I just got done reading Chip and Joanna Gaines' "The Magnolia Story" not too long ago (and it was an awesome book!). Now I'm reading singer Steven Curtis Chapman's autobiography "Between Heaven and the Real World: My Story" (awesome so far as well!). Both of these books have got at least one thing in common: they are personal reflections on some of the best and worst times of the authors' lives. I am taken on a journey through the ups and downs of these famous people's careers and relationships. It's got me thinking about how everyone — whether they've got a hit HGTV show or a couple Grammy's or just an average life in Indiana — has a story. And, just like how I've been inspired by the Gaines' and Chapman's, each story is important and worth-telling.
I think it's easy to think that our lives - the hardships we've endured, the victories we've had - are just ordinary and boring. We listen to famous peoples' big breaks or an entrepreneur's first million dollars earned, and we think that those stories are the definition of interesting and impactful. We see the huge miracles and the paralyzing odds people overcome, and we think that those are the ones worth telling. Not ours. Us common people don't have any awe-inspiring stories to tell. BUT WE MOST DEFINITELY DO! God gave us the lives He did for a reason. He put Chip and Jojo in the house renovation biz, SCC in the music biz, and you and I in our unique places. Each unique place has its own trials and successes. We're on equal ground. There's inspiration to be found in the televised, as well as the "mundane."
Whether they're eventually written down in a book, plastered across TV's, or simply told to a neighbor, our stories are meaningful. Each has something to offer. Told to the right person at the right time, they can have life-altering results! God orchestrates these story-sharings, I think. We find ourselves connecting on a deep level with someone, giving them hope in a situation that we may have just gotten out of. The pain we've endured in one season of our life can be used to empathize with others, and the pain in someone else's life can be used to help them empathize with us. It's a cycle: we share our stories, inspiring others to share theirs, then inspiring us to share again, etc. How cool is this thing called human interaction?!
Inspiration doesn't have to come in great big, slap-you-right-in-the-face venues. Sometimes it's in the quiet conversation between friends. Though our life stories may never see the big screen or the newspaper stands, they're gonna see lives changed if we have faith in the mighty work God can do with them.