Goins, Writer

On Writing, Ideas, and Making a Difference

Everyone Has a Story to Tell

My dad introduced me to storytelling. When I was a kid, every night he would tell me an anecdote from his childhood. I was fascinated with the tales of him and his friend Marty, causing some kind of mischief.

Everyone has a story to tell

Photo credit: Steph Connors

I remember saying at one point, “Dad, you have some great stories. I’ll never have stories as good as yours.”

But would laugh and then reply confidently, “Sure you will. You’ll have even better stories that you’ll tell to your son.” He reminded me that everyone has a story to tell; they just don’t always realize it.

I wondered if it could be true, that I would one day have stories better than my dad’s. With his tales of UFO sightings and Walter Payton autographs, it seemed unlikely.

My first big story

It was my freshmen year of college when the theme of storytelling re-emerged in my life. My dad gave me a journal on my 19th birthday, encouraging me to fill it with rich stories. And that I did.

After a girl broke off an engagement to date me and my whole fraternity went up in arms over the issue — all within two weeks before the beginning of summer break — a friend pointed out, “Dude, you gotta write that down. It’s a great story.”

Maybe it wasn’t the most moral or inspirational piece of life experience I could ever share with my offspring, but the guy had a point: It was one heck of a story.

Over the next couple years, I realized something:

Around every corner is a story waiting to be told. And people are longing to hear it. (Click here to tweet that.)

The power of stories

Nothing is so warm and inviting, yet so challenging and poignant, as a powerful story, told well.

Stories are written to be shared, and it is our responsibility to retell those that we witness — not only for our own sake, but for the benefit of others. Stories change people. They shape entire cultures.

After traveling through European hostels, visiting churches in Latin America, and staying in homes throughout North America, I’ve conceded to my dad’s prophetic statement. Maybe I have a story or two to tell my kids.

Maybe we all do.

So what’s your story? Share it in the comments.

About Jeff Goins

I write books and help writers get their work out into the world. I am the best-selling author of four books, including The Art of Work. Each week, I send out a newsletter with free tips on writing and creativity.

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  • Michael

    Alcoholic in high school in college that God transformed into someone who is passionate about spreading His word.

    Man I have more to share, but not yet. Give me about 2 weeks.

    • Jeff Goins

      Thanks, Michael. I look forward to hearing the rest!

  • First, thank you Jeff, for encouraging me to share a little bit of my story here…I will try so hard to be brief! 😉

    I’m sure at some point of another we all feel like God made a mistake somewhere. Things are going so horribly wrong that you can’t possibly fathom God having a plan for you, or wanting you at all. Even as a little child I questioned God’s love. My parents divorced when I was a year old–my mom was physically and psychologically abusive towards my siblings and I. Some of the fights I witnessed and was involved in are forever burned in my mind. My mom tried to take her own life twice before I was 8 years old. I will never forget one of her sisters telling me, as my mom was placed in an ambulance, that this was our fault. I might have been a sweet kid at heart with a personality that brought me friends, but inside I was lonely and angry. My dad, who I held on a pedestal, died when I was 11, only increasing my feelings.

    There are a lot of things that began when I was young that plagued me over the majority of my 29 years. I was smoking and drinking by age 13 which led to many ER visits for alcohol poisoning before the age of 21. I was a cutter from age 15 to age 27. I abused prescription pain pills and found comfort in the beds of some not so great guys. As REALLY awkward as this is for a woman to say, the latter even came with an addiction to pornography that started at a really young age.

    April 28, 2010, my boyfriend broke up with me. It was the most serious relationship I’d ever been in, and we were planning on getting married this year. The news that he didn’t love me anymore was devastating. I’d wrapped my identity up so much in him that I’d walked away from my family and any remaining values and dreams I still had. I wanted to die. My friends did their best to pull me back from the cliff, but ultimately it took something more powerful.

    I was sitting with a friend crying about 2 weeks after the break up and she said, “I want you to read something.” I told her I didn’t need a self help book. She said it wasn’t and handed me “Plan B” by Pete Wilson. She began to talk about it, but I tuned her out. I was mesmerized by the cover and rubbed my hand over the letters that said, “What do you do when God doesn’t show up the way you thought He would?” There was a crumpled up list of “My Life” on the front, and I recognized what could have been my own writing. I felt something come over me and I looked up, interrupting my friend by saying, “Can I go to church with you tomorrow?” I think we were both shocked at what came out of my mouth.

    May 9, 2010 was my first Sunday at Cross Point Community Church here in Nashville. At the time I didn’t realize that Pastor Pete was the same guy that had written the book. I just knew that as he spoke about Shattered Dreams, I could feel fragments of my heart falling. I cried hard while listening to words that were no doubt being spoken by God through Pete. Week after week went by, more and more tears, and an overwhelming feeling of being lost. But through Pete and Nashville Campus Pastor Blake Bergstrom, they helped me find my way. I became involved in serving with community for the first time in my life–learning the true joy that comes from being the hands and feet of Christ. On July 18, 2010 I was baptized, and I can easily say it was the greatest day of my life.

    Since that time it’s been a nightmarish rollercoaster of Jesus-highs and enemy-lows. I’ve worked hard and struggled more than I can possibly imagine I ever would. But I keep striving and reaching my hand out to Christ, and I feel Him grab hold right when I need Him to. I feel like he is leading me to do mission work, and am going on my first mission trip to the Dominican Republic in March.

    I am beyond grateful for the new life I’ve been given. I thought I was out of second chances. But by the grace of Christ Jesus, I was pulled out of the devil’s grasp and I will never, ever go back there. The enemy might attack me over and over to the point I’m not sure I can take anymore. But my love for God and His son will always conquer.

    (Told you it’d be long, Jeff! LOL…)

    • Jeff Goins

      Thank you, Morgan!

    • Great story, Morgan. Thank you for sharing!

    • soulstops

       Wow, thank you so much for sharing, Morgan!

  • Terry Smith

    What’s my Story?

    I sinned. God forgave me. And now, I’m starting back into college (gonna finish this time) and my dream/desire is to work for some missions organization as a Missionary on the ground in an underdeveloped country. Right now, I’m leaning towards IMB, because I am a Baptist at heart, but I’ve also thought of Wycliffe. What’s your story Jeff?

    • Thanks for sharing, Terry.

      My story is this: I’m a pilgrim on a journey towards abundant life. Sometimes, I feel lost, but I know that I’m ultimately headed home.

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  • She was the golden girl…blonde hair, blue eyes, and a smile that made all the old ladies at church grin from ear to ear. She was five, and Boy! She could carry a tune.

    She walked up the steps and accepted the mic from her daddy, the minister of music.

    As the notes floated out of the ancient PA system, she froze. What were the first words?? The first words!! Come on!! What WERE they??

    The panic deepened, and her eyes darted down and to the left. She saw the huge opening in the back of the pulpit and realized, for the first time, that she could easily fit in there.

    So she did.

    And that, my friends, is the story of how I spent the entire hour of a good ol’ Southern Baptist service *inside* a pulpit due to my incredible embarrassment and complete refusal to come out until every last person in the sanctuary was gone.

    No joke.

    • Jeff Goins

      Hilarious! Thanks for sharing one of your stories, Lindsay. I love how you told it.

    • Too funny and cute! Church is the best place to gather some “incredible embarrassment”!

    •  Hahaha, I could just see all of this happening! Great story and great storytelling!

    • Love this. Just great.

  • Coming out of High School I was not ready for college. I didn’t know what to study, or what I wanted to do with my life.

    So I went to Nepal to do serve God by taking the gospel to unreached people, and stayed there two years.

    I came back with a new identity, a new take on life (it is not my life, it is HIS), and a deep conviction of my own sin and God’s awesomeness.

    I appreciate reading your blog.

    Peace.

  • LOVE this post, Jeff.  “Stories are written to be shared, and it is our responsibility to retell
    those that we witness — not only for our own sake, but for the benefit
    of others. Stories change people.”   The older I get and the more distance I get from the loss of my mom the more I realize how her legacy, her story, still has a way of shaping my life today.  So thankful that she shared her story with me, it inspires me to share with my son.  Your Dad knows what he is talking about!

  • Jennyboltprice

    My story is her story. She’s my twin. My other half. 10 years ago I saw her in mail. Promising myself I could never do a visit like that again. Today. I sat in church. Holding her 3 yr old baby. Cuddling my 7 yr old twins. Watching her lead worship. Sober. Whole. Clean. Heart to Jesus. Carrying her second child. Singing of Gods firstborn son. 10 years. Tides turn. Lives mend. Hearts heal. I rejoice in the story of her life.

    • Jennyboltprice

      JAIL not mail

  • Your story reminded me of stories I used to tell me children. They were called ‘Brother, Sister and Sister’ stories, because the main characters were three siblings, one boy and two girls, coincidentally just like my three children. Brother, Sister and Sister had all kinds of adventures because of two words: “and then…” Improvisational storytelling is a workout, but they loved it.

    My story has a lot of small stories woven into it. Some day I hope to write a book about them all. In the meantime I strive to be “an epistle read by all men”. 

    Great post, Jeff.

  • Anonymous

    “I wish he’d kick the dog.”

  • Gary00761

    Have you been affected by Tetracycline Stained Teeth,or do you have a Family member or friend who has been affected. This is a life changing event.Also the stained gray or brownish teeth will last a life time unless you have an extra $8000.00 to $20,000 laying around to fix the problem.
    Tetracycline’s Maker Pfizer is worth Billion’s. Several people have contacted Pfizer concerning the permanent life damage their drug has caused for thousands of Consumers.Pfizer’s response, we have a warning label on tetracycline, we are sorry ? Thats it they are sorry.Yes there is a warning label on Tetracycline, but no warning label was on this drug back when thousands of pregnant mothers and children took it before the age of 8.
    Lloyd H. Conover was hired by Pfizer in 1950 he helped invent Tetracycline which went on the market in 1952, from the 50s, 60s, and early 70s there was no warning label.Pfizer was aware of of the damage in the early 70s but didn’t release the information to the PublicIt is known that Pfizer knew of the stained teeth side effects but kept it a secret from the Doctors and Public
    The total warning, both the original precaution and the added language, are printed in capital letters in the Physicians’ Desk Reference (PDR), in which the warning first appeared in 1971.
    Again there are thousands of citizens who we’re affected to this day because of Tetracycline.Please click the link below and sign the Petition asking Pfizer to start a Fund to fix our teeth. It would not put a dent in their profit.
    Please sign it whether you we’re effected or not.
    Thanks
    https://www.change.org/petitions/pfizer-please-fix-our-teeth-so-we-can-smile

  • Thanks, Jeff. I agree completely.

    I recently blogged about my theological journey from certainty to discovery, rigidity to hospitality. Maybe some of your readers may find it helpful.

    https://jeffkclarke.com/2012/07/19/my-theological-journey-from-certainty-to-discovery/

    Keep it up!

    Jeff

  • My story is too long and complicated to write in a comment. Loved this post. I am glad your dad spent time and instilled the art of storytelling.

  • Katharine Trauger

    Oh, I know the power of a story!
    I once made up a story for my little daughter, about a farmer finding an abandoned watermelon seed in his junk drawer and planting it. I told of the little seed’s fearlessness in the dark soil and of his joy at sprouting and growing all over the garden, blooming and bearing luscious fruits for all the children, etc.

    The result? From then on, EVERY watermelon seed we ever found had a personna, in my daughter’s imagination, and had to be saved for planting.

    Whew. Took forever to undo that one! 🙂

    But — I sort of feel like Rumplestiltskin here, with every other comment being a year old . . .

    • Katharine Trauger

      Oh. except Jeff’s. 🙂

  • Jeedoo

    Jeff, for years I have said to my children when they have complained about some set of circumstances:  It will be a great story!   I have used many of those stories, and the kids are beginning to as well.

  • My dad’s stories had the same effect when I was little. He’d been the radio operator on a rescue plane in the Arctic, worked in a creamery in Wisconsin, hitchhiked to New Orleans and back as a teenager, drove the Al-Can Hiway when he got out of the Air Force, and spent his last 17 years working in Tijuana, Mexico just across the border from where we lived.

    And I’ve spent the past two years as a nomad, with my wife and our little girl, traveling the US and Canada, meeting people all over, writing books, writing and performing music, teaching people how to have a portable business and a location-independent lifestyle.

    But my best stories are of other people, the people who just can’t wait to be generous and hospitable, the people who gave us a place to stay on our travels, shared a meal and some music and stories of their own.

    Just as Lyle Lovett’s favorite thing is to sing other people’s songs, though I have plenty of stories of my own my favorite stories are about other people I’ve known.

  • I often say that I am not a writer, I am a storyteller.  All of my writing is stories – about my life, family, friends and things I have learned along the way.  Every day we live, we all have another story to tell.  

  • Hlmedford

    Thanks for an inspiring post. I teach 4th grade reading and writing. I always tell my students that they all have stories to tell. I’m going to share your post with them.

    Heather Medford
    Florida

  • littlelubbe05

    I’ve never written about my childhood growing up in a North Georgia trailer park. There are some adventures there, as well as some amazing characters to be shared. Thanks for encouraging me to push towards writing about those untold stories. 

  • You are so right.  Even things that happen to us which at the time are painful, are in fact learning experiences, and that learning experience is a great story.  I finally had the strength to write down such a life story, which has literally changed my life – given me a different outlook and drive.  
    https://www.cswimsey.com/2012/07/henry-key-to-new-life.html.  Other life stories are funny – you can share your pain and laugh, which in itself is a release.  Some of the best stories happened on adventures abroad, like when I was followed for 20 km on a sea cliff top road in Italy – got sick of the tailgating, and pulled over.  To my surprise the car behind also pulled over.  3 Italian men got out knocked on my window asking for a date!  They’d seen us in Positano and followed us down the coast road.  Stories are ingrained in our nature as human beings – they are part of our genetic make up.  They define us.  Great post Jeff.

  • This is such great encouragement. How I wish I had written down all those amusing and heart-breaking moments as our two girls grew up. There is a multitude of stories that have disappeared faster than kids who have been called to do chores.

    My story: Second of seven in a big, boisterous loving family. Never felt confident or skilled like some of my siblings. Was wrecked several times as an adult, each time picking myself up, dusting myself off, and saying, “Whew! OW! Now that was a learning experience. I hope I don’t have to go through that again!

    The last couple of years have been especially challenging as I am giving up control to God and following his lead, becoming aware of my gifts and learning how to use them to help others and to make a life and a living.

    I am really looking forward to reading your book. Who knew being wrecked was such an incredible gift? It just requires we find the right perspective that shows the gift in all it’s glory.

  • When I was a child I learned the art of southern story telling from my grandfather and great grandfather.  When to exaggerate small details beyond belief, when to downplay other points, and keeping your listener hooked, even though they’ve heard the same yarn being spun over a thousand times.

    They are both gone now, My grandfather and great grandfather.  They left their marks, told their stories and moved on.  

    But, I heard their stories so many times, I can tell them myself.  My sister’s tell me “Tell his stories, use the voice” and so I mimic my grandfather’s unmistakable Carolinian accent and tell his unbelievable stories and I see my sisters close their eyes and time travel back to their childhood sitting on their grandfathers knee, listening to stories.

  • This is very timely – I keep hearing I need to tell my story. The story of God’s mercy to a prodigal, giving me a second chance when I thought I’d totally blown it. I’ve planned writing a book for years [it’s more or less written, but needs serious revision and updating] – in the meantime I’m telling it in episodes on my blog.
    Thanks Jeff – you’re as encouraging as ever.

  • Interesting exercise…my story is growing up in a small town thinking that everything was normal. Then leaving home and discovering how massively dysfunctional, bizarre, and in some ways tragic my childhood had been. Then finally realizing that it’s like that everywhere, and forgiving people for being…normal.

  • Cheryl

    Jeff – Thank you for this site and for your posts.  I always come away from reading one of them with more motivation to write, and a better grasp on how to face the underlying fear of putting myself out there.  I have awarded you a dual blog award: One Lovely Blog and Inspiring Blog.  You can check out detials if you like over on my blog http://cherylfassett.wordpress.com/.  Thanks again for the great content!

  • Juliesilander

    I agree – .  Short version: I left a rewarding career in corporate America to come home and be with my family. I love life, story, and the miracles found in the everyday.  Part of my story… on “story” –

     https://greenertrees.net/2011/08/06/a-good-book-is-like-a-lemonade-stand/

  • I love stories! I once heard a pastor say, “We are all storytellers. The question is: are we living stories worth telling?” That has changed my outlook on life because I don’t just want to live an average story. I want to live one worth telling, a wrecked one. A friend once said, “Stories are the webs that weave us all together.”
    Katie

  • So true that everyone has a story….and it needs to be shared:) Part of my story includes growing up with a pioneering dad and mom where all 11 of us kids had to milk cows, stook the grain and drive tractors when we were still under 10 yrs. With all our mishaps and trying new things…I think there could be story there that needs to be shared! Thanks for your encouraging words, Jeff!

  • I love a good story, and always say I want to tell others’ stories because I don’t see my own stories as good at all. So I’ve wanted to tell others, yet haven’t junped at that chance yet.

    I would sit and listen to my dad and his brothers tell amazing stories of growing up, I always wanted to be able to tell stories like them, but my life ended up being a lonely life without the aid of having others join in building the story. I should start writing more of my stories down. https://mysoundtrackforlife.blogspot.com

  • Crazytiredmom

    Thanks, Jeff, for reminding me that I had stories.  I had forgotten that.  I decided to capture that on my blog today, as it’s quite long:  http://www.crazytiredmom.wordpress.com for anyone who is interested.  I need to start writing down my stories. 

  • Browneyedbug

    Good morning everyone. It was great reading everyone’s comments.  I  have a story to tell… Years ago I left my loveable but alcoholic husband when I fell head over heel in love with his close friend just a few months before he was senselessly murdered. I put myself through hell and back with blame and grief for causing him so much hurt before he died.  What I learned is grief and great happiness can exist side by side because I married that close friend 35 years ago. 

    I have always wondered if I should write my experience as a memoir or disguise it as fiction. For now I am using my experience as back story for the heroine in a romance story.

  • Sunita Saldhana

    Hi. This is my story.  This was when I first realized I want to make a difference in people’s lives by empowering them through education.
    The Beginning

     

    I was all of fourteen. It was
    the 5th of September, 1979, Teacher’s Day. I was in the tenth
    standard and as usual the teachers had gone for a picnic, leaving us, the tenth
    standard students to run the school.

     

    I was in charge of the
    kindergarten. I had been told to ensure that all the kids wrote down the
    alphabet. Everyone complied, except one little girl, Monica. She just stared
    sulkily at her note book. When I asked her why she was not writing, she just
    shook her head stubbornly, without saying a word.

     

    But the rest of the class
    yelled out, “She can’t write. She is a dumb head.”

     

    I was shocked to hear these
    little five year olds talk like that. “Who says she is a dumb head?” I asked.

     

    “Our teacher, Miss Margaret,”
    they replied.

     

    I felt an uncontrollable
    surge of anger towards Miss Margaret. “How can anyone call a baby a dumb head?”
    I wondered as I looked at little Monica who had hung her head in shame.

     

    I put my arm around her and
    said, “You are not a dumb head. You are my friend. And so friend, tell me, what
    do you like to do?”

     

    She looked up at me with eyes
    round in surprise and not a little fear. Then she whispered, “I like to draw.”

     

    “And what do you like to
    draw?”

     

    “Houses”, she said.

     

    “Okay”, I told her, “Let’s
    see. If you can draw your ABC
    just like I am doing, I will let you draw a picture of a house for me.  I will take that picture home and keep it on
    my fridge. Okay?”

     

    Still full of wonderment, she
    nodded and “drew” the alphabet neatly in her book. After that she drew a
    beautiful house and garden for me.

     

    I showed her book around the
    class and said, “See, Monica is not a dumb head.  She is an artist.”

     

    The beatific smile on the
    child’s face was all the reward in the world.

    This was my first experience
    of how we as teachers can make or break a child. All it needs is a few words to
    build up someone’s confidence and confidence is a mighty motivator.

     

    I tasted power that day in
    that kindergarten classroom. I realized that I had the power to change the way
    a person thinks about himself. I could make people believe in themselves. I
    could help people succeed.

     

    And in that moment was born
    my dream. I decided there and then that I would be a teacher… not of academic
    subjects but a teacher who would teach people to be confident and believe in
    themselves. I would help people succeed in life.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Terrific! I encourage this as well. You can read some wonderful stories at https://www.essaysonchildhood.com. We all have stories, and putting them into writing can be good for the soul.

  • I love this Jeff. I thought my stories didn’t matter for a long time as well. I am so glad that I now know that they do matter. And I am learning to help encourage others to understand that their voice matters, and their story matters. Great post!

  • Jeff, I sat and listened to a bunch if music that my daughter likes last night. While she likes this music, I realized that I had lived these songs, not just through them. And maybe I need to write them down.

  • Sometimes I look at my life and think it’s been so dull and boring only to realize that I overlook many great adventures that have taken place. 

    The race to the hospital when my appendix tried to kill me
    The jump out of an airplane
    The wooing of my wife
    The whitewater rafting trip
    Youth trips we took
    The first trip to Catalyst Atlanta

    And many more… 

  • Lauren Murphy

    I’m a newlywed and here is my real love story…
    https://writeandshine.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/love-story/

  • I’m all about the story Jeff, it’s what I’ve been traveling the world this year talking about: The power of your story.

    My story is for 12 years I worked a job that not only made me miserable but negatively affected my life. Last year I finally took action and self-published my first ebook, it flopped.

    I regrouped, started guest posting, start connecting with people through my story. I self-published a second book and both ebooks to date have sold over 50,000 copies. I got a book deal with no agent 🙂

    I now write (books and for magazines), coach, consult and speak all over the world, it’s been an awesome year. The story still continues and I look forward to seeing where it takes me!

  • Shari Daniels

    K – I’m sharing my story of my escape to lose my “self”.  It’s going to take awhile. . . and I’m hoping someone else can connect with the same feelings and experiences that I have gone through.
    Shari
    https://islandsofmysoul.com/

  • I come from a family of story-tellers as well. I started writing them down because I have a terrible memory. When I’m asked to share a story, I go totally blank, but at my keyboard, I can pull out all sorts things.

  • Thanks for giving us a place to tell our stories, Jeff!  Personally, I love reading people’s stories.  Even more, I love hearing them when meeting folks face-to-face.  It’s incredibly humbling to hear all that someone has gone through – from tragedy to triumph – and to unmistakably see God in it all, even if they cannot.

    My story started in 1977, at birth, and will end whenever my time here on Earth is up. One of my favorite parts to have lived & to tell is having traveled far & wide to share His grace and love with folks who’ve never heard the gospel.  India, Mexico, Nepal, Bangladesh, Taiwan, and Brazil forever hold a special place in my heart.  Especially India!  The many faces of Indian men, women, and children will crowd my heart and mind for eternity.

  • I love reading your blogs.  You always have such wonderful insight into writing.  I am off to find my story – and tell it! 🙂

  • This reminds me of a game my writing teacher plays sometimes on the week that new students join the ongoing circle of writers.  She has us each make a list of ten things about our lives.  Nine of the things should be true and one should be a lie.  We take turns reading our list and guessing which one is the untruth. Most of the time the most outlandish facts on each list is the true one and the totally bland and uninteresting thing is the one that is made up.  That game always reminds me that we all have brilliantly fascinating stories in each of us, but sometimes it takes someone else to tell us that they are interesting.

  • Life is one giant story. We just have to have our eyes open and the foresight to take notice

    It’s all about the story 🙂

    Matthew (Turndog Millionaire)

  • John Little

    A warm story I don’t think I can write. A thought provoking, tragic and enlightening story… maybe.

    I took a shot, it comes from the heart.https://theworldlysecrets.blogspot.se/

  • For the last few years my girls (ages 10 & 8) ask me to tell them stories at bedtime. It’s usually silly stories about my dogs growing up, how their daddy and I met, and just the other night I told them about the time I watched my brother (their uncle) play in the Olympics years ago. 

    Those are fun and light-hearted. But in recent years, my story was not so happy.  After being stuck in the pit of anxiety and depression, I started blogging a few months ago. I wanted a place to share my story. A place to write, to be real, and authentic… and ultimately sparing my husband hours of listening to my thoughts and some of my nonsense 😉

  • This reminds me of how I broke down and cried during your Blissdom presentation, when you reminded me to have the courage to tell my story.  Thank you again for that.

  • Jeff ~ After being a single Mom for fifteen years and dating a bunch of guys, having some strange and weird dating experiences, having a guy change his mind at the last minute about marrying me, I wondered if I would ever remarry.  One night I heard myself praying ‘Heavenly Father, if there is someone I should be with, please show me!’  Four days later Ray Denos showed up on my doorstep.  I hadn’t seen or heard from him in fourteen years.  Three months later we were married ^_^  There is a lot of story in those three months and the preceeding years but thats my synopsis ^_^  Amazing huh?!  How to pray the man of your dreams to your front door…haha…^_^

  • Kristi

    This made me think of my mom.  Her first language was not English; it was French-Canadian.  She used to sing to us little French songs, and I loved that so much.  We’d get so excited, “Sing to us about the cat!”  And she’d think back, then burst into the song about the lady whose cat stuck his paw in her soup, and she told him if he did it again, she’d put him in her soup.  You can guess the ending.  I’ve often thought that when my mother passes away, those songs will be gone.  I never learned them, nor did my sister.  But I realized I would have the same type of “story” for my children last night when my husband asked me to sing to our son, Dominic.  I started to sing a lullabye, and he asked where I had learned that.  I said, “Oh, I made that one up for the older kids when they were little.”  His face grew excited as he exclaimed to Dominic, “Mommy’s singing a song that SHE made up – and she’s singing it just for you!!”  Not as fun as singing in French about a naughty cat, but my kids will definitely have something to remember me by…. and to pass on.

  • I went on a trip two years ago with four other girls–none of us having much farm experience.  At all. At one point, we were in a van that was also carrying corn. When we got back to our temporary home, we realized we were infested with ticks! We all freaked out, individually, corporately, and cleaned that entire home (and ourselves) thoroughly. The next morning, we discovered that our buggy visitors were not ticks, but weevils, and very much not prone to lyme disease.

  • I just announced today that I’m writing a book! (www.johnweirick.com) The idea that everyone has a story to tell really resonates with me, and I want to motivate others to live the stories of their lives well.
    Thanks, Jeff.

  • Mbnilsen

    Honestly, our story is currently being written.  We are normal, happy, middle-class Americans.  One boy and one girl felt like the perfect fit for our family.  But God… God whispered a different story, a more complex and beautiful story.  He aligned our hearts with His and this past December we brought home two, beautiful Ethiopian born children.  This journey has been, without a doubt, the most profound, spiritually deep experience of our lives.  We love our family, the whole darn, humans-saved-by-grace mess of us!

    • Mbnilsen

      You could tap into any part of our story at http://www.teamnilsen.wordpress.com.  Thanks, Jeff for inspiring me to keep writing.  BTW, Tom Davis of Children’s Hope Chest is a big fan of yours.  He gave you huge props and encouraged lots of web traffic to your website at the “She Speaks 2012” women’s writers conference a couple weeks ago. 🙂

  • Funny story from my teen girl drama days here: 
    https://therightvolume.com/relationships-wrong-way/

    Then the story of my miscarriage here:
    https://therightvolume.com/where-is-god-in-miscarriage/

    Storytelling has been a huge theme for me lately, too, and I’m working on fully embracing this concept that I AM a storyteller!!!!

  • Parents divorced when I was five. One of four kids of a single mom. Angry at God, decided I was an atheist. Diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis, spent 23 days in the hospital, one of which was my 15th birthday. Almost died. Doctors wanted to remove my colon, I said no. Angrier at God.

    Moved out of state right before my senior year of high school. Met a great girl (now my wife, high school sweethearts, great love story). She’s a Christian, different than the other ones I hated before. Church with her family on Christmas Eve. My world is rocked. I spend three weeks reading Jesus and apologetics. Give up my fight and anger and become a Christian, too.

    I make the tough decision to stay at home for a year after high school. Don’t want my family to not know Christ. Within that year my entire family is also with Jesus. Me and the aforementioned girl decide to go to college together. God tells me to study philosophy and religion. We get married young, three weeks after finishing undergrad.

    I spent three years dying from colitis flare-ups. I end up in the hospital for blood transfusions multiple times.  All the while I labor through a part-time job, grad assistantship, and my Master’s degree to triumphantly defend a thesis that looked impossible to complete. For a year I am too burnt out to pursue a PhD, the next logical step.

    Last year the colitis finally did me in. Had to have my entire colon removed. In the hospital for eleven days, I almost die again, this time from sepsis. I spend two months at home recovering with a huge open wound and a new, permament, ostomy. The entire time, my wife and I are preparing to move to Tennessee as members of a new church in Murfreesboro. We joined the team before my surgery, but have to struggle through my recovery before we can move.

    We take the leap and move last October, both without jobs.We live with my in-laws for four months, find jobs, buy a house in Murfreesboro this past February. Awesome things are happening at the church plant. Inspired by Jeff Goins, I start a blog to tell my story, one painful piece at a time (nogutsgodsglory.wordpress.com). We find out a month ago that we are expecting our first child. I start to gather courage to apply to PhD programs this fall. Things are looking up.

    Then my wife loses her job a few weeks ago. I am struggling to figure out what’s next. I’m sure, whatever it is, it will be big and dramatic, like most of my story so far. Thinking of making my ever-growing but lightly-read blog into a book. Wanted to know what you think.

    • Kristi

      I would love to read the book about your life. So far your story is incredible. Especially the way you accepted Christ into your heart and then shared Him with your family. Amazing!!

  • You can find my story here – Life, Love, Mental Illness and Redemption. https://theicygripoffear.tumblr.com/

  • Jeff, you and I are trying to make a difference.  I came across this and wanted to share.

    https://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/international/2012/08/06/marketplace-africa-mozambique-bicycles.cnn 

  • Thecarterclan3

    They say that you feel as old as your age, nothing more and nothing less. The truth couldn’t be further from it, I am young and yet there are days when I feel as old as the world and others when I feel that I’ve seen nothing and known nothing to warrent such a statement.

    The truth is that you feel as old as the life you’ve led. Your experiences, the hurt and the joy are what shape you, change you untill one day you look at your reflection and ask “Is that me?” and you find that you are different. A shadow of your former self. I saw my reflection, saw who I’d become and cried for the person I used to be and for the little girl who now only belongs in distant memories. Time scratches away at the surface untill you are left with what you’ve become and the story to your name, all that belongs to you in this life is yourself and your identity. Never fool yourself into beleiving that you can change either of the two. Never change yourself for the wrong reasons and never doubt that no matter who you are, you are unique. Perfect.

    There are days when the weight of the world is upon your shoulders, there are days when it brings you to your knees and you want to sleep until the worries fade away. And in the beauty you see in the world, be it in a childs smile or the love of a friend, you pick yourself up and dust yourself off. The worries never leave but you become stronger, run faster and open your heart wider. And truly live for the first time. 

     

  • You are so right.  Even things that happen to us which at the time are painful, are in fact learning experiences, and that learning experience is a great story.  I finally had the strength to write down such a life story, which has literally changed my life – given me a different outlook and drive.  

  • Thank you, Morgan!

  • tvnurse

    We tell stories like this on our Television show and web shows Outspokentvshows with Karon RN…everyone enjoys them….How do you post a story here?