Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Christmas Story

"What's your story?" someone asked recently.

It's a common question, especially among adults. However, the stories I love to hear come from teens. Stories of life and family and relationships. Stories of faith. Many times those stories make me cry. Sometimes I want to "fix" the problems or challenges that teens face, but I realize that I can't. I can only encourage, pray, and walk with them as they live out their stories.

Our pastor is preaching a series on Christmas.

"Tell your story every day," he said. "Let this be your gift to Him."

My story? Your story?

How powerful is one person's story?

Very powerful. . .

Recently someone read my story on my website at http://realteenfaith.com. They lifted it and shared it in a newsletter. Now to most writers, that's called copyright infringment, but this is the scoop: My story is on the web so that others might be encouraged to know God.

I knew the story was circulating somewhere in cyberspace because emails started trickling in, and then the flood broke. I received stories from N. Africa and W. Africa and S. Africa, and then it hopped the ocean to circulate among another continent, and then it jumped back to the U.S. as two to three more newsletters picked it up and shared it.

Again, as a writer, if I were really focused on payment, I could have asked people to stop taking my story without permission, but God showed me a long time ago that my writing could never be about money. Do I get paid? Absolutely. I'm paid well and I love writing and there are times that copyright is very important and that people don't plagurize, etc. blah, blah, blah. . .

But this was different. It was people who were excited about what God could do in the life of an ordinary person. How he could help her find forgiveness for those who hurt her in the past. How he reached past a hardened, broken heart to reveal himself. How he showed her destiny when she couldn't see past her faults and weaknesses. How today she is still running after the Savior and delights in who she is through Him.

One little story traveled around the world and I received hundreds of emails from people hungry to know God. Some read like this:

"I am sitting at my desk and tears are running down my face as I read your story. Is this God? Could he possibly want to do the same thing in my life that he did in your's? Will you pray with me so that I can also know this God?"

I was humbled, amazed, in tears over and over again as I watched how God could take a simple story and open the door for relationship and purpose with others as they began their own journey of faith.

What is your story? Who is God to you? What does it mean to be intimate with the God that breathed the universe into existence?

In just a few days we celebrate a very special day. Whether that day is the original birth day or not is irrelevent, really. Because every day is a day to know God and to share your story. But perhaps you and I can celebrate the spirit of Christmas by sharing our stories every day between now and the 25th.


Because there are thousands and thousands of people who are waiting to hear. . .

Suzie Eller
http://realteenfaith.com (click on Suzie's story)

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