Your Story Can Impact Someone
Ever feel like you have nothing worthwhile to say? Nothing to contribute? Like no one listens or cares when you talk? Do you have a hard time believing your story can impact someone?
I’ve heard so many elaborate stories over the years from people who are so much more entertaining than me. People who can captivate any crowd of any size. Whether it’s a casual conversation about what they ate for dinner last night or a sermon in a stadium full of thousands, they just know how to capture the audience.
That’s not me.
It’s not that I feel completely worthless, I just never feel like my story or my experiences are exciting enough.
Even just in writing this post, I’m struggling to know what to say or how to say it. I’m questioning if anyone will actually read it. I’m second-guessing if I should even publish it. What’s the point?
This is nothing new for me though.
At some point during this post, I’m sure some of you out there might be tempted to get frustrated, annoyed, or even mad at me. “Who does this guy think he is?!” “Stop bragging already, Matt!” “It must be nice to be in your perfect little Christian bubble!”
Please know that none of that is my intention here. I am not trying to paint this perfect perception of me. I’m by no means perfect and I’m not trying to say I am nor do I want anyone to think I am.
PLEASE READ ON WITH THIS IN MIND!
My whole life I remember growing up in church and hearing dramatic, heart-wrenching stories from people who had been through so much in life. People who were addicted to countless substances. Joined a gang by the time they were 11 and barely made it out alive. Stole. Fought. Killed! But then one day, they found God. They encountered Jesus in a real, authentic way. They hit rock bottom and had nothing left to turn to but God. They met Him, and their life radically changed. A 180-degree turn was an understatement for where they had come from to where they are now.
I remember hearing these testimonies as I sat there quietly in church. Such amazing stories! But let’s be honest, 90% of those stories probably happened to those guys while I was sitting in a pew or learning about David and Goliath for the 50th time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m super grateful for my upbringing. I love God! My relationship with Him is incredibly strong to this day and I wouldn’t want it any other way. But I never really went through any crazy things. Sure, I lied sometimes (and regrettably still do sometimes). Yea, I even probably stole some baseball cards or bubble gum or something at one point. But all in all, I was a “good” kid.
I didn’t have a testimony. My story can’t impact anyone.
I had nothing life-changing or emotionally engaging to tell people about. I couldn’t relate to drug dealers, murderers, or rapists. I hadn’t been through any crazy life experiences like that. I couldn’t even relate to the victims; the people who were stolen from, abused, raped, abandoned, etc. Nothing like that has ever happened to me.
To this day, 30-something years later, I still can’t say that my testimony would bring some sort of earth-shattering revelation or supernatural breakthrough to a drug addict or stripper. My life has been good. Safe. Secure. Not filled with a whole lot of deep heartbreak or loss or terrible choices. Heck, I mean, I’ve never even tasted a sip of alcohol for Pete’s sake! lol How could I possibly witness to or create an engaging conversation with someone far from God? An atheist? Agnostic? Even just a skeptic? I frequently don’t even have enough confidence in myself to small talk a stranger, let alone cultivate some sort of engaging, life-altering conversation! I don’t have any relatable story to convince them of God. Even if I did, I don’t know that I’d be able to communicate it in a way that would impact them at all. I’m not the best storyteller. I’m not the best with words. Yes, I live by the Bible. Yes, I believe it. I drink all the Jesus Kool-Aid! lol How could I reach someone without a testimony? But then one day it clicked…
That IS my testimony!!
I remember thinking to myself, “Hey, Mager, maybe your story CAN impact someone!”
Perhaps this is your testimony too. Maybe you know someone in my shoes. There are millions of other people out there just like me. Millions of boys growing up in a safe home. Raised in church. Not the best speaker or most outgoing kid on the bus.
Millions of men who have managed to walk through life without a whole lot of pain or difficulties. Who, when faced with decisions that could’ve led them down the wrong path, made the right choices.
I can relate.
That’s the cool thing. My story, as simple and boring as it may be, is the exact thing that someone else in my shoes can relate to. When I get up and speak, or play guitar in worship in front of hundreds of people, or write blog posts like this for the whole internet to read (and judge me for), there are bound to be other guys out there that can relate. There have to be at least a few people out there that are impacted (or will be someday) by what I’m allowing God to do and speak through me. Just taking the step of faith and (awkwardly) speaking out allows God to move through me and reach a whole group of people that may not be reached any other way.
The big, fancy stories may be just as entertaining and tear-jerking for Joe at the baptist church down around the corner, but just like me, it might make him feel like his clean, little life couldn’t possibly impact anyone else. No, Joe! Your story CAN impact someone. Someone out there NEEDS to hear your story. Someone out there needs to see you awkwardly step out so that he or she can relate to you too. That little bit of faith might just be enough to give them the confidence they need to step out in God’s calling for them as well!
Everyone has their own circle of influence. There are tons of people you know that I will never know. Tons of people that see your Facebook posts or see how you interact with your girlfriend or wife or kids. One little baby step of confidence. One step of faith. One act of allowing God to use you. That may be all it takes to reach that next person for Him.
It’s like one of those old sales pyramid schemes. If every person you have contact with hears or sees you do something for Christ, there is bound to be some who are then encouraged to do the same. As they step out, the people in their life see and hear their faith. It’s an endless cycle (pyramid) that is truly one of the most effective ways of reaching the world with this wonderful message of Jesus.
Regardless of your lack of interesting and dangerous past, you still have a story. You still have a testimony. My story is simple, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be impactful. I have a God who has been by my side ever since I first asked Him to guide me through this life. If that’s your experience then your story can impact someone too!
You can relate to someone too. You matter to someone. Your story matters. You can and will make a difference to someone. You just have to put yourself out there. You don’t have to be the world’s next best speaker. You just have to let God use you. To speak through you. You won’t impact everyone. No one can do that. You can’t be everything for everyone, but you can be something for someone.
Whether your story involves illegal crimes and near-death experiences or church every Sunday and weekly Bible studies (or you land somewhere in between), your story can impact someone!
Take it from a guy who hates being the center of attention. A guy who doesn’t want the microphone or the spotlight. Take it from someone who has never felt like his story was powerful enough to transform anyone’s life.
It’s not about me. It’s not about my story! Good or bad. Intense or boring. Qualified or unqualified. What you have or haven’t been through isn’t the point. It’s about what you let God do with it. How you let God use it. How you let God use you! You don’t have to be a good speaker to speak. Look at Moses for goodness sakes (Exodus 4)!
God doesn’t want your ability, He wants your availability. He’ll do the rest. Plus, that’s where He receives the most glory anyway.
UPDATE: For more on this, head over to my newest post all about feeling unqualified, but discovering what that really means.
We’re Matt and Dayna. Life Enthusiasts in the pursuit of a life enriched in God’s sustaining grace, empowering others to pursue the same. Two very imperfect people who wake up with bad breath, have days (sometimes weeks) of losing our patience, modeling to the world, each other, and our children, a life that points to Christ through our imperfection.
Most days you can find us chasing after our little heartbeats, Luella and Chase (4&2) This dynamic duo plays a big part in the heart behind The Pause Pursuit; a ministry empowering couples and families to slow down to pursue God and each other. In a media-saturated world, the comparison game is real, but so is real life. The Pause Pursuit is a safe place that combines the two. Where real life meets the sustaining power and pursuit of a real Jesus.
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