Today I met Josh. He has 3 kids, is 35 and works in IT; was I looking at myself?. He wants to tell his story but he doesn't know how or if he’s ready to tell that story. I could tell he wants to use his story to help others. Josh wants to help teenagers at a critical time in their lives. What did I learn from Josh?
You Never Know Who Is Listening
Josh didn’t know who (me) was listening to him or how it might be impactful. You won’t always know how your story is going to help someone and that’s okay. Tell it anyway. Josh was visibly uncomfortable talking to me; something he admitted was hard for him. Even so, he started talking about how he wanted to help teenagers get over depression and deal with thoughts of suicide. It is awesome the way God puts people in your life at just the right time to help you with something that you're going through. For me, Josh was that person.
Others Will Retell Your Story
How many times have you given your child or spouse great advice that goes unheeded? Sometimes our kids can't 'hear' us simply for the fact that we are their parent. We all have a tendency to discount or take for granted the wisdom of those closest to us. That is why your story will be retold. By borrowing the experience and authority of others, we can keep others from taking the information for granted.
You Won't Know All The People You've Helped
Josh might never know that I used his story to help my own daughter who is struggling. I wish he could, because I know it would give him courage to go out and tell his story one more time. That's all you have to do, just tell it one more time. Your story has a ripple effect. It sends reverberations out into the world. There is only one way to measure the impact of your story and that's by not telling it. If you don't tell it you can certainly measure the zero effect it had on the world. If you do tell it, it becomes immeasurable.
This is awesome. And the stuff about how God brings people into our lives to help us with what we're going through? Look up II Corinthians 1:4. What we have suffered gives us pure, authentic empathy for someone else suffering in the same way.