Amy Carroll » Sharing Deeply » Sharing Your Story

Sharing Your Story

When I was in third grade, one of my favorite teachers took us to a story-telling festival on the grounds surrounding the capitol building in Raleigh. I sat cross-legged and starry-eyed, enthralled as master storytellers wove tails of adventure, love and mystery. Even today I’m passionate about stories and the power they hold.

You have a story, and it’s powerful.

It’s so easy to move through our busy lives with a by-the-seat-of-our-pants mentality that makes the details blurry and the moments of wonder transitory, but if you live as a believer in Jesus, you are a piece of a much bigger story. It’s a story that has all the elements of the ancient stories that hold our hearts–adventure, love and mystery.

whats-your-story

Busyness is just one thing that keeps us from recognizing the beauty of our life’s story. Sometimes it’s a feeling of unworthiness or thinking nobody cares about our story. Occasionally feelings of shame or a desire to hide our past are reasons our stories get tucked away and locked up. Often, we simply don’t tell our amazing story because we’ve never done it before and wouldn’t know where to start.

Your story is worth telling, and it has the power to change lives.

Several years ago, an event coordinator asked me if I could use the communication skills I teach to speakers to teach women to share their God-story in their every day life. Shockingly, I had never even considered that possibility. As I thought through it, though, I realized what a genius idea she had! I loved teaching her receptive women, and we did a follow-up workshop that allowed them to implement and practice sharing with each other.

For the month of September, I’m going to do a series here about using the stories of God’s work in your life to share His power with others. I’ll include video of my story too, so you’ll have a visual of the principles. I hope it will be fun and help you feel more at ease sharing God with the people in your sphere of influence.

Is there anything that keeps you from sharing your story? Do you have any questions that you’d like for me to tackle in this series? I’m definitely not an expert, but I’m a resource junkie. If I don’t have an answer, I’ll hunt one down for you! 🙂

 

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13 Comments

  1. I think pride keeps me from sharing my story a lot of the time. I am ashamed to tell people that I am currently fighting for my freedom from anorexia and that my story isn’t all that “holy” sounding. I was fighting it in high school but I never turned to God. The eating disorder never went away and came out again last year when I was a college freshman. Now, I declare it dead and myself: alive in Christ. But it’s a daily battle and pride often drive me to isolation and shame. But it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free so I’m committing to a life of transparency. After all, the world doesn’t care much about our witness when everything’s going well. It watches and takes notice when we are challenged and face trials. That’s the story I’m sharing: how Christ is in the midst of healing me!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Hannah, your comment made me tear up. I’m standing in your corner cheering you on, girl!!

      I think you make a really good point. For a long time, I argued that we need to tell our stories from a place of healing. Sometimes I still believe that should be true like when you’re protecting your marriage, etc. But I’ve come to see that sometimes it’s the right thing to do to tell your story while you’re still in the battle, before it’s tied up with a pretty pink bow. I believe that your story will have a victorious ending, but not every story ends that way. One of the most powerful stories that has shaped my heart involves my friend Linda who died from an aggressive form of breast cancer. Would I rather tell the story with Linda living in the end? Of course. Yet God is still in the midst of the story of our friendship, and I was forever changed by her life. Her story lives on.

      Declare God’s goodness in the midst of your struggle, Hannah! You’re not alone. Hugs to you.

  2. Amy, what a great idea! Although I coach storytelling and also give live seminars on the subject, I am not as adept at telling my “God/Jesus” story as I would like to be! This sounds like a great series. I am looking forward to it. Please add me to your list!

  3. Well, I am 49 yrs. old, was mostly shy all of my life and still am in certain environments. I have never thought a lot of myself although when people find out about that, they are surprised that I am that way. I did come out of my shell during a time within the last 4 yrs. when God convicted me to put on His armor and help lead a fight for His word during a battle over what our church’s national governing body was allowing within the church. After a long fight, without the support of our church’s pastor, about 35-40 of us took a leap of faith and left our church home and all the memories of weddings, baptisms, etc. of many years to start our own church which now preaches the 100% Word of God and we have been blessed in so many ways, by HIm, for taking that leap of faith!

    May you all feel that courage to put on the armor of God and stand up for HIs Word and experience the blessings that follow!

    Thanks be to God!

  4. Amy Carroll says:

    Rhonda emailed this to me today and gave me permission to share:

    I look forward to you exploring this topic. Since you asked, one of the struggles I have is that I feel I don’t have much of a story. I grew up in the church, was basically a “good-girl” who didn’t rebel and at 45 years old I lead a normal life in the suburbs with my family. Now I know I’m not perfect and of course I struggle with all sorts of things, but I’m wondering what your perspective is on telling your story when it is not a dramatic conversion or one of “adventure, love and mystery”. One of my best friends was a crack addict, homeless and did all sorts of sordid things to feed her addiction and then one day Jesus grabbed a hold of her and by his grace she was saved and has been clean for 14 years. Now THAT’s a story. Mine….not so much of a page turner.

    I’m grateful to God for the protection I have received and I don’t want to seem that I crave a drama filled life. I am so glad that I have been spared the difficult road to Jesus that many have walked. That said, I would be interested in you exploring this topic in a future article. I want to reach out to people at work but doing so seems to require a good story and I don’t feel like I have that to share.

    Thank you for listening. I enjoy reading your blog. Have a great day. –Rhonda

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      My story is so much like Rhonda’s, so I hope you’ll hang in there if you’re a “recovering good girl” too. We have powerful stories too–I promise I’ll prove it!

  5. {Kathy} I always struggle with knowing what stories people would actually enjoy hearing. I know I sometimes get bored when people go on and on……When do you get a sense of what would really jive with folks?

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      In this little series, I’m going to focus on how to weave God naturally into a short story (3 minutes or so)to be more conversational. That takes some thought and discipline for this girl who LOVES to talk!

  6. Martha T. says:

    I think that this will be a very timely series! One thing that gets in my way of sharing is that the persons I want to share with are my family and I don’t want to have them get upset with me.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I completely understand! I’m mostly going to focus on how to make our God stories more a part of natural conversation, so I hope it will be something that makes it more comfortable to “share as you go”.

  7. I am looking forward to this. One thing that keeps me from sharing is I don’t always know how or where to start.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Me too, Kathi! There’s a great book I’ll share that has helped me a lot with this.

  8. Looking forward to this series, Amy.

    I do not have any questions right now but if I do I will let reach out to you.

    Have a beautiful day!

    Thank you.