Share Your Story

Share Your Story

3 Reasons You Need to Share Your Story

Scared Stories has been occupying our little corner of the web for 9 months. During those 9 months, I have been blown away by the incredible God-stories that have been featured in this space. People have gathered around the stories of others and God has been glorified. Some stories are hard but end nice and neatly. Others are stories of celebration and gratitude. Still, others are raw and honest, often 'ending' without a nice resolution all wrapped up with a bow (don't tell, but those are my favorite kind). Each and every story shared has been a courageous one. We've declared that "Your Story Matters" and championed the "Me too!" moments. We've breathed deep and brave as we've stepped out to share our experiences or read the words of another that seem to come straight from the pages of our own journals.

But why do we do this? What is the point of sharing? Even if it matters, how do we do it?

The Big "Why?"

We love stories. From the time we are children to our adult lives (hello, insta-stories) we are drawn to stories, to a word-window into the lives & experiences of other humans. Research has shown that stories trigger specific emotions because they initiate the release of hormones that incite feelings of closeness and empathy. In other words, they allow us to feel connected to one another. When we feel connected, studies suggest that we are more open to change and far more receptive to the thoughts and perceptions of others. This why marketers work so hard to make products and companies personal. Connection can trigger change.

If stories help us feel connected and connection has the power to influence our receptiveness to change, it seems safe to say that we possess a significant amount of influence. Our stories hold the potential to inspire others to life change in one way or another.  They bring glory to God and build others up as they walk their own journey. They provide hope and perspective.  When we share our unique and powerful stories, others ultimately realize they aren't alone. They are inspired to seek Jesus, connect with others, and embrace their own unique story. Sometimes, it's just what they need to keep going.

The "Me Too!" Moment

It's easy to forget that while encouraging others is an essential component of why we should share our stories, the "me too" moment isn't one-sided. Both the sharer and the receiver often experience the hope, joy, and relief this brings. When we hear the story of others, we learn that we aren't alone, but this is also something those who are sharing can experience as well.

It takes courage to share your story. Whether victory or trial, a story that's been resolved or one you are still living, it can be scary to put your heart into words and release it into the hands of others. We each know all too well the danger that comes from sharing with unsafe people. Vulnerability and honesty are risky. You might get hurt, you might get rejected, you might get ridiculed. Share often enough, and you almost certainly will. But what also might happen is that your act of courage will reveal to you that YOU aren't alone. That there are others like you out there who have walked a similar road or are currently on a path not unlike yours. You will find that the isolation you've experienced evaporates with the choir of "me too's" and that the wilderness isn't as uncharted as you once thought. You are reminded of the faithfulness of God to sustain you as you watch the heads nodding in silent understanding. You may still feel lonely. But you will learn that you are never alone.



When we share our stories, we are reminded of great truths. We are reminded that while our story seems huge to us, we are playing a part in a much grander story of the God of the universe and His unending love for people. We aren't the main character-Jesus is. We are reminded as others respond to our story that we aren't alone. When we are walking through the wilderness, it's good to know you aren't the only one out there...even if it feels like you are. Our deeply rooted belief in our need for God and the truth of his Word is confirmed as we reflect on our story so far. When we step back from our own experience we are able to notice the hand of God and the thread of the Gospel woven into each moment.


We determined that stories are uniquely positioned to inspire change. When we hear the stories of others and are firing all of the "feel good" hormones, we are more receptive to new thoughts & ideas. Hearing your story may just have the ability to provide new insight or understanding into an experience or perspective that the hearer would otherwise know nothing of. This experience can increase empathy and help reduce hurtful or destructive beliefs about others. Even if not intentional, we all have thoughts, beliefs, and ideas about other people groups and their experiences that could change if simply we were open to learning. Hearing stories can increase one's awareness of themselves and of others.

This same hearing can also increase one's awareness of Jesus in his or her life. While hearing a story of God's faithfulness we get new eyes, even if only for a moment. We begin to recognize the hand of God because we were able to see it in the story of someone else. Your story, whether you know it or not, it ridden with evidence of God's goodness. Sharing it could help you see that goodness while it simultaneously helps someone else do the same.
Our deeply rooted belief in our need for God and the truth of His Word is confirmed as we hear the stories of God's faithfulness to others and begin to notice his hand in our story, as well.

It takes courage to share our stories when we feel isolated or afraid. But sharing provides the opportunity to have someone shout out from the darkness or from the nearest mountain top "hey! I've been there, too!," "praise God! Let's celebrate!"  or "you're not here alone. I'm walking through this hard space, too." This experience can provide hope & strength for the next step for you, as well as those who hear your story. Let's share our stories together.


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