Saturday, June 11, 2011

telling stories

Stories define us, in many ways, telling us who we are, giving us history and rootedness, helping us know about our people.

Scripture is (broadly speaking) telling our story - reminding us who we are and to Whom we belong.  It is way bad that some folk use scripture as if it were the answers in the back of the algebra text book (do they do that any more?) [Long ago, in a school system far away . . . . the algebra textbooks had, in the back, the answers to the odd numbered problems.]

Stories remind us, recall the great events of life, and the tragedies, as well.  They help us know how to act, give us a frame of reference.  They help us remember and recall the past but also live into the future.

But there may be many stories for each of us.  Which ones we listen to makes a big difference.

I have been struggling with depression and many demons.  All the 'not good enough' tales, the 'just work harder and move faster' sagas, the 'you must earn it - you're not worth it' stories.  Sometimes I listen.  Bad move.

Recently, I was asked to be part of a panel discussion about welcoming and affirming religious non-profits (of the sort for which I work).  (Part of our small-time community effort to stand against the Exodus conference going on nearby.)

My part was to tell the story of the last seven or so years of my life.  Recalling some of the details, the twists and turns, the ups and downs, the sadness, grief, and joy of it all.  Telling my story makes it real again - the grace and the details that remind me how many folk gave support and love, how Love overcame fear, how surrender and trusting were the only avenues that made sense.

I need that trust, grace, surrender, Love, support . . . . . I need it still.  And telling my story helps make them real again.  It really is the Truth that sets us free.

I feel better now.  Which story are you listening to?


Java said...

The depression demons are eating me for lunch these days. Today I listened too well to the sad tales of "I'm not good enough."

I'm glad you were able to remember the strength and love and support from your stories.

T said...

Glad you feel better.

Cubby said...

I've been thinking of you. I'm glad you're well.

Birdie said...

I love to hear of your freedom through truth. It is a pure, life-giving way.

I don't know how to explain leaving the depression behind, because life continues to throw some major conflicts in my life. Nonetheless, I haven't needed meds for about five years. Maybe it's a benefit of growing old. :)

Continued prayers for you, to keep the darkness at bay.

Buddy Bear said...

It's good to hear from you! It must have been extremely difficult, telling a group about your last seven years of ups and downs. I'm sure it was extremely beneficial, for you as well as for your listeners.

Ur-spo said...

Telling stories is very serious business in my field (Jungian psychology) Do not share these things with others too easily. While stories are VITAL they are precious.

BTW - I speak for many in blog land we are so honored to have you share some of your Story with us.

Derek said...

been a while since I visited! Glad I did!

BentonQuest said...

Know that I am sending you a big hug over the miles. And keep telling the stories because there are people who need to hear them and who will take strength from them. You are a wonderful person!