Stories

Stories.

We all have one. Each of us is carefully crafting our narrative with every breath we take. Our lives form the tapestry of a grand adventure; countless tales simply waiting to be told.

But to us, our stories aren’t adventurous, they’re not even worth telling. Years of crumbling expectations and shattered dreams have taught us that life is nothing like we imagined it would be, not even close.

So we set our minds on cruise control as we wander through the wasteland of our lives. We go through the motions each day, hoping that somehow, someway, we could experience something more.

Because deep down, we’ve bought into the lie that we’re not enough.

Have you ever thought that? Be honest. I know I have. We believe that we’re not enough because we don’t think our story is compelling.

Sure we post our meals on Instagram, and share our best photos with our “friends.” But inside we feel empty, because we know it’s all a lie. We put our best on show for the world to see, while inside we’re struggling to recognize who we really are.

But I would argue that your story is compelling. In fact, it’s one of a kind. Your story matters, because you matter. And that’s pretty great news.

Each of us believes some story about ourselves. We’re all writing one with our lives that has an opportunity to impact those around us. The problem is that you and I don’t always like our story.

Because it’s messy.

It’s broken.

It’s shameful.

It’s lonely.

And that’s OK. It’s OK because everyone has a story. And everyone has a chance to change the ending.

You see. It’s not over. Even when you think it is, YOU matter. You are one in 7 billion, and the world needs YOUR story. There’s always a chance to change the ending.

There’s a story in Scripture that has impacted people for centuries. It’s a story about Jesus, and his response to a woman who found herself ashamed of her past. (I was a pastor for 8 years so these stories are in my blood.)

It’s found in the book of John chapter 8. Jesus is at the temple, where He’s quickly surrounded by a mob who casts a naked woman down in front of Him.

This woman was caught in adultery. Like in the very act of adultery. Can you even imagine what was going through her mind at this moment?

Shame.

Fear.

Regret.

Disgust.

This was the absolute worst day of her life. She had royally screwed up, and everyone knew it. Her story was nothing like she imagined it would be. Not even close.

And as these men throw her down in front of Jesus, they ask Him what they should do. Now, the Law stated that anyone caught in adultery was to be stoned. Killed. On the spot. Executed.

And these men were trying to see if this Rabbi, Jesus would obey the Law. But Jesus ignores them for as long as He can, and simply responds by saying that the person with no sin should throw the first stone.

Ouch.

Dead silence. No one said a word. One by one they started backing away, stones falling from their hands.

And Jesus looks at this woman, terrified and humiliated, and He doesn’t condemn her. He offers her a chance to change the ending.

“Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” John 8:10-11

Go and sin no more.

Change the ending to your story.

It’s not over. In fact, it’s only just begun.

For you and I storytellers. Our lives offer hope to those without it. Our experiences and failures show those around us that they’re not alone.

You are not alone.

Your story matters; and even though it’s messy, there’s always a chance to change the ending.