July 27, 2017

Story Sharing

Sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with friend or stranger sounds a bit scary. To make it less so, we are advised to prepare what we would say whenever the opportunity arises. Writing one’s faith story is a powerful experience when done in prayerful partnership with the Holy Spirit. Sometimes the resulting words on paper seem so compelling, the would-be story teller transforms into a would-be author. Or at least dreams about it.

Recently, dreams found paths toward reality at a Writing for Your Life conference in Nashville, Tennessee. More than 100 spiritual writers – some would-be and some already published – gathered like pilgrims at a hallowed place. No candles in this grotto - just inspiration from best-selling authors Barbara Brown Taylor and Rachel Held Evans, and information from other writers, teachers and editors about the craft and business of writing for publication.

Why try? Herschel, who writes daily devotionals for his church, attended to take “a first step in fighting back the fear” of a more personal project: a book of prayers for children.

Jordan, an Early Childhood Education major at Belmont University, came to explore writing professionally. She received “answers to questions I didn’t know I had.”

Donna, a marketing professional from Indiana, is living with the lifelong impact of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS/TEN), a rare, serious allergic reaction affecting the skin and mucous membranes. Profound gratitude inspires her to tell her story, and the stories of others.

Such motivation drives many to write, according to Joanna Bradley, acquisitions editor at Upper Room Books: “Writing and sharing a story is a way of healing and inviting others to heal. People often want to write a book that they wished they had read when they were going through a difficult time.”
Each of us has a unique story to tell that may deliver just the right message for someone else.

Prayerfully pour your heart out over a keyboard or a pad of paper. Whether it’s a paragraph or a trilogy, whether your story involves trauma or joy, loss or success, profound experience with God or unanswered questions about faith – now is the time to share it.