Someone Can Relate To Your Story: Here’s An Example

by Kristen Gilles

in Testimony Tips

"Conversation" photo: share your story to encourage othersRecently, one of my pastors asked if I’d be willing to share my story with a woman who is undergoing something similar to my own experience. He saw an opportunity for both of us to be encouraged by the gospel of grace at work in our lives, even if we were at different stages of our journeys.

So I shared with my new sister and friend my story of being carried through and out of a broken marriage to full redemption in a new beautiful, gospel-centered marriage–and all brought about through God’s faithful goodness and mercy. I testified of His perseverance on my behalf, in spite of my sinful selfishness and my failure to trust Him at all times.

God lovingly and patiently disciplined me, and showed me my desperate need for Him and His all-sufficiency to care for me.

He taught me how to forgive the offenses laid against me by reminding me that He has forgiven ALL of my sins, past, present and future. He changed my heart to desire His way instead of my own. His grace enabled me to trust Him and let go of the control I thought I had and so desperately wanted.

He taught me to fear Him, to trust, love and obey Him. His Good Spirit led me on level ground out of a dangerous relationship into a desired safe haven. He never let me go; He never abandoned me, even though my first husband did. God never mistook my value as His child; He never took away my inheritance or place around His table. God never stopped loving me or providing for all of my needs.

Advent artwork - reach out to others by sharing your story of redemption

Reach out to others by sharing your story of redemption

His purposes and plans for my life were not thwarted by any circumstance in my life thus far. He had not forsaken me, the works of His hands (Psalm 138:8). I was still His workmanship, His poetry, created anew in Christ Jesus so I could do the good things He planned for me long ago (Eph. 2:10). I still belonged to God; my identity was still Christ; my history was perfected in Christ and my future was absolutely sure in Christ. These are truths that we ALL need to hear ALL the time, whether we’re enduring terrible hardship and suffering, or we’re experiencing a season of rest and health.

So, why should we be willing to share our stories of redemption?

It was good for me to bear witness to God’s grace at work in my life so that my sister could be reminded of and encouraged by God’s grace at work in her present struggle. And it was just as important for me to be reminded of what God had done in my life—it inspired so much thanksgiving and praise in my heart! It stirred my affections for my Savior and encouraged me to persevere here and now in the work He’s called me to, being fully assured that He will be faithful to complete the good work He’s begun in me (Phil. 1:6). This is true for all of us who are in Christ!

Someone, somewhere at sometime can relate to our journey and they desperately need to hear and see the gospel at work in the context of suffering similar to their own. If they know you’ve shared their suffering and that you tasted and saw the Lord’s goodness and mercy in and through it, they will be encouraged to drink deeply of their own cup of suffering. They will be assured that it’s sweetened by the grace of God presently and always at work in and through their trials. We help each other see and remember the gospel when we share how it has been working in and through our own series of failures and triumphs.

And don’t think that your story has to be “complete” before you can start telling it.

Our stories are always unfolding and there’s always evidence of grace.  Don’t be afraid to share with someone else what God has done and is doing in your life. Speak boldly of His outrageous grace on display in His marvelous works and mighty acts. Someone else will certainly be encouraged by your re-telling of the gospel story that is unfolding in your life.

Photo 1 courtesy: via Creative Commons license

Photo 2 “Advent” window, courtesy

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