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We love to tell a Story

“What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events affect us.”  ― Rabih Alameddine,

Two stories - One reality.

Have you ever seen two people experience the exact same thing and come away with totally different perspectives of what happened?  Just look at the winning team of the Super Bowl in contrast to the losing team. To one team, it’s the greatest day of their life; to the other team, it is the worst day of their life.

Like in The Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”. Depending on how people saw the events of that period in their lives, their story was either good or bad.

There is what happened, and THEN what we tell ourselves happened.

Whenever we experience something, we process that experience by putting it into a story that we later tell ourselves. We are all storytellers. This is how we were created. We think in stories, and that’s why when people ask us “What is your story?”, we already have a re-edited version based on our present experiences and journey.

These stories we construct fill in the blanks of our uncertainty, our fears, and our doubts about what happened and put things into some kind of manageable narrative.

Why stories are important.

“What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events affect us.”  ― Rabih Alameddine,

What’s wrong with stories?  

Absolutely nothing as long as you are telling yourself the right stories and not idealistic fantasies.  Our ability to imagine is a God-given gift, but even the most beautiful of endowments can become twisted into misshapen delusions.  

Scott Gornto has confirmed this by saying that many of our anxieties and problems in relationships all stem from a single place: “The stories we tell ourselves”.

We love to tell ourselves stories because fiction is a lot easier to live with than facts. Perhaps this is how legends are born, by simple facts that through many years and countless revisions from faulty memories become iconic tales.

We become the story we tell ourselves.

The story we tell ourselves about our life experiences can become as powerful as reality even to the point where they influence our identity.

In the story we write, we may cast ourselves as a hero who constantly tries to conquer life challenges, a victim at the mercy of life, a hopeless orphan who fears rejection, a princess waiting to be rescued, or an outraged citizen who wants justice. Our story can be one of fear, anger, confusion, etc.

“We filter the future and edit the past to fit our preferred narrative.” Scott. H. Young

The point is this: God has given us the ability to write a story we later tell ourselves, but what we end up writing is often unreliable and idealistic, something that eventually seeks to bend our life to fit an unrealistic script.

Know Who Is Telling The Story.

It is comforting to know that there is a story much greater than my own. There is my story, and there is God’s story. My story began the day I was born, God’s story began when the universe was created. My story changes with the wind, God’s story never changes.

Becoming the story God tells.

Embracing God’s story is more than dismantling mental strongholds and vain imaginations the Bible speaks of - It is embracing God’s overarching story. God’s story in a nutshell is this:  He created us to walk with Him, we fell as a race and were separated from Him, Jesus came to reunite us with Him forever. In between the two “Edens” lives the life and death struggle to get there. God doesn’t promise a painless journey, but He does promise to those who trust Him that He will work out “all things for good”. When we understand this larger story, it helps give context to all the smaller stories that happen to us because we are able to see God’s redemptive hand in the process. God’s bigger story helps us to see that pain is not pointless when placed in His hands.

When you try to make sense of things in your own mind, you create a speculative untruth that brings you into fear and bondage. The word of God (Where His story is told) helps us to separate fact from fiction bringing our story into alignment with God’s. This means not “leaning on your own understanding”, but God’s.

 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BEGIN TELLING YOURSELF GOD’S STORY?

You exchange wounds for scars. 

Pain is not some random pointless tragedy that happens upon us. And even if the pain has no explanation, because of the overall story of God, we know that He brings good out of suffering. He recycles our pain into something with which we can help others who are broken.

You find comfort in knowing how the story ends. (Spoiler alert – redemption wins)

“The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God” Revelation 11:15

There is a real future beyond the daily fictional story we are tempted to believe. The beauty of God story is that you cannot rewrite it. From Genesis to Revelation, the beginning and the ending have already been written.

It is a fact that our inner voice will never stop manufacturing stories. It is an inherent part of our creation, but by God’s grace, we can choose to embrace His story for us.