"Hey, how are you?" I asked as my guy walked in the door after work last week.
“Good! Our pastor called and wanted to know if we were willing to share this coming Sunday.”
“Share? What are we sharing? Wait, do we have to get up in front of people?!” I asked.
“Uhh, yeah, it would definitely involve getting up—and talking,” my guy teased.
“Okaaayy…” I said tentatively. “What is he preaching on this week?”
“Of course he is!” I said, smirking. “If he’s asking us to share, his sermon has to be about life going horribly wrong.”
I wish that hadn’t been my first response, but it was. And, in the spirit of honesty, I’m sharing it with you. Obviously my sarcastic retort was born out of fear, but it was also born out of bitterness—that sneaky attitude that is so darn hard to uproot. Just when you think you’ve unearthed the last of it, there’s more.
It just so happens that my guy and I have been trying to be more aware of the ways God is working and moving in our days. We’re trying to live palms up, surrendered to Him and His will. So, in light of all of that, I didn’t really feel like I could say no to sharing with my church.
I agreed to get up and talk, but promptly tried to forget about it. And I did—for most of the week. Then, on Saturday, we decided we should compare notes and figure out who was going to talk about what. We settled on me sharing about my Huntington’s Disease diagnosis, and my guy telling a little about our adoption journey, including losing our foster son.
I was feeling a little better about the whole thing until it hit me—I’m going to stand up in front of a huge room of people and tell them I have HD. What was I thinking? This was a terrible idea. But it was too late to back out.
Sunday morning rolled around, and my pastor began his sermon. Partway through he called us and a couple of other folks to the front to share. We all sat on stools on the stage. I was sure I was going to fall off of mine.
I heard the first guy share—and he did a great job. He was genuine and heartfelt as he talked about how God has sustained him. Then, he handed me the microphone. I think my first words were, “I might pass out.” Yep. So smooth, Shannon.
I started to panic as all my thoughts left my mind. Then, I heard, “Tell them MY story.” In that moment, it dawned on me—none of this was remotely about me. It was, and always will be only about Jesus. About His redeeming work on the cross. About His unending grace over my life. About the way He is able to form beauty from ashes. So, I did. I told His story. And you know what? By the end, despite my steady tears, it wasn’t nearly as scary as I thought it would be. Because the focus was off of me and on the One who paid it all—right where it should be.
Even now, as I try to share this, I feel I’m stumbling over my words. But here’s my point:
And they all point back to Him. To His sacrifice. His mercy. And His ability to redeem the lost.
Guess what people who don’t know Jesus will connect with? Yep—that same story. How can you shine Jesus’ light by sharing the work He’s doing in your life? Maybe it’s writing a blog. Maybe it’s telling the cashier you see every week at Trader Joe’s. Maybe it’s sharing with your co-workers or the women in your mom’s group. Here’s what’s even cooler: We don’t have to be afraid. He will empower us and give us the right words. It’s His story—and I’m pretty sure He knows how to tell it well.
I can’t wait to hear how He uses you to share with others in the days to come.
Update: I stumbled upon Jennifer Duke Lee’s #TellHisStory after I wrote this post, so I thought it was fitting to link up with her and the beautiful #TellHisStory community today.