“We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Then you can tell them, ‘They remind us that the Jordan River stopped flowing when the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant went across.’ These stones will stand as a memorial among the people of Israel forever.”
// Joshua 4:6-7
Throughout this week, we’ve discussed the power of telling our stories. We may never know how great or far reaching the effects of our stories are on the lives of others, as we share all God has done in and through our lives, the twists and turns that have culminated in today and the encounters and moments that have shaped who we are.
But perhaps the most profound impact of all is that of the story upon the storyteller.
Last night, I sat at dinner with a new friend [Hi Grace!] and recounted stories from my life journey. We talked about work and our careers, and I recalled afresh some of the crazy, unthinkable things that happened along the road that led to my suddentranslocation to New York last year. I was reminded that I’m undoubtedly here, now for a reason, and that chain of events didn’t happen by chance but by His design.
We shared about how we first heard of C3 Brooklyn and how we ended up at church, and I recalled my first moments of walking into Josh & Georgie’s apartment, nervously clutching a bottle of wine. I remembered the open-armed welcome I received and my sense of relief at having found a genuine, healthy, inclusive community of [freakishly cool] friends in a big, cold city. I was reminded in such a timely way of what it’s like to be new, to know no-one, to long for friendship and a sense of belonging, and to have prayers answered, to have needs met and, in the words of Rhi Rhi, to find love in a hopeless place.
Joshua 4 demonstrates the power and the importance of remembering where we’ve come from. By revisiting the most poignant moments of our journeys – the good and the hard times alike – and giving thanks to God for all He’s done thus far, we lift Him up and give Him all the credit for where we are today – we worship Him.
By telling our stories, we strengthen ourselves for the course; we encourage ourselves, along with others, that God is at work and He is able to bring to completion the good work that He began. By telling our stories we take a step back and see with greater perspective and clarity the masterpiece He’s creating through the brushstrokes of our lives.
// Alicia Hosking