I sat down with my dad recently and listened to some of the stories from his childhood. Iv'e always known abut the deep heartaches, and turmoil that has existed in my family roots, but I realized during this conversation, that regardless of what I knew, and now know, there will probably always be more, and I will never fully know how these stories have effected the previous generations before me.
Then I got to thinking about stories.
Our entire lives are made up of countless stories that have affected who we are, who we've been, and who we are becoming.
And I got to thinking about how influential our stories are to us, and to those around us.
Every hurt, every rejection, every tear, every failure. Every joy, every victory, every insight, every moment of courage.
I believe our stories are meant to be treasured and to be valued. And I think we also are to treasure and value the stories of those around us.
Take time to ask about people, and their lives, and their history. Take the time to listen, understanding that the things they have experienced are the very things that have brought them to where they are, and turned them into the person they are.
Take time to share your story with others. Be willing to be transparent and vulnerable at times in order that your story could bring encouragement, comfort, and hope to those listening. The very thing you faced, may be what they are currently facing, and they need someone to provide them the opportunity to say "Me too."
Sometimes we don't have the chance to hear everyones story, and some people keep their stories hidden away. With this in mind, be slow to judge and ever so quick to love. We all hide stories behind our exterior. We hide secrets, fears, regrets, and deep hurts from the world. You never know what kind of story the people around you have lived, or what they are currently living. Be gracious to them. Be ever so gracio