The year was 2009. Our band had been invited to do a worship concert at the Mens Prison in Kingman, AZ. As soon as the guards opened the doors to the hall the room flooded with men in their prison orange. It had been decided that at the end of our worship we would each introduce ourselves and give a quick testimony. I would go last and then introduce the chaplain. One by one our band members gave attention grabbing testimonies of how God had delivered them from abuse, addictions, habits, etc. , some ”me too” stories the inmates related to. Then came my turn. How could my story compete with theirs? I lived a relatively boring and sheltered life in comparison. As an athlete I had never dabbled much in drugs or alcohol. I didn’t have a story of some miraculous spiritual conversion being pulled into the light from the dark. I had been raised in a Christian home by two Godly parents. I was in church whenever there was a service. We were insulated from from drugs, sexy, alcohol, pornography and any other temptation common to teens. I was never allowed to go down that path. Boring. Or was it.
It dawned on me, that was my story. I was spared the pain of hangovers, withdrawals, unwanted children. I was raised in the knowledge of Christ-it is all I’ve ever known. That was my testimony, the grace of God over my life due to parents who prayed over me from my infancy, so that’s the story I told. It must have been good because when I tried to turn it over to the chaplain, he told me to keep going and I delivered an impromptu sermon on salvation and hope that resonated with the inmates. Many of them responded to the invitation to accept Christ. My story mattered.
Don’t ever feel that God can’t use your history, colorful or boring, to change the life of someone who can relate. God chose 12 men to be his apostles. Some were hated, some had reputations and others no one knew. This group of different stories turned the world upside down as they shared with anyone who would listen. I believe God puts people in our path with similar backgrounds that want to hear what we have to say about Christ and his mercy which covers all of us.
What’s your story? Would it make a great movie or a funny gif file? Praise God for stories of redemption and restoration, for marvelous life-changing transformations and for parents who protected their children from the pain and consequences of bad choices. Your story matters; tell it as He urges.