Remembering and Telling Your Stories
In a world starved for authenticity, for traditional values made new, for love that is real, a spiritual legacy can celebrate your life and make a real difference in others’ lives….
I recently read a historical fiction account of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. It is arguably the most significant archeological discovery of all time, revealing over 2000 precious gold and jeweled artifacts.
Yet the dedicated archeologist, Howard Carter, was disappointed: “The great sadness was, no papyri…I’d hoped for words. Words that told us about Tutankhamun himself, his parentage, how he became king, his life, his wife, his children, what he believed, who he was….And there was nothing.” (The Visitors, by Sally Beauman, page 426)
Most of us plan to pass along “stuff” to our children – furniture, family photos, jewelry, etc. It may not glitter with the gold of Tut’s Tomb, but it is a collection of our own family history and treasure. Yet without words, most of our stories will be lost.
Why do we hesitate to write our stories? Is there a way to pass along what matters to us most?
If our lives are to have lasting meaning, we must use them as a sacred link, consciously connecting the past and the future.
(Women’s Lives, Women’s Legacies, by Rachael Freed)
Why is this important?
Importance for you:
- a way to understand and celebrate your own history and express gratitude
- a way to identify themes and passions in your life to help guide you into the future
- a way to articulate your values and impart your wisdom
Importance for others:
- a way to share your experiences and even learn from them
- a catalyst for significant family conversations, a blessing to those you love
- a link in the chain of generations: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” (Greek Proverb)
Why does it seem so difficult to write?
As important as story-telling has been in my life, I have avoided this exercise for several reasons:
I lead a busy life and assume that there will be time “later” for this kind of work.
- When is “later?” None of us know how long we’ll live. We may not have the luxury of “later” and need to stop procrastinating.
I’m not a writer and fear trying to put such essential expressions into words.
- There are many options for preserving stories, including typing on the computer, writing in longhand, dictating, using photos and memorabilia in a scrapbook.
I don’t have a very interesting story. I am not a Medal of Honor recipient, an Olympian, or a famous actor. Who would even want to hear my story?
- God repeatedly instructs us in scripture to “Remember” what God has done and to “Tell” the next generation. It offends God when we say that our lives are unimportant and that God’s works in our lives are insignificant. We never know how God may use our story in others’ lives.
How do I start?
To Be Told, by Dan Allender, will guide us in recognizing and sharing our stories in light of God’s Story:
An accompanying workbook provides simple, practical exercises for exploring and embracing our stories:
This group for men and women of all ages will meet once a month for ten months, times and dates to be decided by the group. You will be given reflections and writing suggestions between group sessions. Group meetings will include sharing our stories, writing tips, and extra resources on a variety of related topics. Cost is $250 for ten, 2-hour sessions (or $28/month.) As always, partial scholarships are available.
Come join us! Click HERE to register no later than Friday, Sept. 4th.