trial, we’re all sitting around waiting for the next bizarre story to capture our interests. How about something hopeful and uplifting? How about something that will inspire others? You never know who needs to hear your story, so don’t let the devil or anyone doing his bidding tell you to shut up.
God is good. He helps me when I pray on the long runs, and clears my head of all the junk it gets washed up in. He lets me know he has given me two gifts to pursue right now, running and writing. So, when I am quiet. When I am obedient. When I am down on my face on the floor of my living room asking God to give this fool a clue of how to honor him in the short time I have here, this is where it all seems to end up.
When I write, I share the stories of God’s love and goodness in a world that’s pretty tough sometimes. When I run, I live out the story of overcoming the challenges we face, and learn and relearn how to fight for something. All of this mixed together is my story, the story of God’s love and the story of how together, God and I overcame the great trials now behind me. As I live out the blessings I have in this life today, I understand it is all because of His grace and goodness. I know everything can change in a heartbeat, as it did for me a few years ago. And as I finish the book “Colossal” I come to terms with my story and other’s stories that inspired me to write this book all within the vast beauty of God’s grace and freedom.
I meant what I said. Don’t let anybody shut you up. Stand up tall and share something inspiring and beautiful today. Speak from the heart, speak the truth, and do it in a way that connects us to Jesus and the glorious freedom we can all discover in Him. At the beginning of this post, there is a picture I took a few days ago of a rainbow. It’s actually a double rainbow and if you look closely, you can see it. Do you know why I added this picture? Because God tells us this is his covenant between himself and mankind, and it’s a covenant of a new day, and of his love and protection. What a great story, and if God is willing to place a colorful rainbow in the sky to remind you of his commitment to you, don’t you think it’s time for you to share your story, too? Isn’t this the example God has given us, to freely and loudly override the volumes of negativity in this world with our stories of Him? Yes. I think it definitely is. God is for you, my friends. But we don’t know what he has done, is doing, and will be doing if you don’t tell us.