Updated: Nov 14, 2022
I've had this topic idea since December but have been neglecting to write about it. Why? A part of me still struggles with the significance of my story. However; after my pastor mentioned it in his sermon, I became compelled once again. He preached upon the great commission which is found at the end of Matthew (the first book of the new testament). Our job as Christ followers is to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples. When I heard these eight words come from the pulpit, "Everyone's story can be used to make disciples," I knew it was time to stop avoiding this blog.
Yes, people have been telling me for years that I can use my story to share the truth of Jesus with people but for some reason with those exact words it finally clicked. You see, I don't have some radical story about how I was saved from an addiction or never heard a sermon until late in life or even a "past" part of my story at all. From the time I can remember Jesus loved me, was there for me, and was apart of my everyday life. I vaguely recall a time where my mom helped me pray to ask Jesus into my heart and I remember when I was baptized. But there was no living without Christ. As I got older, I became very aware that most people have a "past." Every conference, youth event, testimony shared, even people I look up to had some kind of life story before coming to know Jesus.
It was super hard to relate to kids in school because they all knew life without going to church and never read their Bible but I would bring scripture on a note card and be repeating it all day. As I became more and more aware of how different I was from everyone else, I decided that it was time to start "blending in." Well that equated to me listening to main stream music and saying a bad word here and there but my note card remained..... Needless to say I was still different. When I reached teen years I was compelled to give my future over to Christ in the way of becoming a full time missionary. If I wasn't already super strange, that was the icing on the cake. The sprinkles appeared after I had my first "boyfriend" and refused to kiss him because I was waiting for marriage/becoming engaged. Then girls started mentioning how "good" I was. I became even more left out because the good girl couldn't hear what so and so was doing with insert boys name last night. Becoming even more irritated and angry I did not have some "past" to share I just kept to my Christian friends, embraced who I was, and continued to share/show Jesus's love. You would think after you decided to go to a private christian college you would begin to feel apart of something and that your so called story wasn't so weird but of course that was not the case. Every year I lived on the hall girls would find me so odd. Again I was annoyed and angry.
Looking back now, I find it amusing that I felt so left out, so irritated, so angry about not fitting in or having a "past." It's not about your past or what sin God redeemed you from as you accepted Him into your life. The whole reason we have stories to share is to make God's name great and give Him glory. He doesn't need a radical past to bring light and redemption into your life. Is that not what He does daily? The reason we need God is because we are not good enough on our own, but with and through Him we are made good forever. The flesh inside us is still very real but now, because of Jesus, we are able to say no to sin, to the bad things we desire, and say yes to fruitful living. The reason everyone's story can be used to make disciples is because our stories are not just made up of the so called past but the present and future too. Therefore, no matter if you have a "past" or not, you always have what God is doing within you now and what He does in the future.
No matter if your "past" was radical or not God is redeeming, growing, molding, mending, and forming you more and more to look like Jesus. This is the story people see and want to hear. It's always good to know where someone came from but what is most important is how God brings you closer and closer towards Himself. So whatever your story sounds like, looks like, or even smells like remember, "Everyone's story can be used to make disciples." The real issue is not what your story is but whether you are sharing it or not.